- Sipping hot/warm water when you first get up and throughout the day. Not drinking ice-y drinks with meals.
This is number one because, not only is it so easy to do, it has such a major impact. In the portion of the Veda that deals with the art of warfare, one of the strategies to disable your opponent is to infiltrate their population and popularize the drinking of cold beverages because it is so weakening to the system. Ayurveda is all about digestion and ice-y drinks especially with meals puts out “agni” or digestive fire. If there is no digestive fire to transform your food, it cannot be digested creating “ama,” or undigested particles in the body, a major source of disease. Drinking a cup of hot water when you first get up wakes up your digestive system and sipping it throughout the day keeps your digestive fire stoked.
2. Catching “the kapha train,” as in sleeping during the 10–2AM time period
Ayurveda is all about aligning our bodies with the rhythms of nature, so we are designed to go through different cycles during the day. The 10 to 2 time period is when the body is geared to rest the most deeply, do most of its purification work and when it regulates its hormones. This is the time period for melatonin production, so if you’re in the habit of going to bed after this time, chronic insomnia can become a problem.
3. Scraping the tongue in the morning
This one is super easy and very beneficial. The white stuff on the tongue is “ama,” undigested material, and scraping it as the first thing you do when you get up keeps the gunk from recycling back into the system.
4. Refrain from heating honey
If you ask and Ayurvedic Vaidya (a practitioner of Ayurveda) in India what is the hardest thing to purify out of the body, they will likely say honey or peanut butter. Honey is one of the best things to consume, unless it’s heated. When honey is baked or put in very hot liquid, it changes its structure. Honey also is known for never going bad, this is because it incapsulates any toxicity which just passes through the system normally. However, if it’s heated, it releases this toxicity. If you like drinking honey in your tea, wait until it is a drinkable temperature before mixing it in.
5. Oiling the body (abhyanga, oil pulling, nasya)
Ayurveda is huge when it comes to keeping the body well oiled. A daily abhyanga is such a luxurious addition to your self-care routine. It greatly helps the immune system creating almost like a force field around you, and does away with wrinkles. Nasya (oil drops for the nose) and oil pulling (swishing oil in the mouth) also promotes mental clarity and a host of other benefits). Here’s a guide to self-abhyanga if you’re curious. I do all three of these in the morning and it usually only takes me about 30 minutes in which I’m also making breakfast for my kids while the oil is soaking in.
6. Eating most food cooked
Ayurveda is not a big proponent of the raw foods diet. This is because Ayruveda is all about digestion as I mentioned above. A food may have a wonderful nutritional profile, but if you can’t digest it properly, it doesn’t matter what vitamins and minerals it has. Cooking food, especially during the cold months, helps the food become more digestible. Some raw is okay in the summer or for people with very strong digestion.
7. Eating fresh food in season
Since Ayurveda is about aligning yourself with nature, it makes sense to eat the food in your area in the season its harvested. Eating a pineapple while a snow storm is raging outside confuses the system and can create ama.
Kristen Vandivier is an instructor of Vedic Meditation and the founder of The Vedic Method and Meditation Without Borders. She is regarded for her ability to make profound teachings relevant to everyday life and her mission of promoting meditation for social change. After completing an intensive curriculum of training under renowned Master Maharishi Vyasananda Thom Knoles, including a three-month immersion program in the Himalayas, Kristen returned to found her practice. She lives in Mill Valley with her husband and three small children.
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Originally published at https://www.thevedicmethod.com on March 11, 2021.