What's new in Ayurveda?
The ancient practice of Ayurveda is having a renaissance, with luxurious and sustainable products and a unique approach to wellbeing
The now super-sized wellness industry may seem relatively new, however Ayurvedic practitioners and devotees were already ahead of the game by practising the concept of ‘dinacharya’ – meaning daily ritual in Sanskrit and focusing on important concepts like gut health and the mind-body balance being the key to wellbeing.
Mauli Inner Beauty Rituals Radiance Mask & Exfoliant, £36
Mauli Inner Beauty Rituals Radiance Mask & Exfoliant, £36 – buy here
It's taken us a while for the Western world to embrace it. Finding your third eye and opening up your chakras seemed a little gimmicky a few years ago. Plus, with a misconception that the products were hocus-pocus, they didn't appear as stylish as our occidental versions and the methodologies not as scientific. How wrong we were.
We’re in a totally different place now. The old wisdom and the new aesthetics are finally in harmony, with the launch of Ayurvedic-based brands that are both steeped in heritage and cool-contemporary at the same time. From the super-luxurious oils and lotions to supplements that look good on your shelf and the undeniably glamorous practitioners, there's something for everyone to indulge in.
Subtle Energies Rasayana Detox Body Blend, £81
Ayurveda is actually rooted on 'inherited genetic constitution and molecular biology, treating different body and skin types based on the five elements,' says Farida Irani, a holistic health and Ayurveda practitioner and owner of Subtle Energies.
She says, 'A lot of people do think that Ayurveda is pouring oil on the body, herbs, and diet, but it’s a very time-tested and in-depth science of health. People do get surprised to learn that are many branches of medicine in Ayurveda: internal medicine, toxicology, ophthalmology, psychiatry and surgery.
'It can also look at a person's presenting condition and relate it to their genetic constitution. It's very much a lifestyle science, so the very nature of Ayurveda can have a very positive impact on one's lifestyle through a daily routine and diet. It provides a pathway to find balance within all aspects of your life. Similarly with aromatherapy and essential oils people sometimes feel that there is something hippyish about it. However, they have the ability to go through the blood-brain barrier and work on the limbic region of the brain where all our memories are stored, past and present, which in turn impacts the autonomic nervous system."
Her unique brand of Subtle Energies Ayurveda Aromatherapy is now available to buy in the UK, while virtual consultations can help you make sense of it all, or start simply to find your Dosha (body type) with an online quiz.
Sasha Sabapathy, CEO of London’s Glow Bar, turned to Ashwagandha, a staple adaptogenic herb in Ayurvedic Medicine that dramatically helped keep her stress levels at bay. It was this success that also planted the seeds for the launch of her wellness brand Glow Bar.
Sasha says, 'Coming from Malaysia, Ayurveda has always been extremely relevant for me, and it's exciting to see how only now it's becoming more well known in Western culture, as we look back to nature to help us cope with modern living. After taking Ashwagandha diligently for a month, I realised that I wasn't as anxious as I used to be, and dealing with stress was getting easier.'
Uma Oils Pure Calm Wellness Body Oil, £70
Shrankhla Holecek, founder and CEO of the decadent Indian wellness brand UMA skincare, was criticised in 2016 at the launch of her brand for being too 'ethnic'. Now, she's one of the most respected brands around today and one of Net-a-Porter's big hitters in the net-sustain beauty category.
Her handcrafted oils, made following generations of Ayurvedic traditions, are both pure and therapeutic, free from synthetic fragrances, emulsifiers, preservatives, parabens, GMOs, mineral oils, and they're vegan-friendly.
Ingredients are grown, blended, and bottled in small batches on the Indian estate and we can happily confirm they are utterly unctuous and addictive and will remain in our daily rituals for the foreseeable future, along with the super haircare brand Champo, Mauli Rituals and Fushi Biovedic.
Ilody Luxmi Hydrating Radiance Serum, £72
Ilody Luxmi Hydrating Radiance Serum, £72 – buy here
New at Liberty is ilody, the latest beauty brand which blends traditional Eastern roots with a Western conscious luxury.
Dee Patel, the founder, says, 'We've taken our lead from the centuries-old, plant actives used throughout Ayurveda and blended these into modern formulas. Some of these ingredients have traditionally been used to treat skin in Ayurvedic beauty routines or calm inflammation either topically or internally. For us, it's about reimagining how we use those ingredients and how they blend in formulas that have a luxury, contemporary feel to them.'
Deja Mind Balance Food Supplement, £35
Deja Mind Balance Food Supplement, £35 – buy here
Taking Ayurvedic a step further is Deja's unique supplement blend, Mind Balance. It's been developed in collaboration with a family of Ayurvedic doctors who have a 150-year heritage in Ayurvedic medicine in India.
Containing nootropics to adaptogens backed by 5,000 years of wisdom and modern-day science, Mind Balance has been specifically formulated to improve concentration and re-establish clarity.
Fushi BioVedic Radiance Face Oil, £22
Fushi BioVedic Radiance Face Oil, £22 – buy here
There are so many aspects of Ayurvedic to embrace.
Dee Patel sums it up perfectly: 'The Ayurvedic approach is resonating right now. Our current global situation has accelerated its popularity, it has made us pause and reset, finding new ways (or in this case, rediscovering old ones) to cope with the new normal.'
Champo Pitta Volumising Shampoo, £18