Be Well

How the Founder of UMA Oils Practices Wellness 360

Take it from an expert.
Reading time 5 minutes

Shrankhla Holecek grew up in oil, but not the Texas kind. Her family estate in Northern India farms organic oils with that supplies everyone from royalty to Estée Lauder and Tom Ford. Shrankhla took the knowledge she inherited and created Uma, a skincare line that began with oils and has expanded to toners, cleansers, and masks, including the newest additions, Anti-Aging Rose Honey Cleanser and Anti-Aging Lip Oil. But with Shrankhla, it doesn’t stop with clean skincare. Here, she shares the other ways that she incorporates wellness into her life.

She detoxes a lot. But gently!

Every morning, I integrate a number of gentle detox steps. Detoxes don’t have to be extreme exercises in self-inflicted torture. I try to practice some simple-but-surefire daily detox practices, which have their roots in Ayurveda, [the traditional healthcare system of India. First, I start (and end) my day with scraping my tongue (copper tongue scraper preferred) after brushing my teeth. Next, I dry-brush my body for five to seven minutes before showering, starting with my legs and going all the way up to my shoulders, back, and front. And as often as I can, I practice oil pulling. It involves swishing oil (I use either sesame or coconut) around in your mouth for about 5-10 minutes to help pull out deep-rooted toxins. After, spit the oil out in a cup to prevent clogged drains. At night, I add Triphala, which is a combination of three Ayurvedic herbs – Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki – available at most health food stores, Whole Foods or Amazon) when I need that added boost of detox.

She eats according to her dosha.

Dietwise, the first thing I consume every morning is a cup of warm lemon water. Whenever practical, I eat for my Ayurvedic body type [dosha]. With Ayurveda, eating right to keep your dosha in balance goes beyond just what is clean and healthy. A superfood could be unsuitable for a certain Ayurvedic constitution. For example, Kapha types should not eat too much avocado. Thank goodness I’m not kapha! I’m pitta, so I need to stay away from excessively spicy or sour foods and look instead to sweeter varieties of fruit, such as watermelon and pineapple, (which are also excellent to help up your skin-restoring water intake).

Also, I try to eat seasonally, and whenever possible, fresh (not frozen, or even made a few days ago). Ayurveda believes that the constitution of the human body has a close, symbiotic relationship with the environment it exists in. Fruits and vegetables that grow at a certain time every year are best equipped nutritionally to support the body for that specific time of the year - [this holds true] from boosting immunity to battling allergies. Freshly cooked (or raw) foods are strongly favored in Ayurveda - so I avoid leftovers and frozen meals as much as I reasonably can. Eating fresh, seasonal food also equips your digestive fire to be running most optimally, which means that not only would you feel most energetic and have fewer cravings, but might also lose weight.

Exercise slips in any way she can!

I try to get some form of exercise in at least five times a week, but since starting my own business, I have had to exercise moderation in my aspirations. So, often it’s a run in my neighborhood (I also find it's the coolest way to explore a city when traveling; I'm often the crazy foreigner jogging around Tsim Tsa Tsui in Hong Kong or Piccadilly in London). I’ll also workout on the Stairmaster while reviewing a document, or even getting on my rowing machine at home (my best investment ever) while watching TV, and sometimes I even do it when I’m still in my work clothes. But, I go to a yoga or spin class as often as I can, which usually means just weekends.

Sleep is huge.

Sleep is Huge for my wellness, and my skin, and work productivity. When I build up big sleep deficits during the week, I try to pay them back on weekends by sleeping in. After I catch up, I find that I’m more alert and I can tell the difference in my skin tone and eye area pretty quickly. Also, I try to maintain pretty decent sleep hygiene — clean face, feet rubbed with UMA's Pure Rest or sesame oil, fresh sheets every three to five days, and a fresh pillowcase every two to three days.

T.M. is her jam.

I know meditation is important, but I’ve always had the most difficult time with traditional ones. Fortunately, a friend introduced me to Transcendental Meditation last year, and I have come to love it! I wish I could practice every day but my experience is pretty powerful the 2–3 times per week that I’m able to practice. I’ve found that “tucking in” the meditation into an ongoing activity—such as waiting for a face mask to dry, or between two calls or meetings—helps me more easily build it into my schedule. Also, adding another sensory reminder that magnifies the practice,  like incense or candle, helps me come back to my meditation more regularly as I’m reminded of that blissful feeling every time I inhale those scents outside of meditation.

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