So we’re now on week two of our cleansing focus. Our daily nutritious green smoothies and body brushing should certainly be making us feel cleaner, brighter and lighter.
Now we can add another little cleansing ritual; tongue scraping. This is an ancient Yogic practice and is one of the Niyama ‘self-restraints’; practices we consciously do to support our yoga in everyday life. Of the five Niyama, one of them is Saucha; cleanliness and tongue scraping is mentioned as one path to purification.
Tongues play an important part in Eastern medicine and doctors often determine a diagnosis by checking a pulse and looking at the tongue. A build-up of bacteria on the tongue can lead to illness. The mouth is one of the main ways we communicate by and it’s important that it’s clean and pure so our expression can be pure. Any one thing we do is everything we do, so the act of cleaning our mouths thoroughly will only help to make us feel better in everyday lives.
It’s super simple and cheap to do; you need to buy an inexpensive tongue scraper. The best ones are the metal ones which cost around £3.00 (available at www.yogamatters.com). They are shaped like little arcs and you use them after you’ve brushed your teeth. You just hold each end in opposite palms, place the scraper at the back of the tongue (as far back as you can) and move it gently toward the front of the tongue scraping away bacteria as you go. It’s like sweeping the floor of the mouth clean. Rinse and clean the scraper well (I like to use a little Dr Bronner’s or tea tree and water) and dry for next time.
If you want to go a step further then you can also floss you teeth to remove any food that may have got lodged in the gaps between each tooth. Again, this means we remove bacteria, reducing the risk of gum disease and it allows the body to direct its energy to another part of digestion rather than breaking down sugars in the mouth. These two rituals combined mean fresher breath, a cleaner mouth and a more productive body. We are helping our bodies to do their job better; detoxifying and cleansing for optimal health.