Exploring Ayurveda

Have you ever heard of the traditional Indian medicine system called Ayurveda?  If you’ve read any of Deepak Chopra’s books, you may be familiar with the philosophy.  Ayurveda is translated as the “knowledge of life”.  Some refer to it as the “science of life”, and it has been in existence for over 5,000 years.  To anyone (Indian or not) who follows Auyrvedic practices, it is more than a system of medicine….it is India’s gift as a guide to life.  One’s temperament and physical characteristics are classified into three categories called doshas.  Each dosha is balanced by diet and lifestyle habits.  Some of those habits are universal across the three doshas.  I have been practicing two of those universal habits on a daily basis for the last couple of months.

First of all, I have been drinking an 8 ounce glass of warm lemon water first thing in the morning.  I am using fresh, organic lemons.  You only need 1/2 of a small lemon for the water.  Lemons are rich in immune-boosting vitamin C, as well as potassium for regulating blood pressure.  Lemons are an alkaline food (once they have been ingested), which helps to regulate your pH….keeping your body systems in balance!  The warm water stimulates your GI tract, aiding in digestion and elimination.  This beverage also functions as a gentle diuretic.  Perhaps the most important aspect of warm lemon water is its capacity to aid your body in detoxification.

The second Ayurvedic practice that I have been trying is dry skin brushing.  I purchased a long-handled stiff-bristled brush at the health food store.  I imagine any store with a decent cosmetics department would have these.  Before I get into the shower (and with the brush dry, NOT wet) I begin dry brushing my body starting at my feet.  I brush up my feet, calves, and thighs.  I brush up my buttocks and back, then up from my belly to my chest.  I outstretch my arms and brush from my hands, up my arms, and over my shoulders.  I brush up my back  to my neck.  All of these motions are moving up my body and toward my heart.  Then I finish by brushing  from my shoulders down toward my heart.  Dry skin brushing stimulates my lymph system.  Lymph does not circulate on its own like blood.  It needs stimulation and movement to circulate and benefit our bodies.  Exercise, yoga, massage, and dry skin brushing move the lymph!  It’s very stimulating and invigorating 🙂

Ayurveda is quite complex in its totality, but these simple practices can give you a taste of this ancient Indian science of life!

Comments are closed