Here, in her first beauty and skincare guide, our skin care guru, Dr. Pratima Raichur, reveal the secret to lasting radiance through the principles of Ayurveda.
We all know absolute beauty when we see skin that glows with health and an outer bearing that projects inner tranquility. Yet, despite our every effort and expense, few of us know how to achieve it.
In Absolute Beauty, Pratima Raichur, an Ayurvedic physician, chemist, botanist, and doctor of naturopathy, explains how the external skin tissue is a physical reflection of everything that happens within the body: the way we eat and breathe, as well as the thoughts and emotions that fill our mind and color our spirit.
Excerpt from Pratima Raichur's, Absolute Beauty
"My informal introduction to this ancient science came during my childhood at home, where everyone in my extended family lived in accord with Ayurvedic traditions. Our meals were prepared in Ayurvedic style to maintain physical health, and our daily routine included meditation and other practices to balance the mind and spirit. However, I did recognize at a young age that there seemed to be something special about my mother and her mother. They were striking women whose inner poise and outer radiance never went unmentioned, no matter where we were."
"Millenia ago, the rishis - the "knowers of reality" who gave us Ayurveda says that everybody and everything is composed of five elements - 5 vibrational modes - called, space, air, fire, water and earth. Each of us, like a microcosmic universe, is born with all five present. However, everyone has them in a unique proportion that determines our individual features, including our skin type, and our inherent mental and physical tendencies. Just like your genetic imprint, your particular mixture of elements is set at conception and remains a constant throughout life and it determines your basic characteristics, including your skin type."
Although we refer to it in terms of proportions and combinations, the balance of elements is not strictly a physical phenomenon, like a cake mix, because our basic ingredients are not essentially things. Indeed, when the rishis said we are made of space, air, fire, water, and earth. From their highly developed state of awareness, they realized that the fundamental component of existence is not a speck of matter or even the energy locked inside it. It is unbounded intelligence. This intelligence, according to the rishis, is beyond direct sensory experience and even beyond the scope of objective science, because it exists on the level of human consciousness, which is subjective by its very nature. The effects of this intelligence are evident everywhere: in the rhythms of nature, the motion of planets and galaxies, the complex structures of matter - and in the evolution of life itself and the "genius" of DNA. Without it, both energy and matter would be awash in chaos, incapable of the cosmic organization that clearly underlies existence.
Depending upon which elements - which vibratory patterns - are most prevalent in an individual - and usually one or two will dominate - Ayurveda classifies everyone according to three universal natures, or constitutional types, known as the prakriti. Your prakriti or dosha is like a personal wellness norm that describes your overall appearance, your emotional disposition, and your mental aptitudes when you are balanced; and also predicts specific ailments - skin problems included - that you tend to develop when you are not balanced.
The Prakriti of a person is a consequence of the relative proportions of the three Doshas. The dominant Dosha of a person is believed to be determined at birth, which is further modulated by the diet and lifestyle of mother, age of the parents, and the environment in which the person grows to generate the unique Dosha-Prakriti of the individual. A fundamental principle of Ayurveda is that all illness results from deviations in your prakriti - your ideal constitutional formula - due to physical, mental, behavioral, or environmental factors. Whenever our unique configuratioin of elements becomes imbalanced - whenever innate patterns of intelligence are disturbed - disorder or disease ensues. All Ayurvedic treatments work, by restoring balance to the elements, restoring the flow of intelligence.
The secret of absolute beauty is to live in harmony with nature's design for us as expressed by our personal mix of elements. This is easy to do once you know the basic theory of balance and your Ayurvedic skin type.
Ayurveda teaches that anyone can achieve this state of inner wholeness, regardless of upbringing or place in the world, by learning to balance all levels of life in accord with our constitutional makeup. This ranges from the outermost physical aspects - behavior, body and breath - to the subtle subjective aspects - emotions, thoughts and ego - to the unmanifest source of existence - the underlying field of consciousness. When every level of existence, from the way we eat and sleep to the way we think and play, is concordant with our innate energy patterns, then we are living as nature designed us to be. As you will see, there is no higher pleasure than such harmony of being.