If you ask us, habits get a bad wrap. Way too often they’re associated with something negative and things that do nothing for our mind, body and gut.
But the truth is, a habit is just a learned behaviour - and there’s plenty of good ones that can help you to take control of your physical, mental and emotional health in 2022. Here are our favourites for the year ahead - and all thanks to a few Ayurvedic approaches.
1. Eat warming foods
Every person is made up of three doshas - Vata, Pitta, Kapha - but one is more dominant than the others, and it has a huge impact on the way we react and how we feel. There are a few things you can do to balance your dosha though: diet and lifestyle being a big one!
Vatas need to eat food that’s warm, moist and soft to keep their airy nature grounded. Think berries, peaches, oats and brown rice. Kaphas tend to be steady, stable and grounded so need a little spice and acidity to stop them from feeling too heavy. Pitta can be hot, fiery and prone to hangriness so need light, sweet and engergising foods to keep any imbalances at bay.
Whatever your dosha though, Ayurveda recommends that we should all be eating warm, hearty, cooked and wholesome foods, with little snacking throughout the day.
2. Try tongue scraping
Ayurveda says we can tell a lot about our health from our tongue, and the simple act of tongue scraping can help to improve digestion and whole body health. As we sleep, our bodies eliminate toxins which can harbour on our tongue in the morning. By removing these with a tongue scraper, you’ll be on the path for better digestion, improved sense of taste, better breath and a more balanced body.
Looking at your tongue can also help you to identify any imbalances in your dosha. Grey, black or brown coverings show signs of a Vata imbalance. Yellow, orange, red or green mean that Pitta toxins are present. And a thick white coating on your tongue means your Kapha dosha is off balance.
3. Prioritise your gut
Ever noticed how what you eat has a huge impact on the way you feel? You’re not alone. In fact, it’s a huge belief in Ayurveda with one famous saying being: “You are what you digest.”
It’s believed that a number of health conditions all over the body can actually be tracked back to the gut. Plus, if we focus some time on our digestion, our body, mind and gut will all thank us. Ayurvedic spices like Ginger, Cinnamon and Cloves as well as super-herbs like Triphala can help to cleanse and detoxify our gut, while promoting efficient digestion and toxin elimination. This is why our bestselling Rest and Digest capsules contain Triphala amongst a few other Ayurvedic medicinal herbs.
Other ways you can improve your digestion is by eating mindfully, being sure to chew each bite well, limiting rich and heavy foods, making lunchtime your biggest meal and avoiding snacks throughout the day.
4. Practice yoga
Any exercise is great for keeping your body and gut moving. But yoga practice is especially good as it can help you to focus, build your strength from within and provide immediate relief to many stomach concerns like gas and bloating.
Ayurvedic practitioners say that healing occurs in the body when we engage our nervous system, which yoga does. Child’s Pose and The Lotus are also great for digestion as it can help to stretch out your stomach muscles and keep things moving. And, as we know from Ayurveda, when our gut is happy, our overall body and mind will be too.
It doesn’t even need to take up too much time of your day. Why not get up 20 minutes early in the morning and dedicate a few minutes to a quick yoga session? We promise you’ll thank yourself for it!
5. Drink warm water
While you might think that there’s nothing more refreshing than a glass of icy cold water, Ayurveda says we should try warm or hot water instead. It doesn’t just hydrate you better but aids digestion and your digestive fire too.
Think of it like this: when you pour cold water on fire, it dims it. So, when you drink cold water, your digestive fire is technically dimmed too - leading to poor digestion, low metabolism and a build up of toxins, which can soon take a toll on your overall health.
Of course, if you can’t stomach warm water on its own, then you can try to drink water with a few drops of lemon juice, ginger or honey. It tastes great and has lots of other health benefits too - especially when it comes to your gut.
When it comes to Ayurvedic habits, these are just a handful. And if you really want to kickstart your health with Ayurveda this year, then why not join our four-day detox? Our range of natural supplements also make it easier than ever to get your health-fix into your daily routine.