Ayurveda practices are natural and easy ways to boost your health and wellbeing. And they also happen to be the oldest health practices in the world [Global Wellness Institute]. Indeed, the sages in India developed Ayurveda thousands of years ago, long before the invention of medicine.
Ayurveda practices are natural ways to improve your health. And despite being thousands of years old, Ayurveda remains one of the most sophisticated health systems in the world.
Two Core Principles of Ayurveda Practices
The Ayurveda system is based on two core beliefs:
1) The mind and the body are linked, so what we do to one will affect the other. [Chopra]
2) The number one way to heal the body is by healing the mind.
Just as in meditation, we practice focusing the mind and controlling consciousness to create health. With Ayurveda practices, we bring the mind into balance, and this heals the body.
Science has proven that there are over 100 health benefits of meditation, so it seems today we have the scientific proof that these mind-body exercises do indeed work.
However, Ayurveda practices also go beyond just meditating. A list of Ayurveda health practices includes diet, sleep, hygiene (personal hygiene and mental hygiene) and other areas of wellbeing.
The name itself means Knowledge of Life (Ayur = life, Veda = knowledge).
This “Life Knowledge can create physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It achieves this through the use of food, beverages, herbal supplements, mindfulness, and exercises.
One of the most popular Ayurvedic techniques, for instance, is oil pulling.
Oil pulling involves swilling coconut oil around the mouth for twenty minutes every morning. This simple practice is a powerful way of cleaning the teeth, treating gingivitis, and creating oral health. I have personally been using oil pulling for the past six months and have seen some excellent results. My gums look much pinker and healthier, and my teeth are cleaner than ever.
9 Best Ayurveda Practices For Improving Health In 2021
1. Oil pulling for oral health
Want healthy teeth and gums? Try oil pulling.
Oil pulling is my favourite Ayurvedic practice for oral health. It is a highly effective way to clean the mouth, teeth, tongue, and gums. However, it is not an alternative to brushing your teeth.
- Purchase some organic coconut milk.
- Swish the oil around your mouth.
- Try to pull the oil between your teeth
- Continue for 20 minutes.
- Stop if your jaw gets sore or tired.
You might be surprised how hard this is the first time you do it. But it soon becomes easy.
Oil pulling detoxifies the mouth. And in turn, it detoxifies the body. In my experience, it is pure magic for the teeth and gums, and it will also whiten teeth, but only a little.
In the Ayurvedic health system, the mouth is incredibly important. Oral health is very closely related to health in other parts of the body because what goes in the mouth soon gets transferred to the organs.
One of the best ways to create a healthy body is to have a healthy mouth. And that is precisely what oil pulling gives you.
Hands up who likes a good massage?
In Abhyanga, we give ourselves a full body massage using body oil. This helps the body to stay hydrated and it softens the skin. [READ: Yoga to look young]
Research shows that this technique helps to relieve stress  and improve blood pressure .
It is traditional to use sesame or coconut oil for this, depending on your dosha. And it’s best to massage the oil before beginning the body massage. Make sure you massage from head to toe using circular motions.
3 Mindful Eating for weight loss
Diet is essential in the Ayurvedic health system. Equally as important as what we eat is how we eat it.
We should eat mindfully
When we eat too quickly, we create a mind-body problem, because the body is eating while the mind is elsewhere. Mindful eating heightens the mind-body connection.
Mindful eating can be practised with the family. Mothers and fathers might like to suggest that the whole family eat slowly and mindfully, focusing on the process of eating and being conscious and awake while at the dinner table.
For more on this, read my guide to mindful eating exercises.
4. Pranayama / Kapalabhati
Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoga, and Ayurveda all advocate the use of breathing exercises.[READ: best yoga breathing methods.
One of the best Ayurvedic practices is Kapalabhati . In this technique, the breath is used to pull the belly in. We then breathe out forcefully. This heightens Agni (fire) and strengthens the abs.
How to do Kapalabhati
- Sit comfortably with good posture
2. Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth.
4. Press the air out quickly while sucking your navel toward your spine
5. Relax and let your lungs fill naturally
6. Repeat ten times
7. Breathe normally. meditate on the sensations in your body
8. Repeat the whole process four times.
5. Sweating (Swedana) For Skin Care
The skin is the largest organ in the human body.
