Winter Body and Mind Care with Aromatherapy Soap Bars

Winter weather can be hard on our bodies and minds! Deep cold weather takes a toll on our skin, slow us down in general by shrinking our channels, but also ushers in the “winter blues” resulting from the gloom of grey skies and shorter days. Here are a few quick tips:

  • Keep a SVA diet and routine, with specific attention to your body type so as not to put-out agni; this is key to staying on top of your health. The SVA diet targets the health of your channels so you won’t put on or lose weight when you don’t need to.
  • Maintain a regular self-massage or abhyanga routine: this supports your winter-shrunk channels further but also keeps your skin moist and well lubricated, nourishing it transdermally
  • Use aromatherapy to chase away the winter blues!  Scientists are not yet quite sure how the chemistry of aromatherapy works, but none questions its effects! Vaidya has put together new soap bars that can help you stay on top of things through aromatherapy, even as they nourish and balance your skin with a rich creamy base of organic Shea butter.

You know our skin is the largest organ of our bodies. The skin is not just a barrier between us and the world, it is an intelligent portal, governed by different ayurvedic principles. Ayurveda offers a lot of insight about the proper care of your skin during the different seasons of the

year. Keeping your skin moist and lubricated with regular daily – or at least weekly – self-massage is utmost; using massage oils that contain herbal synergies or nutrients is even better! Using a good toxin-free moisturizer to keep things balanced is of course recommended, but even if you do not heed regular massages or use moisturizers, what gets your skin most is the use of commercial soap bars.

Did you know that regular soaps strip your skin of its natural oil balance not only drying it out but also depleting its friendly bacteria, and delivering synthetic toxic chemicals -preservatives,  and fragrances – transdermally to your entire physiology?
The majority of soaps on the market carry toxic foaming agents (SLS), or preservatives (Parabens), or many more coloring and aromatizing synthetic chemicals that reduce the natural lubrication of the skin. The skin is governed by 3 ayurvedic principles: shleshak kapha,vyana vata, and bhrajak pittaShleshak kapha helps maintain moisture levels and keeps the skin lubricated;Vyana vata keeps the balance of friendly bacteria and nutrients of the skin well distributed; and Bhrajak pittaprotects the skin by warding off unwanted particles and molecules from entering and going into the blood stream, while it invites and takes in all good molecules that are applied on the skin. When you use soaps and cleaning products with chemicals, you disrupt the balance established by these 3 ayurvedic principles one after another, and you can eventually develop chronic skin imbalances.

For example, regular soap bars dry your skin. This meansshleshak kapha goes off. When Shleshak kapha is off, thenvyana vata goes high, and this eventually brings downbhrajak pitta – the skin loses its intelligence as to what to absorb and what to reject. Using a drying
synthetic soap bar for prolonged periods of time will eventually bring in deeper imbalances.
Vaidya’s unique SVA aromatherapy soaps are made with the best organic Shea Butter, packed with the goodness of flower and plant essences, to achieve optimal therapeutic benefits.

What’s in the Aromatherapy Soaps 

Energy

-Nutmeg energizes and balances the body, it is also known to support the nervous and endocrine system. Its sweet and musky aroma brings encouragement and spontaneity. Nutmeg has antiseptic properties.

-Sweet orange is an uplifting aroma whose properties also include:  digestive, diuretic, expectorant, fungicidal, stimulant, stomachic, tonic, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal, carminative.

Inspiration

-Neroli properties range from being a gentle antidepressant, aphrodisiac to being a soothing sedative and tonic substance amongst many other benefits.

-Tangerine is rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene. It also helps to release stress and occasional nervous irritability!   Its fresh and citrus aroma is very calming to the mind and body.

Clarity

-Cedar wood properties: Cedar wood Essential Oil has an earthy aroma that is soothing and grounding. It is a well documented oil, used by the Sumerians, Egyptians and Tibetans.

