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  • Karen Nally

8 Amazing Ayurvedic self care rituals you need in your life right now !

As this amazing summer comes to an end we are finding our bodies bearing the brunt of hot sleepless summer nights , alcohol fuelled summer weddings, over indulging at bbqs , and dehydrated bodies and skin leaving us feeling tired, sluggish, dull and frazzled . Ayurveda one of the oldest known medical systems in the world can play a major part in cleansing , rejuvenating and nurturing our body’s back to health . It has a system of purifying personal care rituals that known as Dinacharya which help to set your tone for the day , balance your body and support a clear and focused mind . Start with two or three and after a week note how you feel, then start to try adding in a few more each week I can guarantee you’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated and ready for a new day every morning 1. Wake before sunrise The first early hours of the day are instrumental in setting your rhythm for the day . Waking before sunrise is a magical time when inspiration, peace and ideas manifest- when the environment is pure ,calm and soothing and the mind is fresh from sleep. It’s a great time to meditate while the mind is clear. 2. Use a tongue scraper Scraping the tongue daily helps to stimulate the internal organs through energetic connections with the rest of the body , improve digestion by increasing your sense of taste and cleanses the body by removing Ama and bacteria from your oral cavity that can cause dental decay or bad breath . By removing any coating from your tongue you improve your ability to taste food which makes it more satisfying so by increasing your taste receptor you will find you eat less and require less sugar or salt to make it more flavourful . A stainless steel scraper is perfect for this . 3. Use a Neti pot A neti pot is a tool used to cleanse out the nasal passage by using a mini tea pot shaped vessel with a long spout filled with a saline solution . The nasal cavity is washed with the solution to flush out mucus from the nose ,sinuses and airwaves. The breath is such an important key to life and Ayurveda holds at its heart the quality that good circulation of the airways is vital to your wellbeing . Making each breath long and deep can improve your health and increase longevity . To use the neti pot the head is tilted forward and to the side and the solution is poured into one nostril and allowed to pour out the other, thereby clearing the nasal passages and sinuses of excess mucus, toxins and debris along the way. Daily use of the neti pot helps us to promote good overall nasal and sinus health and relieves congestion in the head. 4. Drink hot water and lemon Before you drink or eat anything else Ayurveda recommends you drink hot water and lemon. This can many amazing benefits for your body such as *a great boost to your immune system with a healthy shot of vitamin C from the lemons *balancing your body ph level as once the Lemon is ingested the citric acid turns to alkaline to help us lead a healthier alkaline life *Aiding digestion and the lemon acts as a natural diacritic helping to flush toxins out of our system *Promoting healthy skin - vitamin c is essential for clear and wrinkle free skin and and a good dose of water help keep keep skin and body hydrated plumping out wrinkles. 5.Elimination of bowls and bladder every morning. According to Ayurveda, it is important to evacuate the bowels every morning. That's simple enough, or so it sounds. But why is it so important? What happens if you skip a morning, or wait until later? No big deal, you might think. On the contrary, not emptying your bowels in the morning impacts both your physical and psychological well being. Being regular and following nature's, and your own body's, rhythm makes a huge difference in how you feel during the day.If, during the day, you carry around the waste material you created at night, you may absorb some of that waste material into your system. Thus causing the toxins your body is trying to get rid of will be released into your system again, and weaken your immune system. If you don't support your body's natural intelligence to evacuate its waste material, you may feel fatigued, drowsy and irritable during the day. 6.Dry brushing and oil massage Dry brushing is a great way to help the process of lymphatic cleansing and a powerful way to support the removal of Ama ( cellular waste products ) from the body.Traditionally this is preformed using raw silk or linen gloves, though many prefer to use a natural bristle body brush. Dry brushing helps to stimulate the body to encourage drainage of excess mucus and toxins that can stagnate in the body. The brush strokes should be light and long on the long bones and circular on the round bones and should work towards the heart. After dry brushing ( garanshana ) it is important to then use warm oil to massage the body (abhyanga) this form self loving act helps restore the nervous system and help you feel relaxed and calm. Common oils to use include natural organic sesame and coconut oil. 7. Bathe It seems so simple but many people do not include bathing in the daily morning routine often skipping a morning shower to rush of to work early in the morning. Shower or bathing is so important to make the skin feel clean , as once the body is cleaned and refreshed the mind can be too. 8. Yoga and Meditation Yoga is the sister science of Ayurveda , the two have gone hand in hand for thousands of year for those on a path to live a healthier and happier life physically, mentally and spiritually.Yoga asanas are the preferred ayurvedic way to exercise, because practiced properly they do not put undue strain on any one part of the physiology. Yoga asanas increase blood flow to vital organs, stimulate marma points (points in our bodies where concentrated prana is located) and activate the relaxation response, which is beneficial to the digestive system and all the systems of the body essential for good health. Following yoga it is recommended to spend at least 20 minutes practicing meditation- a simple way to do this is is a darkened room with no external distractions ,lie or sit comfortably, wearing loose clothing, close your eyes bring your focus to your breath, become aware of the sound, the feel, the heat of your breath, how your body moves with each breath just use the time to bring your awareness inwards clearing your mind of all distractions. Meditation has been proven to aid concentration, focus, reduce anxiety and stress, and improve sleep. My advice would be to try adding 2 or three of these into your daily routine to start with , note how your feeling maybe in a journal each day , at the end of the week look over your journal and I can guarantee you will begin to see the difference by making a few very simple changes and over time you can start to incorporate all the Ayurvedic daily routine into your life. Karen Nally Email: nally_karen@yahoo.co.uk