Oh! That dreaded cellulite!
Cellulite is SO tricky and plagues so many beautiful beings I know. I have been searching high and low for products and information to share with the world that actually work and by golly, I’ve got it! The Ayurvedic ways really speak to me as it encompasses all of us as physical, emotional and spiritual beings.
Here is a wonderful article that was written by Judith Bourgeois, Manager of Education and Sales @Shankara Skincare. She spells out beautifully what cellulite is and the things that affect it. Just like all skin conditions, it starts on the inside. In order to treat this challenging condition, we need to address it both topically and internally. Enjoy.
Oh! That dreaded cellulite!
So you’re standing in front of the mirror in your underwear with just the right lighting and there it is! The dreaded cellulite! Why is it that some people seem blessed with smooth skin when so many of us, no matter our shape or size are struggling with this unwanted companion?
Like anything else happening on the skin level, cellulite is just another one of the many signals the body gives us that something deeper needs a little attention.
According to Ayurveda, cellulite comes when saturated fat (Vasa) interacts with digestive impurities (Ama) and generates a heavy, sticky substance that sits in the fat cells.
The key is to break down the link between the Vasa fat and the Ama impurities.
How do we do that?
Why we accumulate toxins in the first place
Toxins or Ama are created when something is not digested properly. We all know about physical Ama but there is something a bit more subtle called emotional Ama. Yes, our emotions can also contribute to havoc in the body and not just in the obvious places. This sticky Ama, both physical and emotional, floats around and usually will start to accumulate in areas where we have an imbalance or weakness.
Keep that fire burning!
In Ayurveda we often talk about the importance of the digestive fire or Agni. When the fire is high we digest properly. In order for our digestive fire to burn clean and not leave residue, we need to keep in mind a few things. These are really simple and easy to implement but can have a profound impact on our well-being and our ability to cut down on toxin accumulation.
Eat only when hungry – Have you ever eaten something just to make you feel better? Because you felt tensed? Bored? Sad? Because everyone else was having dinner? When you are not hungry your digestive fire is not really up for the job and what you eat won’t get digested properly.
Take advantage of nature’s cycles for better digestion – Have you ever wondered why when you stay up late at night and10 pm comes around you suddenly feel like eating again? This is because the fire element gets activated at that time. The fire element or what we call Pitta in Ayurveda gets activated between 10am and 2pm and again between 10pm and 2am. Your digestion is at its peak during the first Pitta cycle of the day and this is why it is a good idea to eat your largest meal of the day around noon time. When the second Pitta cycle comes around at night, the digestive fire isn’t actually meant to digest more food and is instead intended to detoxify the body by burning up toxins. If you are in bed by the time this second Pitta cycle comes around you will fully take advantage of that cleansing time of the day.
Kindle your digestive fire (Agni) – If you feel that your digestion is a bit sluggish you can support your digestive fire by having a pinch of ginger sprinkled with a little salt and lemon juice five minutes or so before your meal. Drinking ginger tea is also a great way to support your digestion.
Avoid drinking cold beverages with your meal. Cold liquids or even cold foods will cool down the digestive fire and disturb digestion. Remember that you want to keep that fire burning strong to avoid creating toxins. It is perfectly OK to drink small amounts of hot water throughout your meal though. You will be helping the digestive process by making things a little more liquid especially if you are having something a bit too dry or heavy.
Another really easy tip to support your digestion is to sit down when you eat and to stay seated for at least five to ten minutes after you are done eating. Sounds strange? Well, again if we look into Ayurveda’s wisdom we learn that the air element Vata located in the lower abdomen has a naturally downward flow and helps with proper elimination. Something interesting happens to that particular Vata when you stand up while eating. It starts to move upward and basically blows out the digestive fire. This means that anything you eat after you stand up won’t be properly assimilated. Simply make sure you have everything you need for your meal before you sit down to eat so you do not have to get up before you are done eating.
Too much of a good thing – We have all heard that we should not overeat but why is this important? It is not just a matter of too many calories. For digestion to happen properly we need a strong digestive fire AND space.
If we were to visualize a hunger scale where 0 means starved and 10 means so stuffed we cannot even imagine taking another bite, we should start eating at a 1 or 2 for our digestive fire to be strong and stop at around 6 or 7 when we feel comfortably satisfied.
As mentioned above, unprocessed emotions will create toxins in the body just as easily as undigested food.
So what does it mean to properly digest emotions?
It simply means to be fully present with our experience, in the moment and not to try to suppress, hide from, judge, or in any other way try to avoid feeling. Easier said than done, I know!
In the moment you may not be able to fully be with what you are experiencing but as soon as you can after the event is over, try to find a quiet place where you can let yourself experience what it is you are feeling. You might start feeling anger rise up for example and if you are simply with it without judgment you might be able to feel what is underneath the anger. Maybe there is fear or sadness, maybe some past hurt. As you let things flow these emotions can be processed and transformed. Underneath all of these emotions is the untouched, magnificent you. Yes, even if you don’t feel it in that moment…
Breathing exercises can help release trapped negative emotions and bring balance to the whole being.
Meditation not only brings deep relaxation but can also help us be more present in our daily life. As we become able to witness what is happening with more clarity, we can choose to act purposefully, as opposed to simply reacting to stressful situations. Doing so helps us to avoid accumulating unnecessary tensions.
Yoga is also a wonderful way to de-stress and become more present and mindful in our life with the advantage of helping the body stay flexible and strong and able to fight off stress more efficiently.
A little self-care for your skin too!
Incorporating skin brushing or using a body scrub before showering can really help the skin let go of more toxins and congestion and aid with the presence of cellulite. Incorporating self-massage is also a wonderful way to invigorate and rejuvenate the skin.
If cellulite is a concern for you or if you simply want to help the body naturally shed unnecessary toxic accumulations feel free to take a look at the following products I have just brought on to help you: Dead Sea Salt Scrub, Cellulite Support Activatar, and the Cellulite Support Oil.