Four Steps to Cultivate Inner and Outer Beauty
For the past few years I have had a fun game of looking at my face in the mirror to check my inner health after I wake up in the morning or after an event I really love doing. Once I discovered that the coloring of my skin, amount of acne, size of my bags, or how much it glows drastically changes depending on my activities, I developed a science experiment to check the inner condition of my body by looking at the outer condition. Here are four of the most effective tips for taking care of inner beauty that brought about the most beautiful complexion.
1. How You Sleep
People often say one should have an average of 8 hours a night. I find it is not only important to get the right amount of sleep, but how you sleep and when you sleep.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical science, after 9-10pm we start moving into the fire and then air time of night when we feel more energetic, thus making it harder to fall asleep. From about 9 or 10pm to 1 or 2am our liver goes through a cleansing process. If we eat close to that time or are awake, that interrupts that process. If we sleep on an empty stomach during that time, then the body can cleanse, thus offering a clearer face when you wake up and a more restful sleep. Also, to make sure you are getting a more restful sleep, slow down the last couple hours of your day just as you would to get off of a freeway. Do activities that relax both the body and the mind. Turn electronics off before and during sleep so there is less stimulation in your environment.
2. Have a Cleansing Diet
There are a lot of resources out there to teach what is a healthy diet. My online course How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality shares a lot on how to choose foods, prepare foods, serve foods, and eat foods… You can take note of which foods stress your body and which foods replenish your body. Ayurvedically speaking, eating your biggest and heaviest meal around noon, when you have the most digestive fire, will make for best processing.
Adding in foods that help cleanse the body is another trick; like warm lemon water in the morning. Here’s another one from Paramhansa Yogananda you may not have thought of: Parsley Drink. Cut up a bunch of parsley and put it in boiling water until all the nutrients are leached out into the water. Strain the parsley out of the water, cool, and drink the parsley water over the next couple days for a cool, liver cleansing, refreshing drink. Add more water if the taste is too strong.
3. Reduce Stress
Stress is often the cause of many diseases. We often apply more stress onto ourselves than we need or view something as stressful that does not have to be. That is something you can take a look at, but here is an easy tip to help reduce stress: Just do one thing at a time whenever possible. Just eat, just listen to an audio, just talk on the phone, just drive, just work, just social media… Less stress on the system can often equal more time because we can think more clearly, stay more energetic, and stay healthier.
4. Glowing Activities
I remember seeing my face in the mirror when brushing my teeth after my first kriya yoga ceremony. I was shocked at how clear and filled with light it was. Recently I noticed the same effect after performing one of my favorite styles of dance. When I went on pilgrimage in India and meditated most of the time, so many people commented on how my face was glowing with light. Whether it is meditation or another favorite activity, the more we participate in the activities that are most aligned with who we are, the better we will look on the outside and feel on the inside.
“There is no beauty greater than the smile of peace and wisdom glowing on your face.”—Paramhansa Yogananda, How to Achieve Glowing Health and Vitality