Ayurveda is ancient Indian science and philosophy that focuses on the vital health of the whole individual, including the physical, energetic, psychological and spiritual. Living a balanced Ayurvedic life includes taking care of the physical body with yoga, meditation, healthful eating for your Dosha, and a hygiene ritual called Dinacharya.
One of the more traditional components of the morning ritual is tongue scraping. Your mouth in general, and particularly your tongue can reveal a lot about your health, specifically your digestive system. So, treating the tongue as a specific area of the body of hygiene focus is important. In addition to removing bacteria, scraping your tongue stimulates your digestive fire and enzymes.
Kick off the not-so-new-year with this morning Dinacharya that’s believed to promote health and prevent disease. You may have to adjust your schedule to allow yourself the time to get up and accommodate a new routine, but see what it does for your physical and mental health.
1. Wake up - Be aware of your body, focus your awareness on positive things. You may even choose to say a prayer and express gratitude. By the way, the optimal times to wake up based on your Dosha are: KAPHA 3:00 – 4:30 am; PITTA 4:00 – 5:30 am; VATA 5:00 – 6:30 am.
2. Nature calls – Go to the restroom as needed.
3. Wash the face - Wash face, mouth, and eyes – be sure to wake up your eyes with some simple eye exercises.
4. Brush your teeth & scrape your tongue - Scrape the tongue with a tongue scraper from base to tip. You’ll be amazed at the funk you’ll get off of your tongue. Some practitioners gargle with sesame oil, and rinse their mouth with a Triphala powder mixture as well. But, there’s only so much time in the morning…
5. Drink water – Drink a glass of room temperature water on an empty stomach.
6. Self-massage - Abhyanga is a self-oil massage that stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system. Traditionally sesame oil is used. Start with your feet and work your way up to your scalp.
7. Clean out your nasal passages – Using a neti pot with a distilled water, saline & bicarbonate mixture flushes out bacteria harboring mucus that accumulated in the night. Once you’ve cleaned out your nose, you can place a couple of drops of sesame oil just inside the tip of your noise to moisturize your nasal passages. (I use a mixture of sesame oil, lavender and eucalyptus).
9. Yoga & Meditation – I try to do at least 30 minutes of yoga, followed by pranayama and 15 minutes of meditation.
15. Breakfast - Eat according to your dosha. Here’s a great article from Body + Soul Australia on eating for your dosha.
It may seem like a daunting routine, but it’s really not once you get into the habit and you’d be surprised at how much better you feel. Try it out, and see for yourself.
- Your Charmed Yogi