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5 Ayurvedic Habits To Kickstart Your Health In 2023

Health & Wellness
Ayurvedic habits

"Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement." - James Clear, Atomic Habits.


Small, consistent changes in daily habits can lead to significant improvements in our lives over time. The Author, Clear argues that our habits, both good and bad, are the compound interest of self-improvement, and that small, incremental improvements made consistently over time can lead to remarkable results. 


In today's fast-paced world, more and more people are recognizing the importance of incorporating wellness habits into their daily lives. The constant demands of work, family, and social obligations can often leave us feeling stressed and exhausted, which can have a negative impact on our physical and mental health. Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of living in harmony with nature and maintaining balance in the body, mind, and spirit. According to Ayurveda, our daily habits and routines play a crucial role in maintaining this balance and promoting overall health and well-being.


In this article, we will decode the power of five Ayurvedic lifestyle habits that you can incorporate in 2023. One of the main benefits of incorporating Ayurveda habits into our daily routine is that they can help to prevent illness before it occurs. By addressing imbalances in the body and promoting overall health, Ayurvedic practices can help to reduce the risk of chronic health conditions and diseases. Additionally, these practices can help to improve digestion, boost energy levels, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote better sleep.


1. Oil pulling (Kavala)


Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that involves swishing oil in the mouth for several minutes.


How to do? 

To do oil pulling, place one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it around for 5-10 minutes (you can start from 1 minute and gradually increase)  It's important to not swallow the oil as it will have collected toxins and bacteria from the mouth. Spit it out in the trash and then brush your teeth as usual.


What to use?

Sesame oil or coconut oil is commonly used for oil pulling. It's important to use cold-pressed, unrefined oil for maximum benefits.


When to do it? 

Oil pulling is typically done in the morning before eating or brushing your teeth.


Benefits: 

Oil pulling has been traditionally used to improve oral health, including reducing plaque and gingivitis, freshening breath, and whitening teeth. It also helps to remove toxins and bacteria from the mouth and can improve overall oral hygiene.
It's important to note that Oil pulling should be done in addition to a regular oral hygiene routine, not as a replacement. Also, it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that it's right for you.


Oil pulling

2. At-home ayurvedic self-massage (Sarvanga-Abhyanga)

Sarvanga-Abhyanga is a full-body massage that is done with warm oil. 


How to do? 

To perform Sarvanga-Abhyanga, you will need to heat a small amount of oil (traditionally sesame oil or coconut oil) to a comfortable warm temperature. Start by massaging the oil into your scalp and then work your way down to your feet, using long strokes and gentle pressure. Pay extra attention to areas where you feel tension or discomfort. Once you have finished massaging, allow the oil to absorb into your skin for at least 15 minutes before taking a shower or bath.

body massage


What to use?

You can use a variety of oils for Sarvanga-Abhyanga, such as sesame oil, coconut oil, or even mustard oil. It's important to choose an oil that is comfortable for your body type and that you can use warmly.


When to do it? 

Sarvanga-Abhyanga is typically done before taking a shower or bath, ideally in the morning. This allows the oil to absorb into your skin for at least 15 minutes before washing it off. 


Benefits:

 Sarvanga-Abhyanga has numerous benefits for the body and mind. It can help to improve skin health, reduce muscle and joint pain, improve sleep, and promote a sense of calm and relaxation. It's also believed to help balance the doshas, or energy channels, in the body, which can help to improve overall health and well-being. In addition, it's an excellent way to start the day, as it provides a sense of grounding, nourishment, and rejuvenation.


3. Ayurvedic foot massage (Pada-Abhyanga)

Pada-Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that involves massaging the feet with warm oil.


How to do? 

To perform Pada-Abhyanga, you will need to heat a small amount of oil to a comfortable warm temperature. Sit comfortably and start by massaging the oil into the soles of your feet, using gentle circular motions. Then massage the tops and sides of your feet, paying extra attention to areas where you feel tension or discomfort. Once you have finished massaging, you can cover your feet with a pair of socks to help the oil absorb into the skin overnight.

