Rubbing sweetly scented oils all over your precious body is always a surefire way to center yourself in the present, but even more so when the oils themselves are specially formulated according to a 7,000 year old practice dedicated to balance, prevention, and self-healing.
In fact, in Ayurveda, the simple act of putting oil on the body is itself defined as an act of self-love—in Sanskrit, the word for "oil"—"sneha"—is actually the same as the word for "love". Being present in the breath, available for the joy of simply being...loving your body-self from the inside out, and, loving it from the outside in. These are the guiding principles of Nao Ayurvedic Skincare.
Like most lines we love, Nao Ayurveda was born of desire and intention. Founder Kiera Nachman Kent—a Brooklyn-based Ayurvedic practitioner specializing in natural skincare, holistic nutrition, energy work, and Ayurvedic prenatal and postpartum care—started out making small batches of custom formulations for her clients. The ritual of the medicine making and oil mixing, a practice which throughout the ages has typically been the domain of women, struck an ancient harmonic chord, a resonant frequency of possibility. The act of crafting those early batches of rich, indulgent oils and tinctures, balancing them with intention and infusing them with Reiki energy, all for the express purpose of self-love...for Kiera, it felt like the simplest and most profound kind of healing connectivity, and Nao Skincare was born.
So. What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda in Sanskrit means "science of life" or "knowledge of life." It is the oldest continually practiced form of medicine on earth, going back at least 7,000 years. It is even older than Chinese Medicine, which actually grew out of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is Yoga’s sister science.
Ayurveda is a system of balance, prevention, and healing. It is an individualized science, as it treats each person individually, as no two people are the same. It is also a holistic science, meaning that it examines the total picture of health—mind, body and spirit. Care to get a little woo woo with us? Come along, then.
Ayurveda believes that the human body is a microcosm of the universe (agree) made up of five classical elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Combinations of these elements fall into three main categories called "doshas"—Pitta, Kapha, and Vata—and when these doshas fall into imbalance, the body-mind becomes disconnected from its original state of harmony with nature and the universe. Skeptical? Sounds like you're a Pitta. Nao's luscious oils and serums—healing, aromatic, all-natural and, aligned with the doshas—are equally attuned to the needs of skin + soul.
The tri-doshic oil is divine for every body/everybody, but if you want something tailored to your vibe, there are formulas for Pitta, Kapha, and Vata. There is ample scholarship on Ayurveda and the Doshas, but in short, to help dial in on yours:
Vata: Characterized by the mobile nature of Wind (Air). Dry, light, cold, subtle, mobile, clear. Governs movement and communication. Out of balance, causes fear, anxiety, isolation, loneliness, and exhaustion. Dry Vata skin needs the most grounding and nourishing oils for daily self-oiling.
Pitta: Embodies the transformative nature of Fire. Hot, sharp, light, liquid, spreading. Governs digestion and transformation. Out of balance, causes fiery, reactionary emotions such as frustration, anger, jealously, and criticism. Pitta skin needs a soothing blend, to cool and calm skin inflammations.
Kapha: Reflects the binding nature of Water. Cool, slow, heavy, smooth, soft, stable. Governs cohesiveness + structure. Out of balance, causes emotions of attachment, greed, and possessiveness and can also create stubbornness, lethargy, and resistance to change. Kapha skin has the most moisture and oil, and therefore requires regular detoxification.
In addition to mystically-tailored skin-nurturing serums based on the doshas, Nao also makes exquisite pre-natal and post-partum oils for mama and babe. The Mama Belly Oil and Baby Massage Oil (yes, Baby Massage is a thing—an ancient one—and it is truly incredible) are the result of Kiera's extensive experience with Ayurvedic prenatal and postpartum care. There is absolutely no more lightning-electric time of potent transition in the life of the mind-body than during pregnancy, post-partum, and brand-new-humanhood and the ritual of daily oil application is radically powerful—connecting us deeply with our bodies, bows pulled taut. Plus, it feels amazing and nurtures the skin along with the soul.
Engaging in rituals of self-care that celebrate the miraculous possibilities of the body in harmony is deeply powerful, spiritual, and enlightening. The real, tangible health benefits of oil application are too many to count (nervous system, hormonal balance, insomnia, detoxification, moves lymph, etc). Plus, taking the time to slather yourself with an indulgent, mystically-tailored body oil feels utterly fantastic.
In short: the best thing about being a human being is that every human being has a body and every human being's body is exactly perfect just the way it is. The life's work of the soul is in the discovery and nurturing of that individual body-self, and the end result is to love yourself more. Sign us up.