WHO HASN’T HEARD THE ADAGE "YOU HAVE TO SUFFER TO be beautiful?" Although looking good generally reflects an inner health in mind and body, and that takes some effort, it doesn’t have to be a joyless grind.

Ayurveda, the original mind-body-spirit health system offers pleasurable, effective ways to be more beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. Every day you enjoy moments of spa-like luxury as you incorporate foods and practices that taste delicious and smell great as they make you feel wonderful and look great. You will learn how to turn your home into a relaxing, rejuvenating oasis of beauty treatments that would cost hundreds of dollars at a professional spa.

Ayurvedic practices and treatment are simple yet effective. You work with nature to achieve inner balance, vitality and longevity—and in the process have better skin, healthier hair, more confidence and sex appeal, and a toned, supple body that tips the scales at your ideal weight.

The great photographer Francesco Scavullo recently said, "There are many types of beauty." He ought to know—for decades he has met and photographed the most beautiful, dynamic women of the world, including Liz Taylor, Brooke Shields, Verushka, Diana Vreeland, and Janis Joplin. Not all would be considered to be conventionally beautiful, but they all found a way to express their true selves through the way they look.

While magazines and TV try to sell you an unachievable one-size-fits-all standard of beauty, the truth is that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

Ayurveda recognizes three different basic body types and show you how you can live up to your individual potential through specific rejuvenating, purifying, and anti-aging techniques, practices, recipes and products you make yourself from natural ingredients.

What makes my beauty program so effortless is the secret of its success: you are working with the rhythm, flow and unchanging principles of Nature, and with your own nature—not against it. With Ayurveda, you can reach your beauty goals without artificial chemicals.

Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word that means "knowledge of life and longevity," is based on principles and rhythms found in nature. It is not just a skin- or hair-care program. It is a way of life that makes use of daily and seasonal lifestyle practices (including diet, yoga and meditation), healing herbs, purification therapies and a life-affirming mental attitude.

At first glance, some Ayurvedic practices may seem exotic, foreign or downright old-fashioned; however, they are actually universal, timeless and as useful now as they were thousands of years ago. Fortunately, Ayurveda is flexible enough to accommodate today's lifestyles and needs. An experienced chiropractor, I began studying Ayurveda in 1987 because I was searching for a way to broaden and deepen my knowledge of human health and my ability to help people. Since then I have practiced Ayurveda myself and used it with thousands of patients since 1987. I know what works and what doesn’t under a wide variety of circumstances.

I have found that even people who exercise regularly, eat a "well-balanced," low-fat diet, take vitamin supplements and use expensive skin care products still don't look or feel their best. In spite of their efforts, something is still missing—they are not paying attention to their inner lives of mind and spirit. They are out of sync with their own rhythms and the universal rhythms of nature. They lack connection and deep understanding of their inner selves and their outer world and an understanding of what true beauty is. Daily, monthly and seasonal Ayurvedic practices nurture the whole person and provide tools to make those connections and reach that understanding.

As a health practitioner, I have always wanted to broaden and deepen my understanding of human health and expand my ability to reach and help people. That's why I am offering you this guide on Ayurvedic beauty.

Creating this guide has been fun, educational, revealing—a marvelous journey. I discovered things about myself and learned how deep and meaningful and multidimensional a seemingly superficial topic as beauty can be.

Thanks to this guide, one of my patients has realized that doing the "natural thing" doesn't mean "doing nothing" about maintaining an attractive physical appearance and that natural medicine is also a safe, effective treatment for what ails you cosmetically. Having added Ayurveda to her repertoire, she says she's never felt better—and from head to toe, looks at least ten years younger than her age.

In working on this guide and expanding my repertoire of health and beauty tools, I too have been transformed mentally and physically. Thanks to two babies and a hectic high-pressure professional life, I fell into the health-professional's quagmire of caring for everyone else first. I never considered myself to be a beauty, so I have not paid that much attention to my appearance. I was unhappy about carrying a few extra pounds, but that was just part of who I thought I was. The Effortless Ayurvedic Beauty Program has forced me to reevaluate all of that.

Because I have been incorporating Ayurvedic practices and products into my life, I am reaping inner and outer rewards. I have noticed a huge improvement in my complexion. My skin feels smoother since I have been using a cleanser based on chickpea powder. The lines on my face have become more shallow, thanks to the application of a moisturizer made of limejuice and honey. My friends say my skin positively glows! Just as important, I am feeling joy of nurturing myself. I am able to bounce back from day-to-day adversities much more readily. I have learned that if the world isn't nurturing you, at least you can nurture yourself.

Thanks to Ayurvedic beauty treatments, my patients have noticed this change in me—and in themselves as well. One woman, who was considering having cosmetic surgery to correct her drooping eyelids, has found Ayurveda to be a knife-free alternative. The solution was as simple as applying honey to her eyelids, allowing it to dry in place overnight and rinsing it off in the morning. This has tightened up the excess skin enough that she has decided against surgery, at least for now.

Another patient with a history of severe acne rosacea has responded beautifully to simple, three times a day cleansing with a mixture of chickpea powder and turmeric. For the first time in many years she is not embarrassed to be seen in public, and her self-confidence and self-esteem have soared.

The transformation doesn't end there. When you go to the farmer's market to buy fresh avocado to make a facial mask, you take in the sights and smells of all the other fresh fruits and vegetables that have been lovingly and locally grown, you meet the growers, and you are in the open air, which is also an aspect of pursuing your own inner beauty.

The simple reality of mixing your own beauty products from fresh ingredients puts you in touch with the natural world and gives you a richer, more intimate knowledge of the ingredients. Cutting the avocado, preparing the other ingredients and then putting them on your face, is an intensely personal activity in which you interact with the ingredients in an intimate way—and it is a hugely different experience from buying something in a plastic bottle.

The simple act of applying a rich oil to your skin and running your hands over your own body during self-massage gives you a deeper knowledge and appreciation of yourself.

In this program, I have combined my own personal experiences, and those of my patients, to present Ayurveda's beauty secrets in a clear, streamlined, useful form. I show you how to integrate Ayurveda into your everyday life and use it safely and effectively to nurture your inner self and cultivate outer beauty.

Ayurveda is a complete and holistic system that recognizes that each person is a unique individual, with a mind, body and spirit that are intertwined. Outer beauty is a reflection of inner beauty, and a beauty regimen is not something you do for a half hour in your bathroom; it's something you practice twenty-four hours, every day, inwardly and outwardly.

We all have the power to heal ourselves and let our beauty shine through for all to feel and see. It is my belief and hope that the information in this guide will help you guide that power, enabling you to live a longer life, brimming natural health, energy, happiness and The Effortless Ayurvedic Beauty Program.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Helen Thomas, Ayurvedic Practitioner: Since 1987 Dr. Helen Thomas, D.C., has treated thousands of patients, both in America and India, on a daily basis, with the 3,000 year old science of Ayurvedic medicine.

Dr. Helen has pored over the ancient texts and worked side-by-side with Ayurveda practitioners. Over a decade ago, Dr. Helen started paying Ayurvedic doctors from India to come and work with her in her clinic.

Her knowledge comes from hands on experience, not theory given to her in school.

Many of her patients have been moved to tears after receiving an Ayurvedic assessment from Dr. Helen. Ayurveda helped them understand themselves, their needs and their stresses, more profoundly than ever before.

This article is excerpted from, Effortless Beauty Book. To purchase your own copy visit, www.effortlessayurvedicbeauty.com

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