I’m all for natural remedies and holistic beauty practices, so when Desiree Pais—a regular contributor to Rip &Tan—told me it’s possible to become more radiant by simply breathing, my interest was piqued. The alchemist and founder of Benshen practices Kundalini yoga, which she discovered comes with serious beauty benefits. To enhance her glow, Desiree advocates doing the One Minute Breath. The meditative practice—which anyone can master with time—reduces stress, anxiety and also clears up skin ailments. It doesn’t get more natural. Desiree reveals more about the beautifying breathing pattern, below. XXJKE
DP: Over the last few years, my beauty rituals and tools have evolved dramatically. I used to spend hours in front of the mirror meticulously applying layers of makeup, like Michelangelo creating a masterpiece of perfection. Every eyelash had to be perfectly separated when applying mascara, every blemish had to be completely covered, every stray eyebrow hair had to go. It was a time-consuming ritual that stemmed out of the idea, “I’m not good enough, let me go make myself perfect.”
The more I began to study yoga and natural medicine, the more I began to understand the connection between health and beauty. Aging is happening sooner and sooner as our high levels of stress cause our glandular system, endocrine system and nervous systems to go haywire. Our hormones, in particular for women, are extremely important to keep us young, healthy, radiant and, yes, beautiful. The glow in our face, the brightness in our eyes, our energy level, metabolism, ability to stay fit and even our moods come down to how happy our glandular system is. When we’re stressed, we look it. When we’re happy, we look it and radiate from the inside out.
When I discovered Kundalini yoga, people often thought I started because of some spiritual quest. The reality is that all the women I met who practiced were literally glowing brighter than rays of sunlight. They were radiant, had clear and smooth skin, looked much younger than they were, and were incredibly confident. I thought, whatever they’re doing, I want some of that. So I began my own practice and it has taught me how to activate my own inner beauty for outer radiance.
While going to classes and workshops is recommended for really ramping up the process towards radiant beauty and health, a quick way to add some Kundalini into your life is through meditation. One of my favorite meditations is the One Minute Breath, which helps to dramatically reduce stress, anxiety, worries and all those emotions that cause our bodies to go out of balance quickly. My teacher, Harijiwan, taught me that this meditation also helps to clear up skin ailments. It’s one of my favorite beauty tools to use.
I love to do this first thing in the morning to start my day on the right tone. It’s easy to wake up and jump right into the self-destructive thought forms of how much we don’t like ourselves. When we take time first thing in the morning to meditate, we connect to a deeper part of ourselves that helps us realize how incredible we truly are. But we can only do that by going inward. By adding the One Minute Breath into your morning and/or evening rituals, you are adding a powerful tool for radiance into your beauty kit.
One Minute Breath: Sit in a comfortable upright position. Bring the index finger and the thumb together to touch, and close your eyes. Take 20 seconds to inhale, hold for 20 seconds, and exhale for 20 seconds. Twenty seconds is the end goal, however you can start with five seconds each until you’re able to build up your lung capacity. Next do 10 seconds each. Once you master 10 seconds, move onto 20 seconds and stay there, comfortably doing the One Minute Breath. I suggest practicing this breathing for three minutes.
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