Keeping it Fresh – Cleansing Rituals
Yoga is a ancient healing technology. The asana practice is just one element of a vast system of understanding and relating to the human experience or humanology.
Here are some interesting techniques to add to your cleansing rituals.
A Neti Pot is a small pot used for irrigating the nasal passages. Typically it has a spout attached near the bottom, and often a handle on the opposite side.
Neti Pots are used in yoga to assist in clearing the nasal passages, since controlled breathing plays a central role in yoga. The Neti Pot is used to pour warm salt water through one nostril and then either runs out of the other nostril. The Neti pot used with a saline solution has been shown to be an effective treatment for hay fever, sinusitis, rag weed and other nasal conditions.
Alum and Salt
This mixture is used to cleanse the mouth and tongue. Take two parts powered Potassium Alum mixed with one part salt and use like a tooth powder to brush your teeth and your tongue.
During the night our mouths turn into an incubator for a host of different bacteria and germs. Cleaning the tongue and mouth first thing in the morning ensures that germs and bacteria are eliminated from the mouth before you eat or drink.
Make sure to reach all the way back and clean the tongue until you gag and cough up the brown mucus that is hidden back there. These germs and bacteria not only form on the tongue but ontwo little glands at the back of the throat that need to be cleaned of mucus, too. The gag reflex has the added benefit of causing the eyes to water, which in turn, helps to flush and cleanse them out. This aids in the prevention of cataracts and eye related disease. You may follow this brushing your teeth with toothpaste as the alum is bitter tasting. You can buy alum at most grocery stores in the spice section.
An essential oil is a concentrated, liquid containing aroma compounds from plants. The oil carries a distinctive scent, or essence, of the plant. Essential oils can be found in perfumes, flavoring food and drink, and for scenting incense and household cleaning products.
Essential oils can be used medicinally for sore muscles, headaches, skin inflammation.
Essential oils have been used in the form of aromatherapy which claims that the specific aromas carried by essential oils have curative effects. Oils can be diluted in a carrier oil and used in massage, diffused in the air, heating over a candle flame, or burned as incense. Try a few drops of lavender oil in your bath for relaxation and use a few drops of lemon oil in water as a natural cleaning agent for the bathroom. Most health food stores carry a selection of essential oils. Look for organic, non-synthetic brands for best effects.
Yogic hydrotherapy, or a cold shower, develops the body’s deep capacity for healing and staying well.
During a cold shower, blood is released from the liver, and moves from the extremities of the body to the core primary organs and then back to the extremities, carrying oxygen and neural and glandular secretions. The lungs have an opportunity to clear, toxins are removed, and lymphatic circulation is improved. The entire nervous system is strengthened. In addition, areas of restriction in the body are now opened to new blood and lymph circulation. You may notice a deep inner heat.
Take a cold shower when your body temperature is normal. Cold showers are not recommended when the body is overheated do to exercise, fever, when menstruating or after the 120th day of pregnancy.
Col Shower Technique
Rub Almond oil on the body before shower. Put on a long pair of shorts to cover your mid thigh area (to prevent depletion of minerals), Chant your favorite mantra and take the plunge. Shower for 3 minutes, rubbing your body vigorously. Towel dry and enjoy the benefits.
Almond oil is used as an effective massage oil, skin and hair moisturizer. Almond oil eases itching, soreness and dryness, rashes and muscle pain.
Almond oil can be used for massage and either before or after a cold shower to moisturize the skin.
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Photo Credit: Salty Chip