The Vedas—Indian scriptures on spirituality and life that date back over 5,000 years—document the early teachings of Ayurveda. The literal definition of Ayur signifying life and Veda is knowledge. This science describes that the mind and body are inextricably linked and using the mind to heal and transform the body is one of the most effective ways.
While some old techniques disappear with the passage of time, Ayurveda rituals help become more attuned to the body and create a better awareness of what is needed to live a happy, healthy, joyous, and bountiful existence.
- Get up and shine
Get out of bed at least 20 minutes before sunrise to beat the sun. During these pre-dawn hours, Vata energy fills the air, and as Vata is associated with movement, this is the best time to awaken your body. Vata energy is replaced by Kapha, or muscular energy when sunlight brightens the sky. Sleeping past sunrise causes pollutants to clog the communication channels, making the mind feel dull.
- Begin with water
Drink a glass of lukewarm water flavored with a fresh slice of lemon or lime. The Ayurvedic logic is twofold; warm water stimulates the gastrointestinal system and peristalsis, which keeps things moving by causing waves of muscle spasms within the intestinal walls. Second, lemons and limes are high in minerals and vitamins, which aid in the digestion of ama (toxins).
- Oil Pulling
According to traditional Indian beliefs, the mouth is a mirror that reflects the overall health, which is where oil pulling comes in. Oil pulling, as described in the ancient ayurvedic writings Charak Samhita and Sushruta Samhita, is the act of swishing oil in one’s mouth to increase oral hygiene. It can aid with removing ama (excess pollutants and poisons from the mouth), refreshing breath, and even tooth whitening. It should be done first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, for up to 20 minutes.
- Tongue Scrapping
Jiwa prakshalana, or tongue scraping, has scientific backing and is recommended by health professionals. The digestive system stays active when a person sleeps, clearing toxins from the body by depositing them on the surface of the tongue. They become reabsorbed by the body and can lead to respiratory difficulties, digestive disorders, and a damaged immune system.
Preventing halitosis (bad breath), raising your immunity, improving your overall oral health, and enhancing your sense of taste are all advantages of tongue scraping.
- Adaption of a well balanced diet
Ayurveda method emphasizes what one eats and how to eat it. It tells that not only is the quality of the food crucial for health but also how one connects with food is just as important. Thus, cooking, working with fresh foods, sharing meals with loved ones, and eating mindfully (chewing carefully, distinguishing distinct flavors, smelling on the plate all contribute to food being so medicinal.
- Abhyanga (Massage)
One of the most sought-after routines for balancing the vitiated Vata Dosha in the body is oiling and massaging the skin in specific strokes and motions. Abhyanga refers to the passage of nourishment to all of the body tissues, causing them to shine with health. Massage the oil onto your body with herbal or medicated oil for 15-20 minutes to help tone muscles, hydrate skin, relax the nervous system, and calm the body and mind.
- Meditation, Pranayama and Yoga
According to Ayurveda, the best sequence to undertake these activities is to begin with yoga, then with breathing, or pranayama, and last with meditation. These practices have evolved into a variety of disciplines with an original goal of harmonizing the breath and movement of the body.
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According to the Vedas, Buddhism, and old Ayurvedic teachings (such as the Cakara Samhita), achieving human existence is the most significant gift nature has bestowed on us humans. In all aspects of the ongoing dance of life, the 5,000-year-old science of Ayurvedic rituals holds all the secrets to living, sustaining, and conserving a beautiful long life.