For those of you who don’t know, Ayurveda originated from ancient India. It was and still is a holistic medical system that was designed to bring the body back into balance. Within Ayurveda, the individual is categorized primarily into one of three body types called Dosha’s. They are called Kapha, Pitta, and Vata. Even though one may fall into the category of being one type of dosha, one still has a slight mixture of the other two dosha’s. No one falls completely into the category of one particular dosha. This is what makes us unique within Ayurveda.
I will be discussing Ayurveda more in detail in the future, but for now let’s dive into some Ayurvedic rituals that you can incorporate into your existing morning routine to bring more health and wellness to your life. These rituals are the foundations of wellness within Ayurveda, so they are great to do no matter what Dosha you may be.
1. OIL PULLING
I am certain you have heard of oil pulling before. This practice originated from Ayurveda and is strongly believed to be excellent for dental hygiene. It is great for teeth and gum health, and can help whiten the teeth overtime. Oil pulling is also great for detoxifying the body from toxins by pulling them out of the mouth.
You can practice this ritual by taking a tablespoon or so of coconut oil or sesame oil and using it as a mouthwash. If your coconut oil is hard, simply chew on it without swallowing until it melts. It takes some getting used to, but the process itself is easy to do. Then you simply swish it around in your mouth and between your teeth for a desired time. In the beginning you may get tired m0re quickly. So you can start by oil pulling for 5 minutes, then over time building it up to 10-20 minutes. When you are done, spit out the oil into the trash (if you spit it out in the sink, it may clock your drain), and brush your teeth to get the rest of the oil out.
This practice I find is best preformed in the morning before breakfast.
2. TONGUE SCRAPING
This next one is tied to oil pulling because it focuses on getting rid of toxins from the body. You may have noticed in the mornings after waking up, that your tongue is white. That my friend, is toxins. As you sleep your body detoxes, and your body tires to get rid of them any way it can. The white buildup on your tongue happens when toxins are being drawn out of the body. So it’s a good idea to help your body out and get rid of it. Yes you can brush your tongue, but it isn’t as effective. You can also notice this build up at the end of the day. It is the remnants of food that you ate. So even if you brush your teeth but don’t clean your tongue, bacteria from food can still get on your teeth.
Scrape your tongue using a special tongue scraper (you can find them easily online for a few dollars) or by improvising and using the side of a spoon. Starting from the back of your tongue, gently press down and draw the spoon or tongue scraper to the front. You will notice the buildup of a white or yellowish substance (pretty gross to be honest), simply rinse it off and repeat a couple more times or until your tongue is visibly pink again.
Tongue scraping is great to do before or after oil pulling, but before brushing your teeth. It can be done in the morning and evening. Tongue scraping is good for improving oral health, giving you a better breath, and improving your sense of taste and digestion.
3. WAKE WITH THE SUN
In Ayraveda it is recommended that you rise early, preferably before the sun is even up, or before 6am. Ayurveda teaches that we should rise and go to bed with the sun. This is based on following the circadian rhythm, rising and going to sleep with the sun.
Before 6am is when the Vata Dosha is most dominant. Vata has to do with water and air and is responsible for movement. So this is when our brains energy levels are most optimal and is most active. So this is a good time to do a spiritual practice such as yoga, prayer, meditation, and journaling.
Rising before 6am for most people is too big of a stretch. So you can simply practice rising earlier than usual. Perhaps 30 minutes to an hour earlier, and work your way closer to 6am if you wish. Use this extra time when you would normally be asleep to do you morning or self care routine. That way you prioritize wellness first thing in the morning before anything else.
4. EAT MINDFULLY
Ayurveda teaches that how we eat is just as important as what we eat. There is great emphasis on eating mindfully. Mindful eating is all about treating food as a sacred and honored thing, and it should eaten with intention.
I have talked about mindful eating in the past. But in case you missed those conversations, you can start practicing mindful eating by aiming to eat your meal in 2o minutes or more and breathing in between each bite of food. This will cause you to slow down and to give your body a chance to send you the signal telling you that you are full.
Often we eat too fast, and this doesn’t give our stomach enough time to send the signal to our brain to tell us that we have had enough food. So we end up over eating and gaining extra weight.
These are all the tips I have for you today. I will be taking more about Ayurveda in the future. So until then, you can use these simple rituals to start incorporating an Ayurvedic lifestyle into your life.