Yes…it’s hard to believe…isn’t it?!! Practice just this ONE daily ritual in your life and you will be amazed to see the long list of benefits Ayurveda bestows on you!
Maintaining your ideal weight to your body constitution, strong immunity, clarity of mind, increased energy and focus who doesn’t want this to be the “new normal” in our everyday life?!!
All these benefits can become a reality by incorporating this simple and cheapest ritual no burden on the pocket, both the rich and the poor can take advantage of this nature’s gifted remedy from Ayurveda. This ritual is so simple that one tends to ignore it’s powerful benefits – drinking one litre of plain water!
Ayurveda calls water as the life-giving nectar on earth
If you research Ayurveda just on the topic of water, you will get tons of information written on it. When to drink, how to drink, how much to drink, when not to drink, (this will be my next post) the more you dive deep into understanding this life nectar a.k.a. water you will be amazed by the wisdom of the Indian sages poured down into Ayurvedic texts called sutras.
The word Sutras comes from the Sanskrit language, which are basically ancient Indian texts from the Vedic literature, where a specific teaching or a ritual is woven together to form a specific guideline to follow.
Ushapan (drinking water first thing in the morning)
The custom of drinking water first thing in the morning is regarded very highly in Ayurveda. It is called as Ushapan (water therapy done first thing in the morning). Ideal time to do ushapan is before sunrise immediately after waking up and before brushing your teeth. Yes, before brushing your teeth is considered very beneficial according to Ayurveda as the stored up saliva in the mouth has strong medicinal properties.
Confession: To be honest, I personally have hard time drinking water before brushing my teeth, have tried few times, but somehow I am not able to stick to it. But eventually yes…as of now, I am drinking water after brushing my teeth everyday.
I was first introduced to the
idea sutra of drinking one litre of water daily was in Kerala, India which I call this state the “mecca” for Ayurveda. Here one of the renowned Ayurvedic physician Dr.Franklin convinced me to incorporate this in my daily activity.
Up until now, I used to drink about 2 cups of warm water mainly with lime juice, mineral salt, and natural sweetener first thing in the morning. I had good results with this but I must tell you switching to drinking one litre of water daily has made a huge difference. Below is the picture where I am sharing my own personal observations by drinking one litre of hot water daily for few months now…
I plan to continue this ritual as a lifestyle now, as there is enough evidence by trying it out on myself that it would be foolish not to follow this simple daily habit.
Ayurvedic Guidelines on Ushapan
Following the Ayurvedic guidelines, here is how I drink one litre of water on a daily basis –
- I heat approx 5 cups of water on a stovetop (microwave discouraged)
According to US standards approx 4 1/2 cups makes one litre of water. Ayurveda strongly encourages to heat the water on a stovetop as it heats up evenly not like in a microwave. This gives uniform heat when you drink and also you can notice the water heated on a stovetop lasts warmer for a longer period of time.
You can also store one litre of water in advance (overnight) in a copper vessel to make the water more recharged and easily absorbed by the body.
- I drink about 4 1/2 cups of water the temp is hot (comfortably hot not burning hot)
Depending on your body dosha it’s important to drink the water – hot, lukewarm, or room temp. Ayurveda never recommends to drink cold water. This ritual is like giving a steam-clean to our body cells when we do this first thing in the morning and also kindles the digestive fire to keep us energetic and alert throughout out the day!
During the winter months you could drink hot water (even if you are pitta) and switch to room temp water during hot summer months. Vata body types can drink it warm and kapha body types definitely can drink to bearable hot temp.
If you are pitta dominant dosha and drinking bearable hot water, you see any imbalance in pitta like breakouts or rashes switch to lukewarm water. Personally I am high pitta and this winter season I have been drinking bearable hot water and it seems to work well with my body. But I don’t drink hot water throughout the day it is only the one litre first thing in the morning. Through out the day I stick to room temp or lukewarm.
- One litre of plain water (nothing added) no lemon or lime or salt just nothing…
This was very much stressed by the Ayurvedic physician I met in Kerala. And there is a good reason for it according to Ayurveda water has a subtle genetic pattern that has the power to detox, hydrate, regulate, eliminate and bring our bodies back to nature’s rhythm. So to make this process work efficiently it is important we drink plain water with nothing added to it.
I know some of my clients add mineral drops in their water as in today’s modern world especially our reverse-osmosis water takes off all the vital minerals in the process of making our water safe to drink. I would suggest you add the mineral drops to water you drink later in the day and not to this one you have in the morning.
- Best way to drink is to take sips of water never gulp it down
The wisdom of Ayurveda also tells us what is the right way to drink water. Taking small sips and enjoying the taste of water in the mouth is the right way to drink it. To make it more beneficial drink this sitting in a sukhasana (cross legged seated position).
- Don’t eat anything until at least 30- 40 mins
This is very important to make sure we don’t eat anything for at least 30 mins after drinking one litre of water. This time of 30-40 mins is what the body takes to steam-clean our body cells, hydrate and energize the cells, and start removing all the ama (toxins) accumulated in the body.
According to Ayurveda, it takes approx about 48 mins for a healthy individual ((depends on age and hydration) to urinate when we drink hot/lukewarm water first thing in the morning on a empty stomach. In my own experience after drinking about 4 – 41/2 cups of water I go to urinate after 35 mins and my second and third one is between 20 -30 mins apart.
If you are in a practice of eating healthy and nutritious food to your body type, you will generally go to empty your bowels immediately after waking up. If this is not the case with you, then making this habit of drinking one litre of warm/lukewarm water will build enough pressure for you to empty the bowels before you have your first meal of the day – breakfast.
I take my breakfast after one hour of drinking one litre water. I know it’s not practical for everyone so at least give a gap of 30 mins before you eat your first meal.
Here are the top 10 Ayurvedic Benefits of
drinking sipping one litre of water daily –
You have to incorporate this as a daily ritual to reap all the benefits. The results are inevitable the only thing Ayurveda begs from you is patience and consistency.
In my next post I plan to write another article on water again…on how to drink water throughout the day per Ayurveda…it just feels so humbling and at the same time refreshingly powerful to write on this maybe, I will call it Ayurvedic Water Sutra
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