Radiant Health and Beauty
A woman’s true beauty comes from within. No amount of makeup or plastic surgery can create that quality of beauty, that inner light and radiance.
Yogi Bhajan taught us to accept ourselves just as God made us. He said, “The only difference between me and you is that I accept myself, absolutely, as I am.” This is often a difficult teaching to embrace.
Society places a high premium on beauty. Many women go to great lengths to meet this standard of ‘beauty’—manicured, shaved and clipped, much like a well-kept lawn—they strive to be considered attractive. But the deeper you dive into self-acceptance—the deeper you relax into you as you—the more you will resonate with the truth of these teachings: You are made exactly as God made you. If He could have done it better, He would have.
Yogi Bhajan calls us to a different standard. Instead of being a slave to the fashions and styles of the day, he encouraged us to create our own fashions based on the knowledge of our own depth and grace. A woman’s radiance is the fruit of the seeds of discipline which she plants each day. Her body, when in balance, serves to expand that light to all.
“A 3H0 woman is under extraordinary pressure to live in her grace. 3H0 provides a very crystallizing situation. We do not give you any leeway. We are always willing to confront you. We are always willing to tell you that 3H0 is not a trash bag or a crash pad of sensuality, sexuality and exploitation. 3H0 has a very clear intention, and we declare it: We want graceful women, here, now, and everywhere. 3HO’s whole system is tuned and trained in one way: if a woman has not yet lived as a woman, 3H0 gives her the right to live and to die as a graceful woman—that is our aim.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 7/9/80
“When you use makeup, you admit that there is some shortcoming in you, that, as a woman, you do not experience yourself as a woman. A woman who knows that she is a woman, and has experienced her caliber as a woman, need not do anything. Things come to her. She is the creative focal power and Mother Nature will send everything to her. A beaming woman is a Divine radiance, living within the center of her heart.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 8/12 & 8/21, 1978
“Makeup is an attempt to make up. Creative reality is not served by negativity; creative reality is served by finding your own depth. You have to find your direction in order to find your depth—and then you have to dwell in that depth. If you start jumping around in your own shallowness, you will be caught, eaten, fried and done with.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 7/29/80
“Makeup is only for your sensory play, when you do not have the common sense to be you, to know that you are you. You have absolutely no strength or character to confront yourself. If you do not know how to confront yourself, you will never know how to elevate yourself—and under this sensory spell you will face disaster.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 7/17/95
“Your strength is not your ability to sell yourself. Your strength is your elevated spirit—when the face of a woman is so dynamic, so saintly, so pure and so nice, a man has no power to even speak. That’s the real strength of a woman.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 7/4/96
“You do not understand your features. Your features are not your beautiful nose, your beautiful cheeks, beautiful lips, and so on. These are not your features. Your features are your beautiful behavior, your beautiful character, your beautiful health, your beautiful spirit, your beautiful advice, your beautiful wisdom, your beautiful inspiration.”
-Yogi Bhajan, 8/12 & 8/21, 1978
Yogic Health and Beauty Tips
Over the years, Yogi Bhajan taught so many daily techniques for increased health and beauty that it would take weeks to practice every one. Here is just a sampling of this ancient yogic wisdom for women.
Wake-up gently, cupping the hands over the eyes and then opening the eyes and slowly moving the hands away. Before getting out of bed each morning massage the ovaries for about five minutes and the breasts and the area around the breasts for another five minutes. This provides proper circulation. Then twist from side to side with Cat Stretch and do up to a minute of Stretch Pose to set the Navel Point before getting out of bed.
Five Tips for Facing the Day
- To be beautiful, slim and full of energy, women must vigorously exercise each day until there is sweat on the brow. (This is imperative during menopause!)
- It is an excellent idea to exercise before you eat anything in the morning and to take a walk or gentle exercise after dinner each evening.
- A woman should stretch her elbows 2-3 times a day in order to keep her glandular system in tune. How do you stretch your elbows? You’ll feel a stretch of the nerve (along the back of the elbow) if you do it right.
