Ayurveda awakens us to our own natural wholeness and teaches us ways to reclaim health from inside us.
Ayurvedic principles remind us that we are self-healing beings and that we can maintain—or regain—good health by choosing healing foods, a balanced lifestyle, including adopting daily and seasonal rituals, and inner calm.
Countless individuals with beginning, chronic, or advanced disorders have reclaimed their health and well-being, simply by instrumenting lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes impact core personal areas of food, rest and sleep, sexual and behavioral self-regulation. All of these changes take place in the overall context of a prescribed daily regimen, known as dinacharya, and seasonal regimen, known as ritucharya.
While performing all 9 of these rituals may not be possible every day, do your best to perform as many as you can and you will reap many benefits.
Ayurveda encourages daily elimination by ensuring a lighter and easy-to-digest meal the night before. The herb Triphala, taken the night before, can also assist regularity in elimination. If chronic constipation persists or there are other elimination irregularities, an Ayurvedic Vaidya (healer) should be consulted. Squatting can also promote the urge and so will a drink of warm water first thing in the morning (if required).
Splashing the face and eyes with cool water is great to begin with, and then taking 12 handfuls of water to rinse the mouth fully is recommended. The water should be swished in the oral cavity with vigor so that food particles can get dislodged.
The teeth should be brushed with herbal toothpastes and powders that have a predominance of astringent and bitter tastes with some pungent taste also. Sweet-tasting products promote dental decay rather than discourage it, according to Ayurveda.
The tongue can be cleaned using U-shaped tongue cleaners and the copper ones work great for almost all people and dosha types. Caution should be exercised that the tongue is scraped gently without any abrasion and damage.
In healthy people, an additional ritual called gandush can be performed. This is when one fills the oral cavity to maximum capacity with warmed sesame oil and holds it for as long as one can (with cheeks in full blown position) and then spit it out. This procedure nourishes the entire oral cavity and strengthens teeth, gums, jaws, voice, etc and works excellently to combat TMJ. However, one should check with an Ayurvedic Vaidya before embarking upon this ritual, as digestion and elimination should be in optimal condition before attempted.
Ayurveda recommends that people who wish to maintain their health should apply oil on their body daily: a small ritual of self-massage, called abhyanga, with warm sesame oil is recommended, followed by a bath or a shower with hot water.
Yoga postures are recommended to keep the body flexible, and one should try to customize the personal yoga practice based upon needs of the body and the requirements of the Ayurvedic constitution (as per recommendations of the Ayurvedic Vaidya).
Pranayama, or breath discipline, not only infuses the body with prana (vitality) and healthy oxygen, but also begins to balance the mind, as according to Ayurveda, the breath and mind have a close relationship.
The calming effect of pranayama naturally leads into a meditative state, if we so seek to enter. Mediation aligns body, mind and soul. In meditation, I become one with bliss within myself. Be sure to include your personal meditation practice, or try any one of the meditations on my growing Meditations & Mantras YouTube playlist.
Transform your life using the wisdom of Ayurveda in my online course, Alchemy through Ayurveda. In this course, I invite you to reimagine health and wellbeing through the lens of authentic, mind-calming, soul-enriching Ayurveda. By taking this course, you will benefit from my 2000-year-old one-of-a-kind Vedic lineage in India. You will enjoy ancient traditions for promoting mental and physical health in all their wholeness on your path to rejuvenating wellness.
Acharya Shunya is a globally-recognized spiritual teacher and Vedic lineage-holder who awakens health and consciousness through the Vedic sciences of Ayurveda, Vedanta and Yoga. She is the driving force behind an online wisdom school and worldwide spiritual community, and the author of best-selling book on the Vedic art of mind + body + soul well-being and health, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom (Sounds True, 2017) and forthcoming second book with Sounds True to be released in 2020, Sovereign Self. Acharya Shunya is a keynote speaker at national and international conferences, and serves as an advisor to the Indian Government in matters pertaining to global integration and cultivation of Ayurveda and Yoga. Receive her free online teachings and browse her current eCourse offerings here or see more about her on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. Study Ayurveda with Acharya Shunya in her online course, Alchemy through Ayurveda.