6 Ayurvedic wellness rituals to practice everyday and the science behind them


6 Ayurvedic wellness rituals to practice everyday and the science behind them

Detoxify your life

By Shweta Gandhi  April 25th, 2018

According to ancient Indian teachings, following these daily Ayurvedic wellness rituals that are aligned with the cycles of nature sets a rhythm to your life that can improve your overall wellbeing and health. This equates to sleeping and waking up in tandem with the sun, and following a routine of morning and night practices (known as dinacharya in Ayurvedic terms) that effectively reduce stress and infuse your life with positivity and increased levels of energy. ELLE got Dr Manoj Kutteri, wellness director at Atmantan Wellness Resort, to shed light on the Ayurvedic wellness rituals that you should inculcate into your daily life.

“Start your day with oil pulling, which is using oil as a mouthwash. After that, use a tongue scraper and then brush your teeth. You can use neem powder or the bark of a guava tree to brush. Post that, drink 2-3 glasses of warm water with lemon to cleanse your bowels. Then, start with some basic exercises and follow up with a warm oil massage. Wash off the oil in a hot shower using a herbal scrub. After bathing, dry your head and rub rasnadi powder on the vertex of your head. Also, throughout the day, drink copper-charged water,” recommends Dr Manoj. Practicing this routine is guaranteed to invigorate you. Read on to find out the positives of each ritual.

6 Ayurvedic wellness rituals and their benefits, explained:

Using warm oil for a body massage

"Massaging your body with warm oil works as a great muscle relaxant because of the temperature of the oil and the pressure applied. The touch creates more awareness and makes you focus on relaxing each muscle group. Ayurveda recommends using herbal oils with a base of sesame oil and coconut oil that are anti-inflammatory and have sedative properties.

"Skin, as an organ, is composed of lipoproteins, which are molecules of lipid and protein, and oil consists of the same. That's why when you apply or rub oil, the skin absorbs it better," says Dr Manoj. He suggests the practice of Abhyanga, which is self-massaging your body with warm oil, right before you hit the shower. "Warm oil on the body has anti-bacterial properties. It prevents osteoporosis and strengthens bones, while also promoting blood circulation."

"There are two ways to massage your body — one is away from the heart and towards the target organs, and the other is a reverse of that. Always make sure you are applying mild pressure with long movements. This helps in drainage of stress and gives a nourishing effect to the body," he says. 

Picture courtesy: @samsaramindbody/Instagram


Oil Pulling

Dr Manoj recommends practicing oil pulling as part of your oral hygiene routine as soon as you wake up. "Using coconut oil or sesame oil as a mouthwash is an age-old technique to extract bacteria and germs from your mouth. It's a general Ayurvedic treatment prescribed for improving your ENT (ear, nose and throat) functions and prevents infections from taking place," he says. 

"The density of oil helps the muscles of mastication that aid in chewing and swallowing. It strengthens teeth; gives a soothing effect to damaged or wounded areas; prevents leukoplakia ( a condition in which thick white patches form on the tongue and gums); prevents bad breath, mouth ulcers and inflammation of tonsils and salivary glands," he adds.

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Drinking ginger tea/warm water with lemon

"Ginger has a stimulative effect on your body — it triggers your metabolism. Hence, consuming ginger tea acts as a wonderful digestive, and is best consumed early morning or post a heavy meal. Ginger also acts as an analgesic, whether used externally or consumed, and is a good mouth cleanser.

"Lemon, on the other hand, when taken with ginger, becomes a powerful fat mobiliser that helps disintegrate bigger molecules of fat into smaller ones, making it easier for digestion. Lemon has alkaline properties which gives a low oxidative effect on the body. It's best had with warm water, not piping hot water, as the latter can destroy the vitamin C."

Picture courtesy: @samsaramindbody/Instagram


Drinking water from a copper vessel

"Copper is used to balance out all doshas — vata, pita and kapha — as it magnetises water. Copper-charged water increases alkalinity, kills bacteria like E. coli and also increases nerve transmission which prevents diseases. It also helps with endocrine problems like thyroid; deals with arthritis; treats anaemia; heals wounds; helps in the production of melanin (a pigment that prevents skin damage). What's more, copper is known to regulate blood pressure, improve heart rate and keep heart diseases at bay," says Dr Manoj. He advises drinking copper-charged water throughout the day to reap maximum benefits.

Picture courtesy: @samsaramindbody/Instagram


Applying an Ayurvedic scrub

"Using a scrub for your body keeps your pores open and helps you detoxify. Make your own scrub at home using gram powder, turmeric, fenugreek, Bengal powder and moong bean," suggests Dr Manoj. Gently scrub your body with this mixture as you shower and post it, dry your head and rub rasnadi powder on the vertex of your head. "This herbal powder prevents cold and chills," he says.

Picture courtesy: @samsaramindbody/Instagram


Tongue scraping

After oil pulling, Dr Manoj advises using a tongue scraper to remove the bacterial layer present on it. "In Ayurveda, we recommend using coconut leaves, the bark of a neem tree and scrapers made out of gold and copper as opposed to stainless steel scrapers which harm the tongue and make it rough. The right way to do it is to be gentle and not apply too much pressure. Tongue scraping keeps bad breath at bay, removes undigested food particles from the tongue, eliminates food problems and improves the sensation of taste," he says.

"It also aids your digestion process and maintains high levels of oral hygiene, giving you a general sense of wellbeing," he adds.

Picture courtesy: @balancedbymaya/Instagram