One way the body uses the skin is to flush out impurities. When we sweat, we open the pores, allowing impurities to leave the body through the skin.
To improve our sweating, we can use Swedana. This can help reduce acne and skin problems.
Swedana is a purifying Ayurveda practice. Traditionally, it is done by practising Abhyanga (massage) and then having a herbal steam bath.
Show some love for your body by trying this technique.
- Do some vigorous exercise, so you’re sweating.
- Have a full-body massage (Abhyana).
- Continue to Swedana (herbal steam bath).
This will purify the skin and stop acne and other skin problems.
6. Drink Ginger Tea
Some of the best Ayurvedic practices to improve health involve your diet. And Ayurveda incorporates lots of spices and herbs. For instance, see this list of meditation herbs.
Another great Ayurveda practice is simply to drink ginger tea. Ginger tea bosts Agni (digestive fire) and helps improve digestion .
7. Scrape your tongue
The tongue holds a lot of the body’s bad bacteria . That bad bacteria can cause gingivitis, digestion problems, gum disease and more.
Getting rid of bacteria on the tongue is one of the best ways of boosting dental health and overall wellbeing.
The easiest and one of the most effective ways of removing bacteria from the tongue is with a tongue scraper.
This is incredibly quick to do and has no side-effects except for possibly gagging. There really is no reason not to practice tongue scraping.
8. Appreciate the six Ayurvedic tastes
To get the most out of food, include all six tastes of Ayurvedic nutrition. They are: Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent.
Here’s a great way to boost consciousness of food:
- Grab a fruit, vegetable, nut or legume and eat it mindfully.
- Note which one of the six tastes above that you think it is.
- Try to include at least one food from all six groups in every meal.
- Try mixing in Ayurvedic spices like Cayenne pepper, ginger, and cinnamon.
9. Enjoy a lovely Basti (Enema)
Here’s an alternative way of using herbal oil: introduce it to your rectum.
Basti (enema) is performed by using herbal oil on the rectum to lubricate the intestinal tract. This removes toxins from the intestinal tract.
Clearly, not for everyone. But if you want to show compassion to your body, this is a great way to do it, because the health benefits are amazing.
More and more people are using Ayurveda practices to improve health. In fact, the Ayurveda health system is currently the hottest rising trend in the world of spiritual health.
Until the last few years, only ardent yogis realised that Ayurveda practices improve your health. Now yoga is more popular. Yoga has grown by more than 50% over the past five years. And meditation is growing in similar numbers.
With the rise of yoga and meditation, we are witnessing a spiritual awakening. People are awakening to yoga, meditation, mantras, and many other spiritual systems, and people are using Ayurveda practices to be healthier.
Packaged Facts, a leading publisher of research in the foods and beverage market, tells THE DAILY MEDITATION that Ayurveda is currently trending among Baby Boomers, Millennials, and anyone interested in holistic health.
The majority of people practising Ayurveda are using it as a complementary practice. It is perfect for this. It is easy to combine Ayurveda practices with other health practices.
I’ve personally been using oil pulling alongside an Alkaline diet. The Ayurvedic technique does not interfere with the diet and is easy to fit into your current lifestyle, which is one reason why it is becoming so popular.
1: Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene – A review, Vagish Kumar L. Shanbhag, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Yenepoya Dental College and Hospital https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198813/
2: Pilot Study Investigating the Effects of Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage on Subjective Stress Experience, Annetrin Jytte Basler, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21568717/
3: Kapalabhati–yogic Cleansing Exercise. I. Cardiovascular and Respiratory Changes, A Stancák Jr 1, M Kuna, Srinivasan, S Vishnudevananda, C Dostálek https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1818666/
4: Is drinking cold water bad for a person? Medical News Daily https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325038
5: Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition, The Amazing and Mighty Ginger, Ann M. Bode and Zigang Dong. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
6: Effects of tongue cleaning on bacterial flora in tongue coating and dental plaque: a crossover study, Miki Matsui, Division of Preventive Dentistry, Department of Oral Medicine, Iwate Medical University School of Dentistry, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898367/
Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison