Daniele Gates is one of those humans who shines from the inside. From a distance you might mistake her for Kate Hudson, up close you realize she is actually made of fairy dust and sparkles. Okay… that last part is a stretch, but I’m telling you - she glows.
Despite her fairy-like mystique, Daniele is a strong AF female. Single mom, public school teacher, business-owner, and yoga instructor all in one – Daniele is no stranger to hard work. With all that hustle, you might expect her to look and feel, well… tired! This is not the case. Daniele has crafted her business and her lifestyle around looking and feeling good, and it shows.
We are super excited to have Daniele present at our upcoming Be Well Fest in January, but we couldn’t wait until then to learn a bit more about her, so we asked her a few questions about her Ayurveda Beauty biz. (We were also hoping she would let us in on her secret to looking so magical all the time.) Here is what she had to say:
Q. For someone brand new to Ayurveda, tell us a little bit about the basic principles.
A. Ayurveda is basically the constitution of an individual based on the five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether (space). There are three main constitutions (the Doshas) – Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. If you are living an Ayurvedic lifestyle, you are living a life that allows you to remain as close to your true nature as possible – you do not have an excess of Vata, Pitta or Kapha in your body. You are eating, sleeping, exercising, working and incorporating joy in to your life in a way that is appropriate for your true nature.
Q. We hear the term “Doshas” quite a bit, can you explain them a bit more?
A. The Doshas are the constitutions based on the elements: Kapha = Earth and Water, Pitta = Fire and Water, and Vata = Air and Space. These Doshas are also seasonal – Vata season is fall to winter, Kapha season is winter to early Spring, and Pitta season is summer. (This is at least true for the Northeast, it gets a bit trickier when the climates are flipped.) When you think about the properties of a Dosha, the Dosha looks and feels like its elements. Kapha people tend to move slowly and thoughtfully, like mud. Pitta people are driven and aim to “ignite,” like fire. Vata people have creative ideas and can start many tasks, but may struggle to complete them because they are airy. Once you understand the Doshas through the lens of the seasons, they start to make more sense.
Q. How can I figure out what my Dosha is?
A. There is a quiz you can take on my website and it tells you what percentage of each Dosha you might be. That being said, the best way to find out is by meeting with an Ayurvedic Practitioner because quizzes are not individualized. Ayurveda is a practice that is literally based on individualization and personal constitution, and no two people are alike. A quiz is a good place to start, but it is always wise to do a bit more research.
Q. You have a really interesting way of incorporating Ayurveda into Beauty and Skincare – tell us more about that.
A. The source of all my study in beauty and Ayurveda is Pratima Raichur. She is the author of Absolute Beauty, a book of beauty and Ayurveda that she wrote more than 25 years ago. I have the luxury of living in NYC where she practices and have had the privilege of her treatment. She has engrained in me that beauty begins with the gut and that food is the first medicine. Then comes the other stuff.
For me, beauty is about self-care. Making sure that I take the time out of my schedule for self-massage (Abhyanga) each night, as well as my 3-step skincare routine, is non-negotiable. Additionally, aromatherapy has played a crucial role in my own wellness journey. I use essential oils for mood and energy balance.
The beauty products I sell are aimed at bringing people back to their true nature through the use of organic, fair trade carrier oils and floral waters combined with essential oils that are sourced as locally and consciously as possible. I custom blend all my products for my clients depending on their individual needs.
Q. Here in the Northeast, winter can be extreme. What is one of your best Ayurveda tips for caring for your skin this season?
A. Abhyanga self-massage is my go-to practice for the winter. Nutrient rich oils like sesame, jojoba or even olive oil, combined with the right essential oils for your Dosha can be a once-daily treatment for the skin on your body. For the face, I recommend the Yinsa facial oils. My facial oils are made with organic, unrefined carrier oils and are mixed with water prior to application, so they are appropriate for any skin type (even those with acne breakouts). The key to maintaining moisture in the winter is a combination of drinking enough water (I drink my morning water with collagen) and making sure we keep our skin hydrated. Self-massage is an easy way to fit at least one of these steps in!