So it’s spring at last and with a sigh of relief most of us are enjoying more light, longer time outdoors and warmer temperatures. In most traditions, spring is celebrated as a time of cleansing and renewal. In my workshop on Sunday 18th April, I’ll be sharing ancient Kundalini yoga ways that are tried and tested to specifically cleanse the lungs, stimulate the glandular system and energise the body. Book here to sign up for this online workshop to help you bring in some spring energy.
In the meantime I want to share some key tips with you that will help your detox process and energise your system. Let’s start from the moment you wake up. You might notice that your mouth in the morning doesn’t taste all that great. If you look at your tongue in the mirror you might notice a white or yellow coating when you stick it out fully.
That’s because the body’s major cleansing time is while you sleep and the body is doing it’s best to move the toxins, bacteria and mucus out towards the organs of elimination. Your body has worked so hard to bring all that yucky toxic stuff to the surface of your tongue. So don’t sleepily swallow it all back down your throat and into your digestive system! Help finish that elimination process off by scraping your tongue!
What to scrape with? Well a toothbrush can’t get at the many tiny bumps and ridges on the surface of the tongue where bacteria love to lurk and create volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) – that’s the stuff that makes breath smell bad. You could get a tongue scraper in most pharmacies but Ayurveda recommends using a tongue scraper made of metal (gold, silver, copper, stainless steel) as plastic is lifeless and can contain dangerous compounds. And you really don’t want to be eating hormone disrupting plastic as part of your cleansing regime!
How to use the scraper? Hold the scraper by its long handle and scrape the rounded part beginning way at the back of your tongue and drag it all the way to the front. Be gentle but persistent until you can see how much cleaner your tongue is with all the layers of ‘fur’ removed. Between 6 and 12 scrapes usually will do it.
But what if I gag? Great! In fact Kundalini Yoga advises that we need to keep scraping until we gag at least 3 times and our eyes water. This gag reflex activates glands related to our immune system and making our eyes water like this in the morning cleanses them from the inside out and strengthens our eye health. Just spit whatever comes up out and be thankful that it’s now out, not in clogging up your system.
Where’s the research on this? Researchers in Brazil’s University of Sao Paulo in 2004. [source: Pedrazzi] found that people who used tongue scrapers regularly had a 75% decrease in VSCs ( the smelly bacteria) in comparison to only 45% reduction by those who used their toothbrush to clean their tongue. By the way, the more white or yellow stuff you can see on your tongue, the more you need to detox your digestive system so get going!
Hope to share more Kundalini yoga detox tips and practices with you at the workshop on Sunday 18th April!