Best performed between 6 am and 10 am, during the kapha phase of the day, when you have the most strength, steadiness, and stamina.
- Tongue Cleaning
Tongue cleaning or scraping, is a daily Ayurvedic routine that gently discards undesired poisons and residue off the tongue. By activating the taste buds, this exercise kills bacteria that cause foul breath, draws toxins or ama out of the body, and prepares the digestive system. Traditionally, tongue cleaners are made of copper, which has a naturally strong antibacterial effect. Copper tongue scrapers clean thoroughly and endure longer than plastic or stainless-steel alternatives.
- Gum Massage
Brushing your teeth and flossing are pretty self-explanatory ayurvedic activities. However, one less common practice is gum massage.
Research suggests that rubbing the gums daily with sesame oil reduces oral counts of Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus bacteria - causes of tooth decay and plaque. Sesame oil inhibits bacteria's ability to stick to the tooth and gum surfaces, while massaging the gums promotes circulation to the gum tissue, which strengthens our ojas, or immune system.
- Oil Pulling
Oil pulling, also known as ‘kavala graha’ in Sanskrit, is the practice of drawing or swishing oil through the teeth for twenty minutes to improve overall oral health and cleanliness. Every morning, perform this dinacharya to strengthen gums, whiten teeth, remove plaque, repair enamel, take toxins out of the body, eliminate foul breath, and alleviate TMJ (Temporomandibular Joints) symptoms.
Many people like using coconut oil due to its pleasant taste, accessibility, anti fungal and antibacterial properties. However, other oils like sesame or any edible oil infused with herbs like turmeric, tulasi (holy basil), peppermint, etc. can be utilized.
Ayurveda has a nice way of talking about bowel movements: it's called elimination. The ancient science considers 1-3 bowel movements every day to be healthy and regular, thus if you do not have a bowel movement every day, it is time to take action.
According to Ayurveda if you don't eliminate regularly, you have constipation, which is considered a vata imbalance. Constipation happens when the body is dehydrated and is reabsorbing the water in your stool back into the body. Constipation can be alleviated by consuming more healthful oils, such as ghee.
- Neti and Nasya
According to Ayurveda, the nasal canal is the doorway for prana - our breath and life force energy to enter the body and travel directly to the brain. Hence, it's critical to keep this route clean and healthy by incorporating neti and nasya into your routine.
Neti: Fill a neti pot halfway with lukewarm distilled water and sprinkle with sea salt. Bring to the sink. Tilt your head over the sink and insert the spout into one nostril, inhaling through the other. Allow the water to enter that nose and out the other. Repeat on the opposite side. If necessary, blow your nose and gargle with salt water.
Nasya: You can use a nasya oil, ghee, or sesame oil that has been specially formulated. Apply the oil on your tiny finger and insert it into one nostril while closing the other. A dropper or a squirt bottle can also be used. Sniff the oil up into your nose until you can feel it dripping into the back of your throat. Rep the procedure on the opposite side.
Self-Abhyanga or self-massage is an important part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle as it relaxes the nervous system, enhances sleep and nourishes and hydrates your skin. This technique entails applying generous amounts of heated oil to the skin. It is best done in the morning after garshana (dry body brushing) and before a warm shower or bath.
Starting your day with a nutritious meal is a vital dinacharya because you need the correct energy and nutrients to function and fuel your digestive agni or fire. Ayurveda recommends that a breakfast rich in fresh, complete foods cooked and spiced to one's unique needs is critical for disease prevention and promotion of health and wellness.
*Please note: The information on this website is solely for educational purposes and should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. We do not claim to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases. Kindly consult an Ayurvedic expert or licensed health practitioner before following any remedies suggested here.
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