- Life nerve stretch—daily—sit down with your legs extended. Reach for your toes and bend forward with straight legs, bringing your nose between your knees; your elbows should touch the floor. As long as a woman maintains this standard of the pose, she will stay young. As you get older the third vertebra shrinks; this exercise stretches the spine at the third vertebra keeping you flexible and strong.
- A woman should nap 11 minutes—twice a day.
Yogi Bhajan often said that women should eat carefully and lightly in order to maintain their emotional and physical balance and well-being. In general, a woman should have two meals a day and two light drinks a day. The first drink begins at breakfast. The first meal can be about four hours later; it should be the largest meal of the day. “Eat to your delight” is the motto at this mid-day meal. But when you are full, stop!
The second drink of the day can be between lunch and dinner. The evening meal should be light and easily digestible and preferably eaten before sunset.
It is a very good idea not to eat anything in the evening, but if you do, please allow at least three hours before going to bed, so that you can be well into digestion mode before going to sleep.
Some foods to definitely avoid: salt (a little sea salt is fine), sugar, caffeine or any highly acidic foods or overly fried foods. Sugar affects a woman very squarely. Avoid it. “Eat what you want to eat, but don’t let yourself be eaten up by the food.”—Yogi Bhajan
From childhood through adulthood, one meal a day should be steamed vegetables. Every woman should eat in a balanced manner and in a balanced setting. Quiet, calm environments make for better digestion. Eating can often be a woman’s weakness and improper eating habits can be the cause of a variety of physical and emotional problems, to say nothing of being the cause of most overweight problems. Slow down, then sit down and enjoy your food. Chew! When you think you’ve chewed enough, chew some more.
“Now, I will tell you something about food. Just put up a little sign on the table that says: ‘My stomach has no teeth.’ Do you understand? If even one-tenth of your food goes from your mouth into the body without saliiva, it will create disease.”
—Yogi Bhajan, June 29, 1995
Ms. Whiz Recipe
Here’s a perfect nutritious breakfast drink for women, rich in potassium, iron, oils and the alkaline qualities of chlorophyll to keep you going. This drink provides a woman with the necessary daily doses of sesame or almond oil which nurtures her skin and hair, chlorophyll as an internal cleanser, and rice bran syrup which supports the nervous system.
1 ripe banana
8 ounces (250 ml) orange juice
1 Tablespoon (20 ml) liquid chlorophyll
2 Teaspoons Rice Bran Syrup
2 Teaspoons cold-pressed almond or sesame oil
Blend well until frothy.
Fasting and Monodiets
Approach monodiets or fasts of any kind, beyond a single day, with caution. Seek the supervision of your physician or health care practitioner. All dietary changes should be gradual. That is, first practice for one day, then the next time, try three days, building from there.
Yogi Bhajan never suggested that women should fast for greater lengths of time because of the harmful effects on a woman’s endocrine system—and the imbalances created. Instead he often suggested monodiets, which involved eating only one type of food for 1-3 days, a week, 10 days, or 40 days. The Green Diet is a classic example of a monodiet.
The Green Diet
Eat only green things, primarily vegetables, with an emphasis on leafy greens for calcium, seaweed for minerals, and avocado for healthy fats; with a few fruits (green apples, green grapes, kiwi, or pears) and pistachios to enrich the diet and keep the blood sugars balanced. This diet allows the blood to become more alkaline, decreases cortisone and other stress factors in the tissues, adds moisture to the colon and purifies the liver, pancreas, and intestines.
Sugar: The Enemy of a Woman’s Youth
“Fructose, sucrose, whatever you want to call it, is the enemy of a woman’s youth. When I see you eating cake, ice cream, cookies and chocolate this and chocolate that, and then you say, “No, no, it’s honey, not sugar,” it doesn’t bother me. But I know that the shine in you, the shine of a woman, is going to be lost. There is only one enemy of the woman—and that is sweetness in any shape or form. I know you don’t want to hear it, but it makes you look old. That glow, which a woman produces because of her hormones, is gone.
