THE BEAUTY BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

Posted in Health on November 24, 2015 by


Sure, most modern day anti-ageing solutions come in the form of potions, lotions and lasers.

But, there’s a lot more to skin care than potent face serums and anti-wrinkle creams. Seriously.

We at Gritty Pretty believe it’s important to consider not only what we put in and on our bodies, but also how our thoughts and emotions affect our skin and body as well.

For even the most zen of us, stress has become a constant part of our daily lives, and consequently, our beauty routines. And, with high levels of stress, can often lead to acne, wrinkles, dry skin and even hair loss. Instead of only recommending topical treatments, dermatologists are also prescribing meditation—the practice of calming your mind to reduce stress.

“Cortisol and stress related hormones​ wreak havoc on our health and especially our skin. Vedic meditation actively reduces stress related hormones from the nervous system and allows the metabolism and nervous system to stabilise,” says Jacqui Lewis, Meditation Teacher and Founder of The Broad Place. “Meditation also works to balance the hormones that make our skin go crazy, break out and over react! Stress causes the blood vessels to constrict and triggers hormone imbalances, making the skin sensitive to acne and eczema.”

And, because meditation not only reduces stress, strengthens immunity and reduces heart disease, it can also produces a natural sebum oil on the skin, filled with happy hormones that balance the skin. “Meditation will quite literally give you a ‘glow’,” says Lewis.

Here, Lewis reveals how even just five minutes of “me time” does wonders for your appearance and mind.

 

[PICTURED]: The Broad Place, Sydney

STRESS ON THE BODY

Stress is what we call a ‘beauty burglar’. Without getting to sciencey on you all, put simply, when you are stressed, your blood vessels constrict. Stress also makes you release all sorts of stress hormones, which can trigger your body to decide that skin circulation is not a priority and to channel blood away from the skin toward muscles and other organs in the body. Not only is the skin deprived of oxygen and nutrients, but it becomes so sensitive that pre-existing issues, such as acne and eczema, tend to flare up. The worst.

Vedic meditation, which is what Lewis practices and teaches, can be brilliant for managing stress. “The key thing is to understand ​that like any form of physical exercise, ​there are so many different types of meditation​. They all have different ways of practicing and each achieve different results,” says Lewis.

Vedic meditation is easy to do; it’s manageable to fit into a jam-packed schedule and you get incredible results from minimal input.

The Benefits of Meditation

A thicker moisturiser or stronger retinol may relieve some of the symptoms of stress on the skin, but the smartest cure is to relieve the stress itself. When we meditate (even if for a few minutes a day), we are allowing our minds and bodies to enter a more relaxed state. Allowing yourself to focus on calm breathing helps oxygenate our bodies and both the breathing and state of calm will help with toxin elimination.

If you still can’t bring your mind to meditation (we know there’s a lot going on in there!), try yoga poses to release the force of gravity on the skin. Yoga stimulates blood flow, lymphatic flow and oxygenation throughout the entire body. And, because we know you expect results, after meditation, you can expect to see and feel results—not only on your skin and hair, but on your mental well being—immediately. Yes, straight after!

A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO MEDITATION

STEP 1

Sit comfortably with your back supported and hands resting gently in your lap. Don’t be bothered about noise around you – if we had to find somewhere absolutely quiet to meditate we would never practice, and keep in mind being in nature is one of the noisiest places to be!

STEP 2

Take 3 deep breaths through the nose and out the mouth, slowly and gently relaxing the body.

STEP 3

Starting with the top of the head, move your attention body part by body part from the top of the head to the toes, taking in as much or as little parts as you like. For example, forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth or simply ‘face’.

STEP 4

After you have scanned the whole body relaxing each part as you go, simply sit for 10 – 15 minutes bringing your awareness gently back to your breath. There is no need to push away thoughts, or use the breath to stop noise from entering the mind – just go quietly and softly and continue to come back to the breath whenever you become conscious the mind wanders.

STEP 5

​When you’re ready to come out of your meditation, simply bring you mind back to the present, open your eyes, take a deep breath and feel the difference. ​

TIP: T​his ​practice works is relaxing and grounding and can be done once ​or twice ​a day with ease (for best results, practice morning and afternoon – or at a time that suits your schedule such as in the car when you arrive home from work or before you go to bed).​