3 Ayurvedic Well-Being Techniques Your Routine Is Missing
We're big ayurveda fans here at mindbodygreen; the 5,000-year-old medicine practice from India is centered around disease prevention and a holistic approach to caring for the body, and experts swear by it.
From its use of blood-sugar-balancing herbs to an emphasis on self-care rituals, you'd be amazed how applicable the ancient practice is to health and well-being today—and that includes its use of "kriyas."
Kriyas are yogic cleansing techniques, and many are still practiced around the world today. Some may be a little intense for those just beginning to explore ayurveda, but the following three are super simple—especially given their tremendous benefit!
First, and probably the most common of the kriyas, is tongue scraping or jihwa prakshalana. And it's exactly what it sounds like.
Many toxins like bad bacteria and dead cells within the body wind up on our tongues as our bodies try to get rid of them, so tongue scraping is a means to get rid of all that nasty buildup. Not only that, but it's actually more effective than brushing your teeth when it comes to improving bad breath.
And the good news is, it couldn't be easier to incorporate into your routine.
If you're not convinced yet, here are five reasons you should give tongue scraping a try. Get started with these copper tongue-scrapers.
Enter oiling pulling, or gundusha. This practice involves swishing oil (traditionally sesame, but coconut or sunflower oil work too!) around your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes and then spitting it out along with all the toxins it drew out of your body. Afterward, your teeth and gums will be shiny and smooth, and your mouth will have less bad bacteria and better breath. Have you grabbed your coconut oil out of the cabinet yet?
Plus, oil pulling helps maintain overall oral health with its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. Just be sure to spit it in a garbage can when you're done—it can clog drains, and you definitely don't want to swallow it.
If you're curious to learn more, here's everything you need to know about oil pulling.
And last but not least is the neti pot. Folks seem to shy away from this one, but we promise once you get the hang of it, you'll never look back.
Neti pots are a tool used for flushing out your sinuses with saline solution. Yes, like pouring saltwater into your nose. If you didn't already know, your sinuses are actually cavities in your forehead, cheekbones, and nose, and when they're inflamed, you feel it. (Hello, stuffy noses, sinus infections, and sinus headaches.)
By flushing out those cavities, nasal irrigation (referred to as jala neti in Sanskrit) prevents buildup of mucus and allergens, relieves sinus pressure, and helps moisten dry nasal passages. And as an added bonus, in the yoga community, it's thought to help unblock your third-eye chakra.
It may take a couple of tries to get the technique down, but it's an excellent preventive measure if you're prone to seasonal allergies and sinus infections. Here's our complete guide to using a neti pot.
With 2020 right around the corner, we hope you'll give these cleansing techniques a try to help you feel your best this year. They're simple, effective, affordable, and they've been practiced for generations. And if you're just beginning to dip your toes into the world of ayurveda, here's a good place to start.
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