Are you aware how important this is?
Ayurveda teaches that “the habits and routines of a person’s life are the single most important determinant of their well-being.” Those are strong words!
“Healthy habits create a healthy life, unhealthy habits create an unhealthy life. This can not be overemphasized… It is here, in the lifestyle, that we most often identify the causative factor of disease. Thus, healing can not completely occur unless we correct the habits that are causing ill health and adopt habits that bring about harmony and healing,” says Dr. Marc Halpern in “Principles of Ayurvedic Medicine.”
Dr. Halpern goes on to say that “proper Ayurvedic lifestyle centers around the three Pillars of Life: digestion (food), creativity (sex) and rest (sleep). Healthy habits in these three areas assure a person of maximum longevity in this life. These three areas of life go to the core of one’s behaviors and thus to a very deep place within a person’s consciousness. When harmony is achieved in these areas, a person’s consciousness has evolved to a very high state. How a person lives is a reflection of their consciousness. Vedanta philosophy teaches that each person’s experience and their life is a reflection of what is happening within their consciousness. Hence, changing how one lives is the equivalent of changing one’s consciousness.”
So what do we mean by “proper Ayurvedic lifestyle”? At the core of Ayurveda is adopting healthy lifestyle practices. Watch for additonal posts with lifestyle recommendations to help ensure that you are are creating a life of balance.
Let’s begin with tongue scraping. The tongue is the entry way to the digestive system. In fact, it is the only part of the digestive tract that is easily accessible and observable. Most of us don’t generally think much about it, but there is much information that can be gained from examining the tongue. Each morning, soon after arising, get in the habit of inspecting your tongue. Does it have a coating on it? This is ama, or incompletely digested food, and it can lead to problems if not removed. To remove it, use a tongue scraper, which are commonly available at health food stores, drug stores, and online (but don’t use a toothbrush; it can actually drive the toxins deeper into the tongue). Scrape from the back of the tongue to the front, applying a gentle but firm pressure. Scrape about 5 to 10 times, wash the tongue scraper, dry and store with your toothbrush.
Tongue cleaning has been a recommended practice in Ayurveda for over 5,000 years. Daily tongue scraping removes ama (toxins), freshens the breath, and improves agni (digestive fire). An extraordinarily simple practice which can have important, far-reaching effects upon your health!
By Marisa Laursen, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T.