This post was last updated on August 19, 2021 by Preethi Sukumaran
We have been speaking this month on the Krya blog on how a holistic set of changes to your diet, regimen and the products used can make a long lasting, positive impact on your health. Why do we attempt to make so many changes to cure a seemingly simplistic problem like dry skin or hair fall?
The answer lies in the fundamental principles behind Ayurveda itself.
Ayurveda, referred to the 5th Veda along with Yoga is considered a divine science. Its twin goals are Ayu and Ayush, which is long life along with good health. The Ishavasya Upanishad forms part of the 10 Upanishads called the “Mukhya” or principal Upanishads. A few of the slokas speak about the differences between the life of a householder and a renunciate and outlines the goals of a householder.
The 2nd verse of the Ishavasya Upanishads says this:
“Kurvan eva iha karmaani, jejeevishet shatham samaah
Evam tvayi na anyethetho asthi, na karma lipyathe nare “
This can be translated roughly as this:
“Should you wish to live for a 100 years, you should only do so by productively discharging your responsibilities and doing your karma. If you live this way, the ill effects of karmic misdeeds will not cling to you” – Ishavasya Upanishad Sloka 2
We see a deep connection between the goals of a householder outlined in the Ishavasya Upanishad and the goals of Ayurveda. The twin goals of long life and health in Ayurveda help you discharge your dharma as a householder and perform your duties to the fullest of your capacity. Ill health, dis-ease and a short life span should not stand in the way of you achieving your goals and discharging your dharma. Conversely, the very fact of a long life and good health allows you to take on more lofty and noble goals.
How a skin change can affect your energy and enthusiasm
Modern Science and Ayurveda both tell us that skin and hair manifestations are the first signs of dis-ease in the body.
In Ayurveda, each dosha occupies certain seats in the body. For example, Vata dosha has its seat in the large intestines, waist, thighs, ears, bones and skin. “Udana” vata regulates the action of speech, enthusiasm, motor movements, Urja (energy), strength, complexion and consciousness.
When people report a loss of complexion lustre or dullness of skin, the other functions of Udana vata like enthusiasm and energy are also affected.
This is borne out during our consultations. Many people who report seeing an increase in vata which is seen by dry and flaky skin, weight loss, unexplained skin darkening almost always report feeling dull, low, experiencing a lack of energy with associated joint aches and pains.
The body’s order of priorities: why a hair and skin change should be taken seriously.
Both Ayurveda and modern medicine recognise that the body has a definite order of priority when allocating resources to different organ systems.
If there is a problem in your body or a lack of nutrients, the body will first divert whatever is available to protect its most important organ systems of the heart, lungs and the brain. Once your basic systems of life are alright, your systems of cleansing will be protected like your kidneys, liver and spleen. Once these systems have enough to function well, your reproductive systems will be looked after. Only when there are enough nutrients above the reproductive systems need, will your hair and skin be dealt with.
Hair and skin problems manifest first because they are the first systems to be jettisoned when your body is working with a limited supply of nutrients. When your disease has passed this stage, and into problems of fertility, then we can safely assume that the stage has crossed over from hair and skin into the next organ system.
The wisdom of Ayurveda: when no disorder is taken lightly
This also explains the wisdom behind Ayurveda which takes every problem seriously and proposes a holistic, long term solution. A pitta disorder like prickly heat every summer, if not treated at the root cause can progress to premature greying, balding and diseases of the blood if left untreated for long.
Similarly, vata disorders like very dry skin, atopic dermatitis and dry, thin and breaking hair if left untreated can progress to more and more complex vata disorders like spondylitis, gout, etc.
As all Ayurvedic treatments attempt to change 3 things that we explored yesterday: diet, regimen and products, we are always able to do something much more than what is asked for. For example, when we treat a vata disorder of dry skin with the combination of diet (cow ghee), regimen (abhyanga + scheduled meal timings) , plus a change of products , we are able to tackle the vata imbalance at a much deeper level compared to just at an external level. Therefore we are able to see a much deep rooted and lasting change in health, compared to what we would have seen if we simply followed an external approach.
The hope in following this approach is that a dosha balance is corrected quickly as soon as it begins to manifest in the external skin and hair systems – which leads to much better health overall and a prevention of the dosha imbalance spreading further and causing major diseases later on.
We explored certain changes to be made when you have vata based complaints yesterday. And we will continue to explore disorders associated with the other doshas as well in subsequent blog posts.
Perfect health – what you can expect if your doshas are properly balanced
But before we do this, here is how your body will behave if your doshas are in a state of balance:
- Good strong, regular appetite with an ability to digest food properly and on time.
2. Free, easy and clear bowel movements atleast once a day or more than one – if you have a very heavy meal outside of your normal meal, the digestive process should work and throw out excess in the form of an additional bowel movement. The bowel movement should be neither loose nor scattered and should come out like a ripe banana in one continuous easy mass without strain or irritation
3.Reduced pain during your periods – cramping and clotting should be less. You should be able to function normally without pain killers
4.Reduced PMS and food cravings. You should be able to function in a more even manner the week before your periods and not experience any sharp mood swings.
5.Ability to stay level headed, even tempered and being able to focus on something for a long time without getting tired, drained or requiring artificial stimulants
6.Ability to hold temper in longer without erupting
7.Clearing up of skin and hair with even, steady oil production. Hair and skin should neither be too dry nor too oily (except if there is any change in weather, climate or diet). Here there is certainly room for individual differences depending upon the unique prakriti of the individual.
8.Skin should start looking clear and luminescent. There should be an inner tejas (divine light) that shines through from the skin.
9.Hair should look good, be stronger and should not break easily. Growth should be good and it should feel soft and look glossy as the sebum secretion is balanced. It should not get oily very often necessitating frequent washing.
10.Easy, untroubled sleep with you waking up feeling bright, energetic and refreshed the next morning. You should wake up feeling light and energetic without aches and pains. The sleep should be refreshing, and undisturbed with nightmares.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post on both the differences in the Ayurvedic approach to treat skin and hair problems. We also hope the description of the benefits of achieving dosha balance has inspired you to seek some changes to your diet, regimen, products used and health.
Do remember, True beauty comes from balance and wellness. Not from an external product alone.
A happy, dosha balanced day to you from us at Krya.
If you are seeking true beauty as well, and would like a consultation or advice on how to make a lasting change, do call us on 075500-89090 or write to us. Do explore our goodness and wellness filled products here.