One of my great pleasures consists in choosing ingredients for your Ayurvedic facial. I recently had the privilege of sharing that joy with a group of 20 women at the Natural Food Pantry in Ottawa during a workshop on making Ayurvedic facial masks for each dosha.
Natasha, lead and educator of the Natural Food Pantry Education Initiative, had conveniently collected herbs, spices, essential oils and other ingredients available in the store and set up an appealing table ahead of time. I organized the dry ingredients by dosha in little blue cups and prepared 20 individual portions of yogourt or coconut milk, rose water, honey and aloe vera gel in little red cups.
Highlighting the properties of Vata, Pitta and Kapha
Women were punctual and expressed their pleasure about the aromas floating in the air. The tone was set. After a short introduction on Ayurveda and identifying the properties that relate to Vata, Pitta and Kapha, we had an interactive exercise. Participants who thought have a Vata dosha joined in one corner of the class, Pitta in the center and Kapha by the door. Those who were not sure and one who already knew that she has a tri-doshic constitution joined in front of the table.
Looking at each group was quite revealing. Everyone could see the commonalities but also differences. Of course, some women had a double-dosha. All questions and comments were relevant and informative for everyone. To me, this exercise is ideal to highlight properties and make them obvious, especially for those who are not familiar with Ayurveda.
A gratifying experience
Then came the real fun: choosing the ingredients for their Ayurvedic facial from the selection, six for each dosha. Some of the ingredients were cacao powder, neem, ground hibiscus flower petals, salt, fennel seeds, chamomile flowers. Someone in the group was vegan; she was pleased that a full selection was available to her, which is not always the case. In the end, no two persons had the same recipe.
During the last part of the workshop each woman had the chance to apply the mix on their skin. Some put it on their face, others on their hands, a young woman with her child had a cup prepared to bring home after the workshop. A majority was impressed by how fresh and clean they felt afterwards. A couple of women couldn’t believe that their mixture had completely penetrated without leaving even a sticky residue. Others rinsed off what had not fully penetrated. One woman seemed awed after discovering the calming and grounding sense provided by the vetiver oil she sprinkled in her cup.
One woman was so convinced of the benefits that she bought a copy of my Book of Beauty: Making Skin Care Products with Aromatherapy and Ayurveda. In the end, Natasha was pleased with the experience and we now are planning another workshop for the fall. I am grateful to her and to all the women who took part in the workshop for a gratifying afternoon.
For more information or to book an Ayurvedic facial in Ottawa, contact me. You live outside of Ottawa or would like a facial in the comfort of your home? Let’s do it online via Skype. Only a couple of preparatory emails are required to plan everything.
To identify your Ayurvedic constitution/dosha, complete the test available here.