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Nourish your Soul to Enhance Inner Beauty

Ayurveda considers the human being to be a combination of body, mind and soul. Any discussion in Ayurveda relating to humans would normally relate to all three aspects of a human being. Beauty is no exception and Ayurvedic beauty principles are based on the concept of beauty at all three levels

It is easier to connect to the physical body, partly because it is the outward manifestation of beauty and health. However, the body is big and comprises of a number of complicated systems. One has to be a true expert to deal with physical systems. The other two constituents of the human being, mind and soul, are easier to deal with. However, dealing with the mind and soul requires extensive training.

Inner Beauty

Ayurvedic health principles stress not just physical balance but also balance of mind. The principle is applicable in the context of beauty too. It is difficult to hide anxiety, worry and depression through cosmetics; it will still be clearly visible on the face. It is difficult to look beautiful when one is angry, envious or jealous. Take a look at your face in a mirror the next time you get angry - it is usually not a pleasant sight.

By contrast, if one is happy, it reflects on one's face. Not only do you look more beautiful, you do not need to use a lot of make up or cosmetics. This is called inner beauty.

Depression, anxiety, anger, stress, envy, greed, attachment to material things, and mental unrest are common ailments in the modern age. These psychological disorders lead to the breakdown of healthy cells, destroy anti-aging factors, and cause hormonal imbalances. Further, they lead to numerous beauty related problems like acne, pimples, other skin problems, hair loss, and obesity. The application of chemical-based creams or other preparations may help temporarily but will not offer permanent relief, since the root cause of the problem is in the mind. In order to treat these disorders permanently, it is important to regain mental balance.

Enhancing Inner Beauty

Ayurveda prescribes sattvavajaya (enhancing sattva or purity) as the main treatment to heal the mind. In terms of nutrition, this includes an increase in the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, salads, pure fruit juices, herbal teas, water and milk, nuts, seeds and honey. Food should be prepared fresh. Foods that are processed, preserved, fermented, microwaved, fried, high in sugar or spices, or containing artificial flavors or colors should be minimized. Mushrooms, onions, spices and garlic should be avoided, as they are tamasic (increase ignorance) and/or rajasic (increase passion). Consumption of alcohol, caffeine and meat should be moderated or eliminated for the same reason.

Like sattvic dietary considerations, mind balance and sattvic qualities can be enhanced with activities that are sattvic in nature. These are calming, quiet, inspiring and mentally invigorating. They may include meditation, yoga or other forms of gentle exercise, listening to classical music, enjoying nature and the outdoors, gardening, creative or artistic pursuits, or reading good quality literature. Meditation is calming and helps balance emotions by minimizing passion, anger, fear and other extreme emotions.

The mind plays an important role in dealing with stress and anxiety. Managing stress through classic Ayurvedic concepts like meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises are now scientifically accepted. Such practices stop the flow of hormones associated with stress and lower the heart rate and blood pressure. All these factors have a significant, positive effect on the overall beauty of an individual.

Sattvic lifestyles not only enhance the individual's beauty, but also contribute to a more peaceful and productive community. Having a balanced, calm and gentle approach to life is necessary to attain beauty and only involves a change in attitude. It involves being kind to your body and mind through balanced and ethical behavior. Learning to reduce and deal with stress is a crucial aspect of this lifestyle approach.

Secret of Beauty

The words 'soul' and 'spiritual' are often confused with something religious. Today, many people feel uncomfortable when the word "spiritual" is mentioned or discussed. Spirituality simply means, "relating to the soul". As anything relating to the body is "physical", and anything relating to the mind is "psychological", whatever relates to the spirit (or soul) is "spiritual".

According to Ayurveda 'soul' or 'spirit' is the energy that keeps the body and mind alive. It may be difficult to grasp exactly what the soul is, so the closest equivalent term is perhaps "conscience". The physical body is simply a shell for the soul. It is the physical outer layer, or material expression, of it. To be 'spiritual' means to perform activities for the 'spirit'. It has nothing to do with a particular community or religion. Each individual has a soul and just as we regularly feed the body and mind, it is necessary to feed the soul.

To engage in 'spiritual' activities means to feed the soul. As stated earlier, mind-body balance is an important factor to attain physical beauty. Since a human being is a body-mind-soul complex, a 'contented' soul is also necessary for perfect physical beauty. If the soul is not happy and content, this discontentment will be reflected on the physical level. Modern concepts of applying cosmetics to look beautiful or surgically fixing physical abnormalities is akin to keeping a beautiful bird (soul) inside an intricate, precious cage (body). Rather than feeding the bird and listening to it sing, all our energy is devoted to polishing and maintaining the cage. If we do not feed the bird (soul), it will not be happy even though the cage (body) has been polished, washed and painted.

It is essential to feed the soul in order to attain permanent and everlasting beauty. Food for the soul includes practicing non-violence, speaking the truth, helping others, not cheating or exploiting others and living with love, peace and harmony. A contented soul fuels the subtle energies of the body, which regulate cell functions and rejuvenate the body. This is the reason why saints and spiritual persons (gurus, swamis) look beautiful, attractive and young even though they generally do not use any cosmetics or make up.

According to Ayurveda, attaining beauty, therefore, depends on maintaining a balanced mind and contented soul and not merely on physical beauty treatments. Even physical treatment should be of natural origin. It should not aim at temporary good looks but at ensuring permanent and everlasting beauty.

According to Ayurveda, attaining beauty, therefore, depends on maintaining a balanced mind and contented soul and not merely on physical beauty treatments. Even physical treatment should be of natural origin. It should not aim at temporary good looks but at ensuring permanent and everlasting beauty.

This article is an excerpt from Dr. Partap Chauhan's book, Eternal Beauty - The Aura of Ayurveda. To know more about how to keep your body, mind and soul beautiful, buy the book now by clicking here.

To Know more , talk to a Jiva doctor. Dial 0129-4040404 or click on ‘Speak to a Doctor
under the CONNECT tab in Jiva Health App.

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