Living Yoga | 11 Ayurveda Inspired Practices You Should Adopt
“That person who always eats wholesome food, enjoys a regular lifestyle, remains unattached to the objects of the senses, gives and forgives, loves truth, and serves others, is without disease.” — Vagbhata Sutrasthana
Ayurveda is India’s traditional, natural system of medicine that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. It is an integrated approach to preventing and treating illness through lifestyle and natural remedies. Ayurveda's wisdom is based on the idea that everything existing in the cosmos appears in the body. To stay healthy, our bodies need to be in harmony and self-correct, just as the universe does.
- Get up thirty minutes before sunrise and offer an intention for the day.
- Drink a large glass of warm water on an empty stomach. This flushes the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys and encourages a regular bowel movement. “Water therapy” cures numerous diseases.
- Scrape the whole surface of your tongue from back to front 5 to 10 times with a stainless steel tongue scraper. Brush your teeth. Gargle with warm sesame oil.
- Brush your body with a dry body brush. Brush your limbs toward your heart.
- Massage your body with warm sesame oil. Massage all over, starting from your feet or head for 5 to 10 minutes. This nourishes the skin and loosens toxins. Leave oil on for 10 minutes, and then follow with a warm shower.
- Use a neti pot to cleanse the nasal passages. This helps clean the sinuses and improves the voice, vision, and mental clarity. Place a drop of sesame oil in each nostril.
- Practice alternate nostril breathing. Use your right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale, and then inhale through the left nostril. Then, close the left nostril with your right ring finger and release the right nostril. Exhale, and then inhale through the right nostril. This completes one cycle of breathing. Continue for 7 cycles.
- Exercise. A light walk and/or a series of yoga sun salutations for twenty to thirty minutes is recommended.
- Be present all day in your work. Appreciate the good things and try not to react to difficulties. Know when to make an effort and when to surrender to life's circumstances with grace and a smile.
- Your largest meal should be eaten between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Consume dinner before the sun goes down. Eat fruit alone—never combined with a meal. Room temperature water is recommended throughout the day.
- Get to bed by 11 p.m. Reflect on gratitude.
If this list seems daunting, make one change at a time. Continuity is the secret to success. Ayurveda wisdom gives each of us the means to live in balance. How we live our daily life is a factor that either builds up our health or wears us down.
Take a few moments out of your day to do things the Ayurveda way.
Photo by Tony Frantz