What to use? 

You can use a variety of oils for Pada-Abhyanga, such as sesame oil, or coconut oil. It's important to choose an oil that is comfortable for your body type and that you can use warmly. 

Foot massage

When to do it?

Pada-Abhyanga is typically done before bedtime.


Benefits: 

Pada-Abhyanga has numerous benefits for the body and mind. It can help to improve skin health, reduce muscle and joint pain in the feet, improve circulation and promote relaxation. It's also believed to help balance the doshas, or energy channels, in the body, which can help to improve overall health and well-being. Additionally, it can be a soothing way to end the day, promoting a sense of self-care, peace, and rejuvenation before sleep.


4. Ayurvedic head massage (Shiro-Abhyanga)

Shiro-Abhyanga is a massage of the head and scalp with warm oil.


How to do? 

To perform Shiro-Abhyanga, you will need to heat a small amount of oil to a comfortable warm temperature. Sit comfortably and start by massaging the oil into your scalp, using gentle circular motions. Then work your way down to your temples, ears, and the base of your skull. Once you have finished massaging, you can cover your head with a towel or a shower cap to help the oil absorb into the skin overnight.

What to use? 

You can use a variety of oils for Shiro-Abhyanga, such as sesame oil, and coconut oil, or even mix some castor oil. 


When to do it?

Shiro-Abhyanga is typically done before bedtime or at least 30 minutes before bath.

head massage

Benefits: 

A warm oil head massage can help to stimulate blood flow to the scalp, which can promote hair health. It can help to nourish and moisturize the scalp, which can improve overall scalp health and reduce dryness and itching. The gentle, soothing motions of the massage can help to relax the mind and reduce feelings of stress and tension which improves sleep additionally can help to relieve tension headaches and migraines. The massage can enhance the sense of relaxation and calmness, which can be beneficial for those who experience anxiety or depression.


5. Ayurvedic face massage (Mukha-Abhyanga)

Mukha-Abhyanga is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that involves massaging the face

How to do? 

To perform Mukha-Abhyanga, you will need a small amount of oil. Sit comfortably and start by massaging the oil into your face, using gentle circular motions. Pay extra attention to areas where you feel tension or discomfort. Once you have finished massaging you can leave it for about 30 minutes then wash it with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser.

What to use? 

You can use a variety of oils for Mukha-Abhyanga, such as almond oil, coconut oil, or even olive oil. It's important to choose an oil that is comfortable for your skin type. 

face massage

When to do it?

Mukha-Abhyanga is typically done before bedtime or at least 30 minutes before bath.


Benefits: 

Mukha-Abhyanga can help to improve blood circulation in the face, which in turn helps to bring more oxygen and nutrients to the skin which helps to improve skin health, reduce wrinkles, and improve skin tone and elasticity.  The massage techniques used in Mukha Abhyanga can help to improve skin tone by promoting lymphatic drainage and reducing puffiness. It can help to reduce stress, tension and anxiety by promoting the release of endorphins, the body's natural 'feel-good' hormones.


Conclusion


Incorporating small and consistent changes in our daily habits can significantly improve our lives over time. In this article, we have discussed five Ayurvedic lifestyle habits that you can incorporate in 2023 to improve your physical and mental well-being. From the full-body massage, Sarvanga-Abhyanga to the traditional Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling.


Incorporating these practices into our daily routine can not only improve our overall health but also help us to live a more balanced life. In addition, it's important to remember that Ayurveda is not just about incorporating these practices into our daily routine, it's a lifestyle change. It's about understanding our body, and our mind, and how to live in harmony with nature. It's about understanding our own unique constitution, and how to adapt our lifestyle, diet, and habits to suit our own needs.  By incorporating Ayurvedic lifestyle habits into our daily routine, we can start to understand and appreciate the balance and harmony that our body and mind need to thrive.


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