A few months ago our co-founder Joti was fortunate enough to visit family in India before the Covid-19 travel restrictions. On this trip she was reminded of how Ayurveda – the ancient Indian practice of medicine - is ingrained in everyday life. Today we will share some Joti’s top 5 Ayurvedic rituals that you can take part in from your very own home.
Wake up with the sun
One of the biggest shocks of the first days in India was the VERY early rising! The village was loud with activity before the sun even came up. The idea that early morning has the highest energy of the day crosses many cultures. In Islam, the first call to prayer is before sunrise. Buddhists also focus on the value of an early morning meditation ritual. In Hinduism, this time of day is regarded as being the most conducive for making contact with our deepest inner nature and consciousness. Now back in London, I try to get up with the sun to do my morning yoga session. I don’t always succeed but when I do, it feels great! Why not give it a try and see if it dispels any sluggishness?
Try out a tongue scraper
I do not leave home without my tongue scrapper. If I don’t use it morning and night something just doesn’t feel right in my mouth! This simple Ayurvedic practice of tongue scraping removes any bacteria and toxins that can accumulate on the tongue overnight. Not only does tongue scraping invigorate and cleanse, it supports the body’s overall detoxification process. As an added bonus, it’s also an effective weapon against bad breath! Plus, removing this white coating, according to Ayurveda, makes you able to taste food better…that’s a win win in my book!
Plant your feet in nature
I was reminded of this simple pleasure at my Aunt’s while we were touring her urban garden. I went to go and grab my shoes and she was response was – “No beta, you don’t need your shoes, it’s good to feel the earth beneath your feet every day”. Feeling natural ground beneath you—be it dirt, grass, sand or sea—connects us to our essentials selves in a way that staring at computer screens and smartphones never can. Get out in the morning or the afternoon at get planted anyway you can!
Catch those Zzz’s
Early nights in village life were crucial with those sunrise wake ups! It wasn’t difficult as the sunset by 6:30, the temperature dropped considerably and village activity came to a halt by 9pm. We spend roughly 1/3 of our lives asleep, and Ayurveda recognises this as a perfect opportunity to restore your balance. Sleep is the time when your body is able to repair and heal itself. Your mind also become balanced through sleep. Take this opportunity while life has slowed down to ensure you get your 8 hours each night!
Grab some Ghee
While in the traditional kitchen at my family village I was reminded of the incredible qualities of Ghee. Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been revered in India for thousands of years. Because ghee contains no milk residue, it does not need to be refrigerated, and can last years on the shelf. The high smoke point of ghee makes it ideal for cooking.
Because ghee is packed with vitamins and omega-3’s, it has a multitude of benefits, including:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Reduces inflammation
- Full of antioxidants
- Protects eye health
- Boost immune system
- Improves heart health
Eat Breakfast in Silence
Every morning one of my "uncles" (everyone older than you in the village is your aunty/uncle!) sat by himself in silence with his morning tea and roti. This was a form of his daily meditation. When was the last time you sat down alone and enjoyed breakfast in peaceful solitude (without your phone next to you)? Conscious eating helps to bring awareness to our food, aids in digestion and discourages overeating by giving your stomach the time to communicate with your brain that it's full. Give it a try!