Ayurveda teaches that both nourishment and detoxification are equally important to maintain a healthy body. Most of us are familiar with the ideas of nourishment for the body. However many are not aware that our well-being is also dependant on the proper elimination of excesses from our body that are otherwise harmful.
Here are some simple ideas to kick-start our day with a dose of morning cleansing techniques.
1. Jihva Prakshalana (tongue cleansing)
Ayurveda recommends the daily practice of Jihva prakshalana (also known as jihva dhauti) or tongue cleansing. While we are asleep the body removes toxins by depositing them on the surface of the tongue. You can notice a whitish or yellowish coating appears on your tongue in the morning.
These discharged debris and toxins can absorb back into the body and therefore should be scraped away. The coating also accumulates bacteria and can be a reason for bad breath. Jihva prakshalana is done using a tongue scraper as shown here. You can cleanse the tongue daily when you brush your teeth.
2. Neti (nasal cleansing)
Hatha yoga teaches many kinds of cleansing techniques (shatkarmas) targeted for different areas of the body. However it is important to receive proper guidance from a Yoga teacher before you attempt any of the different kinds of shatkarma techniques such as neti, dhauti, basti and nauli. However one particular kind of neti, namely Jala neti (water neti) can be done easily at home using a neti pot. Jala neti cleanses the nasal passage of mucus blocks. Use a neti pot to pour water into one nostril and let the water to flow out through the other nostril. Keep your head tilted. Use only clean sterile water (mix a bit of non-iodized salt). Do a few rounds of Kapalabhati (forceful exhalation of air through the nose repeatedly) after neti. However I would suggest performing jala neti occasionally and not daily (unless you have been prescribed a time period as a therapy).
3. Start your day with a glass of warm water
Start your day with a glass of warm water. Water is a natural purifier. This is one the best thing to do in the morning. Water helps flush out toxins and fires up your metabolism. Continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It may be a simple thing to do but a lot of people forget about it. Try to create fix intervals in which you make it a habit to drink water. You can also keep a water flask with you and easily monitor the amount of your daily intake.
Knowing your Ayurvedic body constitution type will help you to adjust your water consumption accordingly. Kapha body tends to hold water more than Vata and Pitta. Vata people tend to pass urine more frequent and their body gets dehydrated more quickly.
4. Add some lemon juice
The liver does a lot of the detoxification work in our body. Lemon juice is perhaps the best natural way to stimulate and activate the liver. Lemon juice is also beneficial for those who are trying to lose weight as it enhances the liver’s ability to eliminate excess fat from the body.
Cut one lemon fruit into two halves. Squeeze one half of the lemon into a glass of water (use warm water) and drink it first thing in the morning. You can also use the other half in the same way just before going to bed.
5. Enjoy a cup of green tea or herbal tea
Your daily fluid intake can be fulfilled with other interesting and tasty with healthy options like green tea and herbal teas. There are so many kinds of herbal teas that you can explore. They also contain important antioxidants that help the body to detox unwanted free radicals.
However avoid using laxative teas without expert guidance. Laxatives are normally used in therapy to aid a problematic colon but not necessary good for daily consumption.
Image courtesy of happykanppy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
6. Rejuvenate with Surya Namaskara
Those who practice Surya Namaskara – Sun salutation in the morning knows how wonderful it feels and how much the practice makes our body and mind ready for the day’s work. Yoga asanas (yoga postures) in a Sun salutation has many benefits and detoxification is one of them. Yoga asanas massage and invigorate our internal organs like the liver, kidney, stomach and intestines as well as our lymphatic and nervous system. Surya Namaskara is also very helpful in improving blood circulation.
Alternatively going for a light jog is also good for a morning detox as it can help you to sweat. Sweating is another natural way of getting rid of toxins through the skin.
Now, you are ready!