It is also a known to have been used as a tonic, astringent, diuretic, insecticidal, sedative and fungicidal substance. Cedar-wood oil contains the highest amount of sesquiterpenes.

Sesquiterpenes are a hydrocarbon group that is found in essential oils. They stimulate the limbic system of the brain which helps to elevate our mood and helps us relax (overcome stress), hence Cedar wood’s potential in relaxing and helping with focus.

-Ylang-Ylang provides relief from stress, anger, expression and anxiety it strengthens the nervous system and helps maintain healthy skin.

 

Serenity

-Lavender can relieve nervous tension; it has been used to disinfect the scalp and skin,enhance blood circulation and treat respiratory problems.
-Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds- these are thought to help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Laboratory studies have shown rosemary to be rich in antioxidants, which play an important role in neutralizing harmful particles called free radicals. It is also known to enhance memory and concentration.

This Winter, luxuriate in the bounty of Mother Nature through SVA flower essence blends – calm your mind and heart and nurture and hydrate your skin with Vaidya’s unique soap bars.

Summer Days with Vaidya

By Bonita Carol

August 5 2014

Last week I was fortunate to have spent some quality time with Vaidya and Malvika. I had been feeling under the weather for a few months and needed to get my Ayurvedic batteries recharged.   I knew in my heart that there is no better way to do this than be with the source of Ayurvedic knowledge, my teacher, friend, and healer and to surround myself with nourishing open hearted people like Malvika. I also wanted to learn more and refine my skills as a SVA Educator. What was intended to just be a few days turned into a full week, just enough to detox and restore me back to health and engage my curiosity.

Confessions of confections. This past year I developed some dietary habits that contributed to UTI, fatigue, and unnatural menopause symptoms. I moved to Berkeley California a few months prior and became addicted to Arizmendi Bakery on Shattuck Ave. eating their morning buttery scones filled with warm and melty chocolate pieces and drank it often with coffee. I have never been a coffee drinker, but my fatigue led me to it. I was also trying out all the new cafes and eating out a lot. In addition, a friend from Italy had gotten me into a Gelato craze. I basically ate everything that I was not used to eating. I had gotten lazy and bored with my Ayurvedic diet. I was taking my good health for granted. All this sugar was starting to harm my health.

  I had no idea of what to expect as I was approaching the Prana Center. It’s been my past experience (over 15 years) with working with Vaidya and Malvika that every moment is spontaneous and plans have a way of changing from hour to hour mostly because they are very generously taking care of so many people’s health, creating new products, and managing the Prana Center. So I went without expectation and an open mind. What I received was more than I imagined.

Aromatherapy: Upon arriving, the Prana Center was literally buzzing with the sound of  spices and herbs being ground. The smell of fresh aromatic cardamom filled the air. Then came the odor of sweet ground coriander, pungent clove, and cumin one by one. Vaidya said they make a new batch of Mum’s masala every two weeks so the flavors and benefits are maximum. Blanca offered me a cup of their newest tea, called Bliss and BlissTea. And after my 6 ½ hour drive from Berkeley, I started to revive.

Rare herbs: I did not realize that Vaidya has over 250 single herbs on hand, including some rare and very difficult to find herbs that were painstakingly difficult to find and were researched for authenticity by his son Raj who now lives in India. They don’t go through any middlemen and deal directly with the growers to avoid any scam. Vaidya said he must have all of these herbs in order to make his special formulas. He does not accept any herb that is partial, old, or in question. There are absolutely no

compromises on the quality of the products that he formulates. He is very strict about this. Each ingredient has certain requirements and standards. They must have maximum prana, which means they are fresh and free from chemicals and pesticides. And of course, it has to be the correct herb. There are so many artificial and similar herbs that are not actually the correct herb. For example, Ashoka. There are many types of Ashoka. The Ashoka he had received on the day I arrived was from a pure source. That is why the products when used properly, have such health transforming affects. And that is why the products are also more costly.

