5 Ayurvedic Self-Care Rituals for Whole Body Relaxation and Rejuvenation
These ancient Ayurvedic self-care rituals are daily, health-boosting practices that will nourish and rejuvenate your body and mind from the inside out. The post 5 Ayurvedic Self-Care Rituals for Whole Body Relaxation and Rejuvenation appeared first on Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.
5 Ayurvedic Self-Care Rituals for Whole Body Relaxation and Rejuvenation
BY SHIVA ROSE
Ayurvedic Self-Care PracticesSlowly incorporate these practices into your day. You can begin with something as small as integrating fresh produce into your diet, massaging your feet before bed, or dry brushing your skin in the morning. These Ayurvedic additions to your daily routine will help you to continuously keep your body in a rhythm and in balance. Once you know your body, you can adjust certain practices.
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1. Tongue ScrapingScraping your tongue every morning can give you clues as to how efficiently your digestive system is functioning. If your tongue is very coated, it usually means there is a lot of ama, or toxicity, in your system. With this Ayurvedic morning routine, you can gauge how well your system is flushing out toxins. To scrape the tongue:
+ Use a stainless-steel tongue scraper (which you can find online or in most health food stores) or a spoon. Gently scrape from the back or base of the tongue forward until you have scraped the whole surface, which is typically accomplished with anywhere between seven and fourteen strokes. This clears away any bacteria. Scraping stimulates the gastric and digestive enzymes to wake up and start working.
+ Rinse out your mouth, and proceed with oil pulling as your next Ayurvedic morning ritual.
2. Oil PullingDuring the night, as you sleep, your body builds up toxins while it is in the resting, cleansing state. Oil pulling allows these toxins to be released. As an Ayurvedic ritual, oil pulling should be done first thing in the morning, before you have anything to drink or eat. Coconut, sunflower, and sesame oil all work well, but coconut oil has the added benefit of whitening your teeth. To practice oil pulling:
+ Take a spoonful of oil and swish it in your mouth for fifteen to twenty minutes (this is the recommended period of time, but sometimes I do it for just a few minutes to feel the freshening and teeth-whitening effects of the coconut oil).
+ It is important to keep the oil in your mouth and not to swallow it. It also is wise to spit it out in either the toilet or the trash can, as it can clog the sink.
+ After you finish oil pulling, brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth very well.
3. Dry BrushingThe skin is our largest organ and is responsible for 25% of the body’s ability to detox, yet we tend to focus our beauty and self-care routines on the face and hands when the whole body deserves reverence and respect. In addition to being an Ayurvedic ritual practice, skin brushing for the whole body has been used for ages in Scandinavia, Russia, Japan, and Greece and by the Cherokee tribe (using dried corncobs), to name just a few examples. Skin brushing helps rid the body of dead skin and also stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory systems, which assist the kidneys and liver in releasing excess hormones that have built up in the organs. Over time, dry brushing can prevent cellulite and help regenerate collagen, and in the short term, it invigorates and energizes you. As you are shedding dead skin, you are also asking to release what no longer serves you. Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic ritual that should be done before bathing or showering; your skin should be dry. To practice dry brushing:
+ Using a body brush with natural bristles (I like ones that have copper in them to help balance electromagnetic fields), start at the feet and move up toward the torso.
+ Using long strokes in the direction of your heart, brush each part of the body six times.
+ Brush so it feels slightly painful but good—like when you get a really deep stretch.
+ To increase the detoxifying effects, follow with a cold shower.
4. Self-MassageIn the West, we consider a massage to be a special treat, but for many in India, massages are a regular part of life and Ayurvedic self-care. Babies and toddlers are massaged daily, and when they are a little bit older, they are taught to massage their family members. Women get daily massages for forty days after giving birth. Once you become accustomed to the health and beauty benefits of massages, you won’t be able to do without them. Fortunately for our wallets, Ayurveda considers self-massage, or abhyanga, to be just as beneficial as a massage given by another.
+ Apply warm oil generously to your body, beginning with your limbs. Use long strokes on your arms and legs and circular motions on your joints. Massage clockwise to release tension, and include areas like your neck and under your arms to target lymph nodes.
+ Massage your abdomen and chest in broad clockwise, circular motions. Follow the path of the intestine on your stomach, moving up on the right side, then down on the left.
+ Apply oil to your crown chakra, working outward in circular motions.
+ Dip your fingertips in the oil and massage your ears.
+ Massage your feet (but make sure to wipe off the oil before you walk).
+ Throughout the massage, send loving intentions to your organs and show gratitude to your body for everything it does for you.
+ Allow yourself enough time so that the oil soaks into your skin before you dress.If you don’t have time for a full massage, you can always take a small scoop of shea butter and give yourself a foot massage before bed. This serves as a form of acupressure, and the shea butter helps moisturize dry skin. At the same time, you’re honoring your feet—which are your foundation—and how much they do for you throughout the day.
5. BathingIn ancient times, bathing was regarded as a gift of health from the gods themselves. Making baths one of your regular Ayurvedic rituals can be a therapeutic activity. Almost every evening, after I have taken care of my work, my daughter, and my animals, I will indulge in a bath. Taking a bath is the perfect way to have nourishing alone time and create a bit of sanctuary for yourself. Baths are cleansing and can enhance physical and mental energy, remove negativity, and relax your body and mind. They’re also a wonderful way to soak up the deeply therapeutic medicine of essential oils and other good-for-the-skin ingredients.
Relaxing Mineral BathOne of my favorite relaxing baths for all doshas is a magnesium bath. Most of us are lacking magnesium due to depleted foods that are the result of overtaxed soil beds. Magnesium is essential for healthy skin and hair, aids in sleep, and can promote a profound sense of calm and well-being. To make the bath:
+ 1 cup magnesium flakes
+ 10 drops of a relaxing essential oil (I like chamomile or lavender)
+ Fill the tub with water that is the ideal temperature for you. Add the magnesium and essential oil before you step in. Soak for 20 minutes or more.Excerpted with permission from Whole Beauty by Shiva Rose (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018.
The post 5 Ayurvedic Self-Care Rituals for Whole Body Relaxation and Rejuvenation appeared first on Conscious Lifestyle Magazine.