Compiled by Rampreet Kaur, KRI Creative Director
The Ancient Art of Self-Healing is one book Yogi Bhajan left for us that contains many recommendations for cleansing, diet and general health practices and remedies. In one section of the book he covers some basic “Things To Do Every Day” for general good health and maintenance. The first thing in the list of course is a daily Sadhana practice. Besides Sadhana, here are the other daily recommendations listed:
Brush the Root of the Tongue
First thing upon arising, one must brush the root of the tongue with alum and salt until one gags and the eyes water. The gagging will bring up two balls of mucus that collect at the root of the tongue overnight. This toxic mucus must come out before you swallow or it will go back into the body to produce headaches and pollution.
Early in the morning, cold water in the eyes can do wonders. It is like a cold shower for the whole body and it can prevent many diseases.
Cold shower brings the blood out to the capillaries, cleans the circulatory system and reduces the blood pressure of the internal organs and thus acts as a flushing for the internal organs, giving them a new supply of blood. It strengthens the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems and it helps to contract the muscles to eliminate the toxins and poisons very fast. It also brings the power of resistance to the body and strengthens the membranes which normally inflate and bring hay fever, allergies, colds, cough and those kinds of things. It makes a person normal, healthy and keeps the skin young and shining. It also takes little time to take a cold shower.
If you take a warm water shower you must be in warm water for half an hour and preferably it should be taken in a tub. First you should sit in a hot water tub up to the navel point to allow the adjustment of the circulatory system, and then you should lie down in it. We have found in hydrotherapy, which is the art of water and water curing, that a person should always stay in the warm water more than half an hour. People who take quick hot showers are normally sick, and in case of women, menstruation is never regular. Also their metabolism is never straight, and they get blue veins and finally they become ugly because their face starts producing a very different kind of fat layer in the skin. That makes them out of shape.
The art of taking a cold shower is that when you let the cold water strike your body, you start massaging your body right away to the extent that you don’t feel the coldness. It is the healthiest exercise, greatest therapy and very creative to the body.
As a woman or as a man there is one thing which is a very great must. You must pray in the evening. When the sun starts setting, 4:00 p.m. onward, your energy gets out of balance; it is automatic. In the morning you are fresh and you want to do something. In the evening, you want to freak out somewhere. It is natural. Don’s stop it. Just pick a certain time in the evening when you can close your eyes, and pray for a minute, two, three, or five minutes.
To maintain health, one must daily perform some activity that will cause beads of perspiration to appear on the forehead.
For vitamin B-12 and other vitamins, you must know how to make homemade yogurt (see appendix). It is essential for the intestinal flora, so it will be good to add to your diet a cup of homemade yogurt every day, and every three days, sour yogurt. Sour yogurt is a very systematic system in the spiritual world. They take the yogurt and they keep it covered at room temperature so it becomes yellowish and sour. The fermentation in it develops vitamin B-12 which is very essential for the nervous system. The body cannot make B-12, so you need yogurt daily for the complete nutrition of the body.
-From The Ancient Art of Self-Healing by Yogi Bhajan (KRI 2009), p. 120.
Many of us have heard about the cold showers, but we may not think about some of these other simple recommendations, such as sweating every day. If you’re looking for more ways to sweat every day with Kundalini Yoga, keep an eye out for a new Physical Training with Yogi Bhajan DVD set coming from KRI later this year. Perfect for a weekly practice, each DVD features PT taught by Yogi Bhajan every morning at 7:00 a.m. (sharp!) during women’s camp in 1994. Men were invited to PT at women’s camp too!
The videos have a model demonstrating each exercise in an inset screen to help you follow along and get the most out of each kriya. You may remember some classic manuals like Slim & Trim as well. You can find some kriyas from Slim & Trim in KRIYA (KRI 2013). KRI is working to bring back out-of-print manuals like Slim & Trim, so stay tuned!
A Clove-ing Thought…
Yogi Bhajan suggested the clove water recipe shared here specifically for the month of May. While that’s still a month away, now seemed a good time to remind of clover water, since times of “flu season” vary worldwide depending on the hemisphere you live in. A milder winter can also lead to an earlier flu season than usual.
Yogi Bhajan’s May Clove Recipe
Take a handful of cloves and soak them in one half cup of room temperature water overnight—no need to boil. First thing in the morning, when you brush your teeth, take 3-4 tablespoons of the clove water (not more than 5—don’t overdo it), swish it around in your mouth and then swallow.
For convenience, you can make enough for three or four days and keep it in the refrigerator. For best results, take some everyday throughout the month of May.
Besides having antiviral qualities, cloves also contain antifungal and antibacterial agents. It is a strong spice that carries much heat, so it is generally diluted before ingesting or applying to the body. Keeping whole cloves and a bottle of clove essential oil are good staples for most any home remedy stash. Clove can make a good addition to homemade toothpastes or deodorants, and can also help eliminate some fungal infections of the skin and nails. Taking clove internally either in a chai tea mixture or by making clove water can be a great way to give the body an extra line of defense during common flu season in your region. Because of its strength, clove is generally contraindicated for people who have kidney or liver disorders and those with a history of seizures. Some people with allergies to balsam also are allergic to clove.