In traditional Hath yoga, purity of body and its equanimity with the mind are two important pillars. It is expected from a practitioner to be body-wise, cleansed and pure before moving on to stabilize it with various asana. For this purpose, a practice of yogic lifestyle is religiously followed. Practicing these habits will completely change your life.
This daily routine includes rising before dawn and practicing asana, pranayama, and meditation in BRHAM MUHURAT – time just before sunrise. Cleaning of teeth, eyes, tongue is followed by cleaning of hair and other body parts by bathing. Having a clean bowel movement is however of utmost importance as the status of your stomach is directly proportional to the state of your mind. Ancient Ayurveda texts also emphasize the importance of clean bowel to an extent that they point out constipation as the root of 70 percent of all ailments in the body. To have a clean release of used, leftover, and toxic material from the body there are certain rules that were laid out too.
But in modern times, due to hustle and bustle of fast-paced life, we miss out on the foundations and bring upon us, the curse we now call as lifestyle diseases. By following simple principles and habits will change your life completely.
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Habits that will change your life completely
Waking up Before Sunrise and NO Grain After Sunset
For the full digestion process, the food we intake should get ample time within the body to get processed. If you have a heavy breakfast by 9 AM and wake up at 4 the next day, you’ll get 19 hours for digestion. If you have a heavy dinner at 8 PM, the undigested food has to be pushed out after just 8 hours. We have about 30 ft. long intestine. Consider how badly our eating pattern can leave undigested food left in our intestines to rot and cause diseases. So early rising, heavy breakfast, mild lunch, and light dinner are ideal for yoga practitioners.
Our body has a pineal gland, pituitary gland, adrenal gland, and a number of other glands. But as far as digestion is considered our saliva making glands are of utmost importance. All the juices produced by glands in the abdominal area are acidic in nature. Our mouth is the only place where alkali saliva mixes with food and finally provide neutralization in the stomach. But for saliva to get mixed with food, the food needs to stay in the mouth that too in pieces. We get busy talking to people on the table, watch tv, etc, who has the time to focus on chewing. The result is frequent Gas, acidity, inflammation, bladder stones, indigestion, palpitation, and IBS.
Water to be Sipped
We don’t know a simple yogic and Ayurveda basic that water should not be taken in a single gulp or continuously. Water should also not be drunk while standing. Water should always be consumed while sitting and taking a sip at a time.
Ancient yoga treatise used the Sanskrit aphorism “YATR PINDE, TATR BRAHAMANDE”. This means whatever is in this body, same is there in the outside world too. For example, the salinity of a mother’s womb is the same as that of an ocean and 65% of our body is water just like our earth is. Keeping this in mind ample amount of water in the right manner should be consumed by us daily to keep our organs working fine which essentially includes our organs of excretion.
No Cold Water
Drinking cold water is absolutely prohibited. Drinking it while standing, is the main cause of bone degradation at any age. 37 degrees is the optimum heat that our stomach required for efficient digestion, assimilation, and excretion process. Drinking cold water before or after a meal, lowers down this digestive power and a huge amount of food lies wasted along the wall of our intestines, uterus, and colon. The wasted and undigested food decay and causes all sorts of gastroenteritis diseases.
Shankh Prakshaalan- The Conch Cleaning Technique
For people having digestive issues, a set of 5 asanas in Shankh Prakshaalan should be done. The entire digestive tract is taken as a shape of a conch. One/two glass of Lukewarm water with a pinch of salt or lemon is taken first before asana.
- Uvardh tadasana- Upward Lifting of body
- Tiryak Tadasana- Sideways stretching of the body
- Kati Chakra Asan- Twisting of Waist
- Tiryak Bhujangasan- Stretch and twist of entire tract while belly facing down
- Udarakarshan asana- Crow pose like sitting and twists
This makes 1 set of technique. Multiple repetition of set can be advised by a teacher. Also make sure you are close to a wash room while practicing these asanas.
Inculcating these habits will change your life completely. Following the fundamentals of fluid and food intake can help us greatly in achieving our yoga goals. Also, the guidance of a trained naturopath or yoga teacher is required for the SHANKH PRAKSHALAN technique initially, later it can be practiced within the comfort of our home as well.