I hate being sick. Yes, I know, no one *likes* to be ill. For me, I start to notice the signs... achy muscles, fatigue, headache... and then I ignore them because I don't want to stop any of the things I have planned and going on. And then I totally crash and am down for the count for 2-3 days.
Since embarking on yoga teacher training, I've been introduced to a bevy of methods to reducing sickness, cleanses, reducing toxins, and other things of dubious scientific nature. While I'm not jumping on the holistic approach quite yet, I have started some basic things rooted in Ayurvedic tradition.
And guess what?
So far this year, I have had nary a sniffle. Which is rare. As a yoga instructor, I have my hands on strangers all the time (I use a lot of hand sanitizer), and I usually catch a little something that puts me out of commission for a bit. Other benefits? My face is clearer than it's ever been, my energy levels are great (even with less sunlight), and I just feel really, really good.
So caveat: it could be all of these things, it could be none of these things. It could be all coincidence. Whatever it might be, here's hoping it doesn't stop =]
Ayurvedic Tips That Work For Me
Frequently termed a *healing food,* ghee is a clarified butter that is super easy to make and delicious - like turbo charged butter. It's supposed to strengthen bones, promote weight loss, improve digestion, and more. Use it as a butter substitute on... well, anything you would use with butter.
Dry Brushing / Abhyanga
Abhyanga, or self massage, is one of my fave things now. It was hard to get into the habit, but it's so worth it. It works to balance vata dosha and makes my skin super soft and smooth. I use sesame oil, and do this before morning showers.
When it comes to Ayurveda, I'm your typical kapha. A local practitioner recommended tongue scraping to me as a way to "remove the coating and stimulate the tongue...to balance the heavy and dulling qualities of Kapha dosha in your physiology" (she didn't say this verbatim, this is from Chopra). You can get a tongue scraper online or at your local co-op most likely. Basically, first thing every morning, I scrape from the back part of my palette to the tip. It's a little disgusting to realize how much *stuff* is just sitting on the tongue, but enlightening. It's based on the idea that bacteria can grow on the keratin that lives on the tongue, affecting us in negative ways.
Oh man, what doesn't turmeric do in Ayurveda? First off, it's an immune-building spice. I would attribute the majority of my health this winter to turmeric. It also promotes digestion, supports the liver, heart, circulatory system, brain and nervous system and probably more. One of the traditional methods for ingestion is to mix it with honey into a paste, and taking a spoonful daily (or more often, if you're feeling poorly). Another popular option: turmeric tea, and the turmeric latte, which is basically the new matcha.
Also helpful: too-mer-ic, ter-mer-ic, or tuh-mer-ic?
Try It Out. See What Works.
Like I mentioned above, these are the main changes I've made in my life with little-to-fuss or disruption to how I eat or live. All four are enlightening in different ways; try it out and see if you think so, too!
Share your fave Ayurvedic tips below!