Honoring the World Within: Reflections

I began by first establishing my full morning routine and purchasing any necessary items for my experiment. I utilized the intellectual resources provided by my instructors as well as those found in the

Ayurvedic Home Remedies textbook. I began to understand the importance of dedicating my morning to promoting a healthy, happy day ahead. Using this knowledge, as well as additional intellect gathered through research, I began each morning by rising before 7:00 am with a prayer of gratitude prior to leaving bed. I had initially arranged to wake by 6:00 am each day but found that it was not beneficial for me at this time, or at least that’s how it felt. The next step was bodily evacuation, which I found easy to fall into a steady routine with. Following this process I proceeded to splash my face with lukewarm water and massage the lids of my eyes. I then blinked them seven times and looked steadily in all four directions to promote alertness. I then scraped my tongue of any excess ama using a small spoon and found it to be lightly­coated and white throughout the entirety of my experiment. After my tongue felt sufficiently cleared of ama I practiced oil pulling by swishing for 15­20 seconds. I chose to implement coconut oil for the purpose of my research based on its pitta­reducing qualities. I also considered sunflower oil due to its benefits towards both kapha and pitta types, which is my primary doshic constitution. To ensure that my mouth was clear of any excess oil containing, which can contain harmful toxins, I gargled water just after completing the pulling. I would typically boil water while waiting for the pulling process to be complete so that a warm cup of lemon water was readily available afterwards. After I became fully hydrated marks the time for my sadhana practice, which took place on my balcony seated upright with use of a block under my sit bones. I employed a variety of techniques to help with my home practice, including online guided meditations and breathing exercises. The typical duration for my morning meditation was roughly 20 minutes, which I hope to extend as my practice continues. The mental clarity provided to me through meditation carried over into the asana practice which followed. I explored surrounding studios offering a variety of classes and also worked on developing my personal home practice. Following the physical practice I honored my body with self­abhyanga prior to showering. I initially employed coconut oil for the massage due to its cooling qualities but found that it irritated my skin. I changed over to sunflower oil and found this to be much more beneficial for me. Breakfast concluded my morning routine and marked the start to a healthy day set with good intentions.

In terms of the foods consumed during my experiment, I researched what I believed would be the most beneficial for me based on my personal constitution. I found that dark green vegetables, sweet fruits, lean meats, and few grains were among the foods I should be including in my diet every day. I had intended on eliminating snacking but found that this did not serve me in a positive way at this time. My current lifestyle is very fast­paced and I am often eating while hiking or driving. Although I did make a tremendous effort to sit down and focus on the meal I was eating, I found that I got very hungry in between designated meal times. I conformed to three set meals for the first 2 days of the experiment before deciding that it was not working for me at this time. Despite the lack of three set meals each day, I still maintained a conscious awareness of my digestive processes and gave food time to digest before introducing more food. Eating for my doshic balance has proved to be very beneficial for me and is greatly enhanced by following a structured morning routine.