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Ayurvedic Guidelines for a Healthy New Year

I recommend that you choose one or more of these healthy [Ayurvedic] habits and start to practice them daily to further improve your health.

Use a tongue scraper first thing in the morning.

Utilizing a tongue cleaner or scraper daily in the morning removes the toxins which have accumulated overnight and stimulates the organs, so that they function more optimally. Upon rising, scrape your tongue before brushing your teeth or drinking or eating anything.  A stainless steel tongue scraper is good but a copper tongue scraper is preferred especially for the Kapha type.  (They can be ordered online or found in some health food stores for about $6).

Oil pulling (swishing) with sesame oil after brushing your teeth.

To strengthen your teeth and gums and improve your facial skin and hair, swish some organic sesame oil around in your mouth for 5-10 minutes daily.  Do so after you scrape your tongue and brush your teeth.  After pushing and pulling the oil through your teeth spit it out and rinse your mouth out with warm water.  Massaging your gums with your fingers will be even more beneficial for your gums.  (Use sesame oil for these mentioned health benefits, not coconut oil unless you have a mouth ulcer or infection in the mouth cavity).

Use turmeric in your cooking.

Turmeric is one of the most healing spices available.  It's anti-inflammatory, a blood purifier and an effective digestive aid that improves the absorption of nutrients.   If you are a Vata or Pitta [dominant] type, make what is called "golden milk" by adding 1 tspn of organic turmeric powder (with some ginger and a big pinch of black pepper) to about 2 cups of organic cow or goat milk, warm it in a pan and drink it at night before bed.   However, the easiest way to utilize turmeric is when cooking your vegetables, lentils or legumes.   By using turmeric with other spices like coriander, cumin, black pepper, mustard seeds and ginger it will improve your digestion, help many intestinal issues especially those with acidity and inflammation.  (Comparatively, tomato sauces will aggravate any intestinal issues and increase the level of inflammation and pain in the body.)   Generally, turmeric should be cooked with oils or added to a fatty food like milk or ghee for its benefits not simply taken in a capsule or tincture form.

Give yourself a daily oil massage, Abhyanga.

If you have chronic dry skin then just putting lotions on your skin does not resolve this imbalance. The dryness is inside the body, and that is where it needs to be addressed so taking additional amounts of healthy fat is a good start.  Additionally, doing a self oil massage of your whole body with warm oil, or abhyanga, and then taking a warm shower afterwards will allow the oil to penetrate into the skin and help relieve the dryness at a deeper level.  Note: For any oil massage, use the proper oil to suit your dosha/body-type:  For the Vata dominant person use a warming oil like sesame oil, for the Pitta dominant type use a cooling oil coconut or sunflower oil, and for the Kapha type use an invigorating and heating oil mustard seed oil.

Practice breathing practices daily, Pranayama.

Improve your energy levels, vitality, breathing, and reduce nasal congestion with daily breathing practices! There are various types of breathing practices called Pranayama in Ayurveda which have a multitude of health benefits so it is important to do the techniques suitable for you and learn from someone who knows how to do them properly.

Follow a regular schedule.

A key Ayurvedic health guideline is to live in harmony with nature's natural cycles within the body. This includes having the same times daily for rising, eating, sleeping, exercising, working, etc. The more that we follow a daily schedule of activities the better our body will be able to remain balanced and healthy with strong digestion and regular elimination.   Keeping erratic schedules deranges Vata dosha, degrades digestion and weakens the immune system.

I hope by adding a few new habits to your daily routine you can transform your health in 2020! Please contact me for more assistance, Khabir.

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