I also learned that the herbal formulas, in particular the herbal memory nectars work better when you follow the SVA diet. If you are going to eat junk food and take the nectars, then it’s not going to be as effective. You can’t just take herbs. You have to do the whole program. By the way, Vaidya took my pulse and then looked right at me and said, “No more eating out”. Of course I had not confessed my sins to him, but the pulse never lies….

Yummy Food: Vaidya and Malvika would not let me eat out and there was no kitchen for me to cook as I was staying at a hotel. So, they fed me.   And they fed me good. Each day they generously shared the most delicious and heavenly food. Malvika and Vaidya cook their meals consisting of rice cooked with whole cardamom pods, dahl sprinkled with lime juice, and a variety of succulent healing vegetables such as green papaya with Loki sauteed with mum’s ghee, curry leaves, a variety of spices including their new Garcinia masalas, nagaimo (which really tastes like potato minus the starch!), roti, bitter melon, paneer cubes toasted in mum’s ghee and mum’s masala and one day she made fresh moringa leaves. The dahl always had a new and distinct flavor that was crafted and created in their kitchen with divine assistance.   Most of all there was a whole lot of love in the food. I felt I was in heaven eating such an abundance of delicious food that was healthy, nourishing, and detoxifying as well. After one week of eating Malvika’s food, my UTI disappeared and that was without taking herbs and of course no sugar.  My eyes looked clearer and I started to feel energetic. What they reminded me of is that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Now, it’s a week since I have been home and cooking all the dishes she showed me.  There are so many spice combinations that make a big difference and variety of dishes. This food is life changing.

Bad Vibes Be Gone: One issue that I have is that I do not do well sleeping in hotel rooms. And I was even considering not coming to visit Vaidya and Malvika because I would have to stay in one. I think Vaidya must have read my mind because on that first day, I was introduced to his product called Tribindu. It is an ancient blend of essential oils that contain the highest quality camphor, ajwain, peppermint, and tulsi oil with a spray top. You spray it all over the hotel room and under the furniture. I could not believe it; all the odd hotel vibes just went away and I felt the room was transformed. It’s also good as a mosquito repellent. As a de-decongestant if you feel you are coming down with a cold or have an itchy throat. And so many other things! I will never travel without Tribindu again.

Darshan: The highlight of my trip was receiving darshan from the SVA lineage. I had never been in Vaidya’s office. The feeling in that room was really heavenly, like there were angels in the room. Not to sound corny, but it’s true. The room has bookshelves filled with books on health and Vedic literature. He started to tell some stories from when he was with Maharishi, how he read a passage to him, from the Charaka Samhita about how drinking hot water 24/7 is not good for people who suffer from hemorrhaging, menses, and seizures. He said he was reading it from his Grandfather’s copy of the Charak. I asked him if he still had a copy of his Grandfather’s book. And yes, in fact he did. He pulled out a very old book written in Sanskrit. Below is a photo of us getting the blessing from his Grandad’s copy of the Charaka Samhita. Also pictured is Daria, who is helping Vaidya organize the Pulse and Marma E-course that currently has more than 90 participants. It was lovely to meet her.

End of trip: as all goods things have to come to an end, I had to pick up my things and head back home. But I did not leave before purchasing a whole bunch of SVA products for my daughter and myself. Unique ayurvedic formulations like Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12 that are applied trans-dermally, not taken orally, for maximal efficiency and safety, to help bypass the liver and other organs that we usually tend to tax due to bad diet and stress. I also made sure to get some of the newest cooking masalas or spice blends with Garcinia cambogia, and of course, Ashoka Transdermal, Ashoka memory nectar, and a few more nectars. Vaidya put me on a new protocol and I am not only feeling happier but I am more energized. I did not get to purchase their Sweet Orange and Mango chutney that bursts with amazing flavor – it’s their best-seller and always runs out! I will get that on my next trip. Thank you Vaidya and Malvika for the much needed love and healing.