5 Easy Ayurvedic Daily Practices
I started getting into Ayurveda, 8 months ago. I was 3 months into living in London and still experiencing constipation, bloating and bad digestion. I put this down to the fact that I moved to a different country and was in a completely new environment. But nothing was improving.
I did some research into Ayurveda, but it was a little hard to understand. I had heard a lot about Sahara Rose and decided to order her book, Ayurveda. I read this book in less than a week. It was life changing. It gave me a deeper understanding of my body. Everything that I was experiencing and how my body reacted made so much more sense. If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurveda I do recommend getting the book! But the first thing to do is to find out what your Dosha is! Your Dosha is the unique energies that create your make up. Here’s a quiz to find out! I’m a Kapha.
I’m sharing with you 5 easy Ayurvedic daily practices, that are in my daily routine. I was doing most of these before getting into Ayurveda but they were never a habit. These are very easy to start and it doesn’t take long for them to be apart of your routine. If it’s a bit overwhelming, start with one until its a habit and then introduce another.
In Ayurveda it is believed that toxins begin at the mouth. While you’re sleeping bacteria, food debris, dead cells and toxins, surface and coat your tongue. Which is why we get morning breath! If you don’t scrape off the bacteria, your tongue reabsorbs them and spreads it throughout your body. This causes a weakened digestive fire, lowered immune system and decreases your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Resulting in imbalances depending on your Dosha. This is why it’s very important to tongue scrape before you consume any drinks or food. Tongue scraping should be the first thing you do when you wake up. The benefits are that it promotes your oral health, increases your immunity system, enhances saliva production to break down food, enhances your taste buds, improves digestion and helps you to poo. So to tongue scrape, hold the tongue scraper with one hand on each end, stick your tongue out and place the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue. Gently scrape from back to front, repeat about 10 times and you will see the bacteria come off. Clean your tongue scraper with hot water and you are done! I recommend using a surgical grade stainless steel tongue scraper!
After tongue scraping, I follow up with oil pulling. All you do is swish oil in your mouth for as long as you can. My choice of oil is sesame oil but you can coconut or olive oil as well. You don’t have to swish the oil for 20 minutes! Just do it for as long as you can. Spit the oil into the trash, not your sink or toilet, as in can clog your pipes! And don’t swallow it because it’s full of toxins. Which is what we want to remove from our body. Then rinse your mouth with warm water and brush your teeth. The benefits of oil pulling are that it promotes oral health, improves breath, whitens teeth, removes stains and it increases the heath of your gums and jaw. For your body, it helps to remove oil-soluble toxins, improving your digestion, reducing inflammation and enhancing your immune system.
DRINK HOT WATER
After tongue scraping and oil pulling I drink hot water with lemon and ginger. Your body easily absorbs hot water, making you more hydrated if you drink warm/hot water. This will help to flush out your lymphatic system, soften, dilate, cleanse and hydrate your body’s tissues. As well as healing and repairing your digestive system, as hot water enhances your digestive fire. Your metabolism and digestion will improve. If you regularly have indigestion, drink hot water before and after your meal to help your digestion. It’s now my preference to drink warm/hot water. I carry around with me a insulated water bottle so I can have warm water at all times.
I like to dry brush before my shower. All you’ll need is a natural bristle dry brush. The rule of thumb is to gently stoke the dry brush onto your dry skin towards your heart. I start at my feet and work my way up. You want to brush each section about 10 times. I do long strokes up my legs, once I reach my stomach I do circular motions anti-clockwise as it promotes digestion, I brush up my back and arms, and lightly across my chest as the skin here is a bit more sensitive. Dry brushing shouldn’t hurt, if it does use less pressure. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells, promotes blood circulation which reduces the appearance of cellulite, and it increases oxygen flow. As it stimulates your lymphatic system, it allows your body it drain out the build up of toxins.
SELF-OIL MASSAGE [Abbyanga]
After dry brushing your skin is dry and exposed so you need to hydrate it with oil. Oil is used because in Ayurveda it’s states that you shouldn’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat. The oil penetrates the deep layers of your body lubricating your joints and hydrating you from within. Benefits are that it enhances detoxification, soften and hydrates your skin, calms your nervous system, releases fatigue, helps your sleep and helps digestion. I like to use sesame oil, but again you can use coconut, almond or olive oil too! To self-oil massage start with a small amount of oil. I start at my feet and work my way up. I rub the oil like I would a normal body lotion. Paying attention to any dry spots —elbows and knees. Add more oil as needed. Once I reach my stomach area, I rub the oil in anti-clockwise to promote digestion and it helps with bloating. Rub up on the right side of the abdomen and down the left. Once I reach my chest I rub strokes towards my heart, helping you to connect with your heart chakra and emotions. I also rub some into my face and neck, you don’t have to but I like to. When I’m done I hop into the shower and shower as normal. You can self-oil massage before or after your shower, it’s whatever you prefer. I just find the steam of the shower let the oil soak into my skin better.
For all the practices that use oil, you can pick the type of oil you use depending on your Dosha:
Vattas: Sesame oil as it is warming and grounding
Pittas: Coconut oil as it cooling and balances Pitta’s fieriness
Kapha: Sesame oil as it energises Kapha’s cool digestive fire
If you decide to try any of these practices or are already doing them, let me know in the comments. I would love to hear about your experience and what your Dosha is!