Watch how politely you are hooked to sugar. Watch very clearly and understand it. Go for one week on a diet free of all sorts of sugar. Notice the change; you will be shocked. You don’t have to bring heavens to the Earth. Simply understand that there are certain things that don’t suit you.” Summer 1983
Nutritional Health and Healing Tips
- Substitute lemon for salt
- Build muscle: Basmati Rice
- Detox with green chiles: They won’t allow any poisons to build up in the intestines. It is the woman’s food.
- Digestive aid: Eat an apple at the end of your meal
- Meditation aid and improving memory: Two bananas a day with lemon juice are considered “the friend of a woman.”
- P-fruits in general are good for a woman, especially: peaches, plums, papaya, pears, persimmons, prunes
- When in season, eat these foods as much as possible: apricots, guavas, orange juice, ripe figs, pomegranate juice, green bananas and apples
- For the glandular system, The Turnip Diet: Steam white turnips, mash them and add almond oil, turmeric, lemon and pepper. Must be a monodiet. You may also use the turnip greens.
- Problems with hypothyroid: Eat Dates
- Internal cosmetic: Turmeric is most healing
- Liver cleansing: Beets steamed whole and then peeled. Can be eaten with a little yogurt and one glass of orange juice in the morning.
- Nerves: Celery juice
- Overeating: Liquid Fast (not too long—be mindful of the hormonal balance)
- Stomach and intestinal tract cleanser: Finely chopped orange peel, sauteed in olive oil, mixed with turmeric paste (cooked in water)
- Tonifier: Queen bee honey
- Water retention (bloating): Cucumber juice and lemons.
Luminous Skin Care
The best thing you can do for your skin is drink lots of water, eat good food, get plenty of adequate rest and exercise, and use sunscreen on a regular basis; but here are a few other tips to good skin.
Almond oil is highly recommended for general lubrication. It is an easily assimilated protein, absorbs into the skin well and doesn’t feel greasy. Mixed with a little sandalwood oil, almond oil is even more effective and healing to the skin. This mixture helps to counteract skin irritation caused by sweating or abrasion. It leaves the skin glowing, smooth and sweet smelling.
Yogurt Mask and Bath
Yogurt is another very excellent general skin preparation. It cleans, tones and firms the skin. It is also excellent for the hair and scalp. It is used as an ingredient in a variety of preparations, or can be used exclusively. Homemade yogurt is the best for cosmetic purposes.
Massage the yogurt into your skin and face. Then, take a warm bath, allowing the mask to dry on the face while the water becomes a creamy, light milk color from the yogurt on your skin. You can also add yogurt directly to the bath water. Soak for at least half an hour. Then rinse your face with warm water followed by several rinses with apple cider vinegar and water or lemon juice and water (3-4 tablespoons to one quart of water). Let the vinegar or lemon rinse dry on the skin. Do not dry off with a towel. This bath is especially suitable after your menstrual cycle is completed.
Hanuman Body Mask
Take turmeric, yogurt, chickpea flour (besan), and ginger—powdered ginger—and a lot of lemon juice, make a paste and massage it into your body. You will become like Hanuman, the yellow monkey god. Massage it in, then let it dry on your body. Then, with warm water, wash it off. It smoothes wrinkles, removes dead skin, and clears the pores.
Your hair is your crowning glory as a woman, vital to the pituitary gland, and the entire endocrine system, including the ovaries. The lining and arrangement of the hair on the head is a psychological facet that determines the action and reaction of the pituitary. It can change a woman’s entire life if she puts her hair up on her solar center during the day, combs it with a wooden comb and wears it down in a braid at night.
Under most circumstances, the hair should be covered. Two thirds of the world’s population keeps their hair covered, in some form or another. Just because they no longer know why, doesn’t mean you have to remain in the dark: Covering the hair is a grace, a Grace of God. If you muscle test someone, they will always be stronger when the crown of their head is covered—even if it’s with something as flimsy as a napkin. Imagine the effect of consciously wrapping the hair and covering the crown.
