If you’ve swapped coffee for golden turmeric milk, mouthwash for coconut oil pulling and start your day with a glass of warm lemon water, then you are tapping into ancient art of Ayurveda. Dry body brushing (to improve circulation and stimulate detoxification), tongue scraping at dawn (to remove build up on the surface of your tongue), daily self massage (to nourish your tissues and calm your mind) and, of course, yoga are other Ayurvedic practices showing up in the morning routines of 21st century wellness warriors.
While it’s been around for some 5,000 years, the holistic Indian health science of Ayurveda (Sanskrit for the science of life) is stronger than ever. Ayurveda taps into two of any modern day health enthusiast’s favourite D words: digestion and detoxification.
In Ayurveda, your “agni” or digestive fire is a sign of your overall wellbeing. And while raw juices, salads and acai smoothie bowls are also trending on social media, Ayurvedic converts believe cooked foods such as kitchari (mung bean and rice stew) are easier to digest.
Dosha is another D word you need to know if you want to delve into Ayurveda. There are three doshas: kapha (earth)
vata (wind) and pitta (fire) that influence your emotional and physical constitution. And while everyone has all three elements, one usually dominates. So the trick is to balance them with specific foods, herbs and practices. You can figure out your dosha type here practitioner.
Dylan Smith of Vital Veda says there are ten indicators of good health in Ayurveda – and if you are not experiencing all of them then it’s time to get proactive.
“Ayurveda is about prevention, so when you start to notice symptoms, act before the disease progresses,” he says.
The ten indicators of good health in Ayurveda:
1. Proper digestion of food: After eating you should feel light and energised.
2. Good appetite: Hungry at proper meal times.
3. Falling asleep easily when going to bed at night.
4. “Jumping” out of bed feeling awake each morning.
5. Normal functioning of the five sense organs. Our senses should not or only minimally deteriorate over a lifespan.
6. Elimination of wastes: Daily bowel motions before any food or drinks. Also regular and comfortable elimination of sweat, urine and menses for women.
7. Healthy ratio of muscle, bone and fat tissues, not overweight nor emaciated.
8. Natural strength, immunity should be maintained.
9. Natural colour of skin should be maintained.
10. Peace and contentment of mind
This article originally appeared on Vogue.com.au