Why Meditation Should Be Part Of Your Beauty Regimen

BY ANNIE YATES 

MARCH 15, 2015 5:35 AM EDT

So much modern skin care comes from a bottle or jar, and advertisements make health and beauty look complicated, leading us to believe that we need a chemicals and secret formulas to remain attractive and young.

But there’s a lot more to skin and nail care than anti-wrinkle creams and miracle serums — it’s important to consider not only what we put in and on our bodies, but also how our thoughts and emotions affect the way we look.

Sure, we all like simple solutions to fix problems, quite often ignoring the cause. For example, stress isn’t just a mental state. It takes a toll on our appearance, with our skin becoming dry and pale, and the tension in our muscles can make our faces appear lined and wrinkled. To compound this, we often neglect ourselves when we feel stressed and rundown, leading to a less-than-ideal diet. We indulge in sugar, caffeine and alcohol, all of which can affect skin cell hydration and make our skin look dull and dry.

Together with a good diet and exercise, regular meditation is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety, and give ourselves time to breathe and gain perspective. Try introducing meditation to your beauty regimen with this simple daily practice that easily fits into your schedule.

As with all natural beauty, I always encourage people to be realistic when it comes to results. Nothing pure and natural is a quick fix — there are no miracle creams or meditations with dramatic results. Rather, that improvements will be seen over time as your wellbeing improves.

Before you start …

  • Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing. Anything tight and restrictive may draw attention from the moment.
  • Choose a comfortable seat. I recommend sitting upright in a comfortable chair with your back supported. When I’m feeling under the weather, I sometimes choose to lie flat on my back.
  • I often like to perform alternate nostril breathing a few minutes before starting my meditation.

A Simple Meditation For Natural Beauty

Close your eyes and mouth, breathing normally or taking a few deep breaths through your nose. Bring your awareness to your breath and focus on inhaling and exhaling. Try to take you mind away from your thoughts and focus on your breathing. In and out.As thoughts pop into your head, acknowledge them, then brush them aside. This will continue to happen, but it’s important that you quickly shift your focus back to the meditation. This gets easier the more you practice.Aim to practice this mediation every day for 10-15 minutes. It may be useful to meditate more often during times of stress.The benefits of regular simple mediation … 

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreased anxiety and stress levels
  • Increased happiness and energy levels
  • Improved immune system
  • Better sleep

… and these in turn will have numerous beauty benefits!

Why Meditation Should Be Part Of Your Beauty Regimen.

5 Invigorating Essential Oils + How To Use Them

BY CAROLE WESTERMAN

JANUARY 28, 2015 5:38 AM EST

As a yoga teacher, I love aromatherapy. My favorite way to use essential oils as a yoga teacher is to place a few drops on the top of my feet before class. That way, the warmth of my feet acts like a diffuser for the chosen scent! As I walk around the room teaching and assisting students, the aroma gradually infuses through the room in a subtle and non-offensive way.

I find this works much better than letting the oil permeate the room with a candle or essential oil diffuser. This also helps avoid any possible issues of applying oils to students directly, who may have sensitive skin and/or allergies.

But you don’t have to be a yoga teacher to use and appreciate aromatherapy.

Here’s a breakdown of my five favorite essential oils and a few great ways to use them.

When applying oils to skin, be sure the particular oil you’ve chosen is safe for topical application. Also, many oils need to be diluted with water or a carrier oil, so always read the labels.

1. Lavender

The calming and soothing qualities of lavender are so well known — it is one of the most widely used essential oils and is easily available at any health food store.

Here are my favorite ways to use lavender:

  • As a scent on eye pillows for Restorative Yoga and/or Savasana
  • Place a 1-3 drops on cotton ball and place in closet for a natural moth repellent
  • Place a drop on the underside of your pillow at night, to help encourage a peaceful sleep

2. Lemon

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the whole lemon water craze — drinking warm water with lemon each morning as a way to cleanse the system. But let’s face it, whether we’re yogis or not we’re likely pretty busy, and we don’t always have a fresh lemon on hand.

That’s where a food-grade essential oil can come in handy! I use lemon essential oil in a pinch, or when I’m traveling and don’t have access to a kitchen or fresh lemons. Using 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil in 8-10 ounces of water can be a great substitute for fresh lemon water.

My favorite uses for lemon essential oils:

  • As lemon water (make sure it’s food grade!)
  • Diffuse in the home to freshen and uplift
  • Create natural cleaning solutions for the home
  • Place 1-3 drops in trash cans and toilets as a natural deodorizer

3. Peppermint

Peppermint is another great all-around oil with many uses. Please note, this oil always needs to be diluted if used topically on skin.

I’ve fallen in love with peppermint and use it in the following ways:

  • Place a single drop in your tea to energize (please make sure it’s food grade!)
  • Dilute a single drop in a carrier oil and apply to temples to relieve stress
  • Dilute a single drop in a carrier oil and apply to belly to ease stomach discomfort
  • Open up the bottle, take an inhale, and enjoy a natural pick-me-up

4. Sandalwood

Sandalwood can be a bit pricey, especially if you find a responsibly sourced oil. But, it’s so worth it! I buy the tiniest amount I can, because it lasts a long time.

Here are some great ways a yogi can use sandalwood:

  • Dilute a single drop in a carrier oil and apply to your neck for an uplifting mood
  • Dilute a single drop in carrier oil and apply to nape of neck before teaching, to preserve and “protect” your energy
  • Place 1-3 drops into your warm bath
  • Natural skincare products
  • Natural haircare products

5. Tea Tree or Melaleuca

Tea Tree oil has a nice medicinal scent, which gives you a hint to it’s various uses.

Here are just a few of my favorite ways to use it:

  • Create natural cleaning solutions for the home
  • Natural skincare remedies
  • As a yoga mat cleaner

And as a bonus, here is my go-to mat cleaner recipe. It’s best to use an aluminum or glass bottle for storage, because a plastic bottle will break-down over time.

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 1/3 cup witch hazel
  • 12 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender

Photos courtesy of the author

via 5 Invigorating Essential Oils + How To Use Them.