Hair is the only instrument, which directly provides vitamin D from the sun to the brain. The brain needs more vitamin D than any other organ in the body. Hair should be washed every 72 hours, because the scalp secretions can irritate a woman’s nervous system. The hair should never be combed while wet; this stretches the hair shaft and can cause breakage. Instead, let the hair dry naturally, in the sun if possible, and then brush the hair.
Regular oiling of the scalp and hair with almond oil mixed with sandalwood is very healing for the hair. Also yogurt massaged into the scalp, and allowed to rest for half an hour, then washed out can leave the scalp and hair silky and strong.
For the normal health of your eyes, menstrual cycle, and long maintenance of your youth, it is obligatory to use a wooden comb. Comb the hair up, forward, back, down, and so on. This is for circulation and stimulation of the scalp. The wooden comb acts to stabilize the magnetic field and prevents breakage of the ends of the hair shaft.
A firm, natural bristle brush is also recommended to stimulate the scalp without harming the hair.
The eyebrows control the deep analytical working of the brain and should never be plucked or otherwise disturbed.
Shaving the hair on the body adversely affects the magnetic field and sympathetic nervous system. By shaving the hair on the legs, the electromagnetic field of the lower spine is altered.
The human form is made to walk, walking is the perfect exercise. Yogi Bhajan advised women to walk 4-6 miles a day (1-3 miles is a good start in today’s commuting culture), especially women preparing to have a child, during her pregnancy and after the child is born.
Showers should be cold. Cold showers preserve a woman as a woman; they correct imbalanced menstruation, prevent early menopause, skin problems and they help her to keep her glow.
1. Brings blood to the capillaries
2. Cleans the circulatory system
3. Reduces blood pressure on internal organs, flushing internal organs and giving them a new supply of blood
4. Strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems
5. Contracts the muscles and causes them to eliminate toxins and poisons more quickly
6. Brings the power of resistance and resilience to the body
7. Strengthens the mucous membranes
8. Keeps the skin young and shining
9. Prevents the body from developing an extra layer of fat, which affects the liver
10. Balances all the glands
11. Circulation and nerve problems can be prevented by regular cold showers.
Note: When menstruating, women should not take a cold shower. A woman is advised to take showers with lukewarm water during the menstrual cycle.
Always precede cold showers with a massage of almond oil or olive oil. Be sure to massage the breasts, too.
It is recommended that a woman wear undershorts that cover her thighs while she is in the shower. This protects the sex nerve and the femur (thigh bone) from the sudden changes in temperature. (The femur regulates the production of calcium in the body and is very sensitive to temperature.)
After the massage, step into the shower. Let the cold water strike your body while you briskly massage the water into the skin. Move! Chant Sat Nam Wahe Guru! You should not stand continuously under a cold shower, nor should you do Breath of Fire to keep yourself warm. Instead, rub the skin vigorously.
Then step out of the water and continue to massage the skin. Then step back in, and be sure to stand under the spray and allow the breasts to be massaged by the water; continue massaging your entire body, step out again and repeat this process three or four times until you feel warm—even though the water is still cold. The capillaries open up and bring blood to the surface of the skin, making you feel warm.
When finished, dry yourself briskly with a towel. Of course, the ideal is a daily cold shower (ishnan), but Yogi Bhajan later encourages women to do it at least once a week—as a minimum requirement.
You may also be interested in:
- Hair Care for Yoginis:
- International Women's Day Class Curriculum:
- A Yogini’s Guide to Glowing Health:
- Life Long Wellness with Ayurvedic Herbs:
- Ladies: Is Your Yoga Class Scheduled in Your Day Planner?:
- How do You Wear Your Sexuality?:
- Human Radiance:
- Meditation: The Radiant Body--The Beauty of Every Woman:
- Walking in Beauty–Living By Grace:
- Meditation to Develop the Radiant Body:
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