Love Your Skin, It’s Not Skin Deep.
Love Your Skin, It’s Not Skin Deep. Awareness of the skin can teach us about ourselves, most importantly, our emotional and spiritual states. Shingles, for example, is an extreme case of the skin reacting to stress in a very painful dry scabby way. Or on a positive note, the skin reacts to a musical performance that is so profound by giving you chills. As yogis, it is our practice that we continue to draw more awareness inward, allowing our bodies to be the windows to our souls. Get to know your skin The epidermis is the largest organ of the body and has many functions. It serves as a barrier between your insides and the outside world at large. Foremost, it protects the inner muscles, fascia and bones. It prevents pathogens from entering the body and filters out toxins that have entered. Also, the skin regulates the water in the body. It is a highly sensitive sensor system that responds to external reactors including temperature, stress, irritants, sun, and emotional situations. Reactions to external triggers can include goose bumps, sweat, pimples, burns, rashes, blushing, bleeding and scabbing. The intelligence of the skin is keen as and can be very sensitive. Why awareness to the skin? Often, our skin can be a reflection of our mental, emotional and physical state. For me, I often break out right before my period when my hormones shift, when I am feeling stressed out, or if I am not eating mindfully. Drawing awareness to what my skin is telling me, I can react accordingly, working towards the highest expression of myself. I can shift my actions to align my energy. Our skin is a reflection of how we feel. This matters because how we feel affects how we think. How we think affects how we speak. How we speak affects how we live. So says the wise Ralph Waldo Emerson. Great skin allows us to feel great, look great, and be great. The skin is our filtration system allowing for absorption and excretion of whatever we expose it to. In order to honor our most readily exposed organ we must be mindful of our skin care. How to take care of your skin? Top five best ways to treat your skin well. 1. Sweat/Detox What goes in must come out. In yoga, my favorite physical detox, we move through various asanas (physical postures) and deep breath work (pranayama) to generate heat in the body (tapas) which produces sweat. Although yoga is most effective for me, increasing the body temperature in any physical discipline can have the same effects. Sweat allows the toxins in the body to pass through the skin and release. 2. Choose High Quality Products & Thoughtfully Apply Use lotions, potions, and soaps that have the least amount of ingredients as possible. Organic products are the best. My new favorite skincare line is the brand that I was recently introduced to called Pangea Organics. For sunscreen I recommend Raw Elements. Don’t forget the clothing that you wear, especially while sweating! I recommend choosing Organic Cotton, YOGiiZA, is my go to for yoga wear. When you apply these products do it in a loving and sensual way as if you were applying it to someone else. Imagine that you are in a spa in your own bathroom and take your time loving and enjoying your skin. I just recently learned how to do this and it has changed my life. Every shower is like an herbal essences commercial! 3. DRINK More Water Did you know that you are made up of mostly water? In fact, you are made of 70% H2O. Hydrating the skin is essential to maintaining health and vitality allowing the collagen to stay firm and youthful. Drink at least 8 12oz glasses of water. Purified water and purified alkaline water is ideal. 4. Get your Vitamin D! A short ten minutes a day will give you all the vitamin D you need and give you a nice healthy glow. If you are outside longer than 10min make sure you protect by using sunscreen. 5. Eat Anti-oxidants and Nutrient Dense Foods The less toxins that come into the body, the less toxins need to be released. Anti-oxidants such as blueberries, blackberries, ascai berry, and walnuts reduce free radicals in the body which re-generates the skin. Moral of the story, take care of the skin and it will take care of you. Live happier. Be healthier. And LOVE your SKIN!