3 Health-Boosting Morning Ayurvedic Practices (That Only Take a Few Minutes)
Traditionally, Ayurveda requires daily commitment to see change. But this commitment does not have to be a challenge. You can start small with the simple practices. Below are three ways to (easily) implement Ayurveda into your life. (Each practice complements every type of dosha.) Incorporate these into your morning routine, pay attention to how you feel, and from there you can grow your Ayurvedic practice. This beauty of this holistic science is that it's accessible and available to everyone—at any time.
The ritual of drinking warm or room temperature water first thing upon waking—also referred to as Ushapan—is a staple therapy in Ayurvedic medicine. The practice cleanses the intestine, stimulates digestion and the kidneys, hydrates the body, flushes toxins, and helps to prevent disease. Every morning drink a glass of warm or room temperature water (depending on your dosha) first thing before eating or consuming anything else. (Classic Ayurvedic wisdom recommends drinking water from a copper vessel.)
Oil pulling or gandush promotes oral health and combats physical issues like migraine headaches. It’s also a great way to flush toxins from the body and to remove the impurities that lead to acne, rashes, and skin discoloration. Each morning, before breakfast, take a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil or sesame oil and swish it in your mouth for (ideally) about five minutes, then spit it out. Be sure to brush and clean your tongue thoroughly, as you don’t want the impurities in the oil to stay in your mouth.
It's intuitive to cleanse the tongue to prevent bad bread but Ayurveda has long lauded this practice as a critical step in maintaining overall oral care. Tongue scraping—or Jivhanirlekhana—takes only a few moments but results in profound benefits, including maintaining the tongue's sensation, improving taste, removing buildup and impurities (referred to as ama). With a tongue scraper (one can be purshed online or at some health food stores) gently scrape or stroke the tongue several times to remove buildup.