In my recent post What is Dinacharya? I went into detail of the rituals and practices performed in an Aryuvedic daily routine. As you read, many are everyday things that twenty-first century individuals do….brush your teeth, exercise, shower, eat three meals a day, etc. However, some might have been terms never heard of before, such as tongue scrapping or oil pulling. Before being introduced to Ayurveda I had never heard of these, nor did I have the slightest clue what they entailed.
Not to worry, utilizing the following post I will go into detail explaining what some of these ancient practices are, their purpose, and how they can be performed in the comfort of your home. Introducing Ayurveda rituals into your daily routine will not only make you fell better, but it will help you spend your day with intention and a focus on being in the present moment.
Say what? No… I don’t want you to literally scrape your tongue off, but there is such a thing as tongue scrapping. It is the act of using a special tool called a tongue scrapper (you can also use a metal spoon) to scrape the excess buildup of toxins off your tongue when you wake up in the morning.
At night, your body works through a sort of rejuvenation and healing process and part of the output is germs and bacteria that buildup on the tongue. Tongue scraping is simple scarping off the layer of toxic buildup instead of ingesting it back into your body. Do you ever wake up feeling thirsty and drink a glass of water immediately upon waking? Well unfortunately, you just swallowed all the toxins back into your body that it worked hard to rid itself of.
Not to worry, tongue scrapping is such a simple and easy task that anyone can add it to their morning routine. The tongue should be softly stroked from back to front for approximately 5-10 times. The amount of time will vary depending on the amount of buildup. Take note that it is okay to rinse off the tool between scrapes if need be.
Many benefits are said to results from the simple two-minute task of tongue scraping. Some of these include improved breath, increased sense of taste, and it is said to stimulate other internal organs through sensory transmission. A great resource is an article written by Sheila Patel, M.D., titled The Benefits of Tongue Scraping.
Oil pulling is an ancient ayurvedic practice of using oil to help rid your teeth and gums of harmful bacteria. It is believed that oil pulling can not only improve your overall health, but whiten teeth, increased clarity of the five senses, and inflammation in the mouth.
Oil pulling in Sanskrit is often referred to as Kaval or Gandush, meaning swishing and holding oil in mouth, respectively. There are several types of oils that can be used such as sesame, sunflower, olive, or coconut. The most widely used oil is coconut, and I myself prefer to use raw unrefined version of this.
To perform oil pulling simply put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and if a tablespoon seems like too much to start feel free to work your way up to this amount. Due to the fact that I use raw unrefined coconut oil, mine is in a more solid form and needs a few minutes to melt in my mouth before I can begin to swish around. It is important to swish the oil periodically throughout your mouth making sure to do so gently. A typical oil pull should last 10-20 minutes.
Nasya, or the act of utilizing oils, herbs, or other medicinal properties through the nasal passage. If your time like me, you might wake up with dry nasal passages. If so, do yourself a favor and start using the Ayurvedic solution called Nasya oil. It has been said that “the nose is the doorway to the brain, mind and consciousness”, therefore it is important to care for your nasal passages just as you would any other part of your body.
Nasya oil, is a formulated oil, used to help balance all dosha types and can be administered two different ways. The first is through drops directly into the nasal passage or by putting small amount on your clean pinky finger and rubbing on the nasal walls.
Once the oil is applied, take a few deep breaths (alternating nostrils) and feel the restoring effects.
Dry brushing is another very straightforward Ayurveda ritual that can be added to your daily practice without disrupting your current routine or adding much time (about 5 minutes). Dry brushing is simply that, the act of brushing your skin while it is dry, typically before getting into the shower. Our skin is the largest organ we have and gets A LOT of daily use and abuse and with that comes gross things like dead skin cells. Dry brushing helps to remove this buildup by clearing out pores and removing toxins.
There are many benefits that can be derived from dry brushing. A few are stimulating the lymphatic system, reducing cellulite, and exfoliating your skin.
Before getting started it is critical to purchase a brush that you will use specifically for dry brushing. The most important thing to remember is that it needs to be a natural bristled brush. Once you have purchased your brush you will want to perform your practice in the shower so that the dead skin cells can be easily washed down the drain (gross I know, but your skin will feel amazing afterward!).
Being your brushing by starting at your feet and using long strokes up towards your heart. Feel free to use circular motions around joints such as the knees and elbows, but continue long brush strokes on your legs, buttocks, arms, and back moving upward toward your heart. Brush only has hard as you feel comfortable taking care to brush several times in areas where fat tend to accumulate.
Dry brushing should be completed at least once a day and once you get started you won’t want to stop!
Golden milk is an Ayurvedic drink centered on the use of turmeric. If you search the internet there are many recipes out there, but the main ingredients are milk and turmeric. The drink is relatively easy to prepare and has many beneficial qualities that include aiding in sleep, reducing constipation, and can serve as a headache remedy.
The best time to drink golden milk is in the evening before bed.
Too good to be true?
After reading through the practices based on Ayurveda rituals you might feel somewhat overwhelmed and that is completely normal. I experienced the same thing when I began to introduce them into my daily routine. However, I hope through reading the article above, I have shown you that things aren’t always as scary as they seem on the surface.
I am in the process of adding all the above mentioned rituals into my daily practice. Let me know how some or all of them go for you!
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