Ayurveda is the historic Hindu system of medicine based on the idea of equilibrium within the body and utilizes diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing. It started in India over 3,000 years ago. The term Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge);therefore, Ayurveda translates to knowledge of life. As complex or “woo woo hippy”, as my dad would say, this all sounds, there are many ways one can implement ayurvedic techniques into their everyday routine.
According to ayurveda.com, there is a whole routine that one can follow everyday; all the elements of such are found on the website.A simple one accessible to everyone is to start your day off with a glass of water at room temperature. Not only are you dehydrated from your multiple hour fast from that previous night of sleep, but doing this encourages peristalsis, cleans the GI tract, and flushes the kidneys. Beginning the day with coffee or tea causes fatigues of the adrenals, decreases kidney energy, induces constipation, and is habit-forming.
Tongue scraping, Jihwa Prakshalana, is another ayurvedic technique that one can perform upon arising. Because bacteria, debris, and dead cells can build up on your tongue over time, this can cause bad breath and have a negative impact on your overall oral health. If you have ever noticed a white or yellow film on the surface of your tongue? Then your body may have a build-up of ama, or digestive impurities (the result of incomplete or inefficient digestion), that can jeopardize the digestive and immune systems. This simple, yet important, method of cleaning the tongue removes ama, the toxic coating or film, before it gets reabsorbed by the body. One can purchase a tongue cleaner here.
Oil pulling, kavala or gundusha, is simple in that all it requires is one tablespoon of organic coconut oil and 15-20 minutes of swishing. Its health benefits include enhancing oral flora, relieving bad breath, preventing tooth decay, and strengthening the tissue of teeth and gums. Make sure to spit out the oil in the trash or toilet, rather than down the drain, to avoid clogging the drain, do not swallow the oil, and rinse your mouth with warm water.
As for everything, exercise is another important component of ayurvedic practice. Regular exercise, especially yoga, increases strength, endurance and circulation. It helps one relax and have sound sleep, and advances digestion and elimination. What is unique about this exercise is that it does not encourage you to participate in strenuous exercise, but rather exercise daily to half of your capacity, which is until sweat forms on the forehead, armpits, and spine.
Finally, start your day with at least a 15 minute meditation. There are many great and free sources on youtube that one can access based on their focus for meditation: manifestation, stress, self love and gratitude.