Many of us in the yogic world are familiar with the term Ayurveda, while many others respond with a blank stare. Although becoming more common place, Ayurveda is still very much an elusive concept and healing art to the Western world. Ayurveda can be defined as a system, which uses the inherent principles of nature, to help maintain health in a person by keeping the individual’s body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with nature.
Ayurveda is the ancient healing medicinal system used in India, and dates back as early as 300A.D. It’s goal is to aid in the treatment and prevention of dis-ease by bringing the body back into its own natural state of homeostatic equilibrium.
Ayurveda teaches that we are a microcosm. A tiny universe exists within the self that not only mimics the world at large, but also interfaces with the external world around us. This healing system combines lifestyle with nutrition to create a holistic model of health by examining how the many different qualities of relationship play out as internal forces within the body or external forces from the environment.
Practice listening to the body and how it interacts while implementing these few Ayurvedic rituals into your daily lifestyle regime:
1. Upon rising, start your day with a warm glass of purified water with fresh lemon. This will help activate digestive fire, also known as agni, and get peristalsis moving in the digestive tract. The lemon is rich in natural vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes that will help cleanse the liver and pull toxins, or ama, out of the gastrointestinal tract.
2. Invest in a tongue scraper (or a metal spoon). Have you ever looked at your tongue in the morning? Most often there will be a white, even yellowish coating that resides along the middle towards the back of the tongue. This is built up ama or toxins that have accumulated in the gastrointestinal tract overnight. By scraping the tongue back to front 7-14 times, this will help dislodge unwanted ama while stimulating the taste buds to prepare for your morning meal.
3. Embrace the cold! There is no better way to enliven the system up than by splashing the face with cold water roughly 7 times in the morning. In addition, you can also bathe the eyes with cold water while blinking the eyes open and closed, moving them from side to side and up and down. The body becomes incredibly dehydrated overnight and bathing the eyes and face with cold water helps rehydrate the skin while the cold stimulates the optic nerve in the eye and sensory nerves in the face.
By Caryn Kilback - Ayurvedic Marmatherapist