Want to hydrate the right way? It’s not as simple as chugging 8 glasses of water a day. According to Ayurvedic traditions, the manner in which you drink water—from your posture, to the water temperature—can affect how your mind and body respond.
Around the world, water is a symbol of purity, life, and rejuvenation. And for the ancient Indian traditions of Ayurveda, drinking water is a mindfulness meditation practice in its own right. Taking a look at how we engage with water every day can be really transformative. A different approach might even help you relax, be present in the moment, and feel more at peace in all aspects of your life!
Mindfulness with Ayurvedic Traditions
Mind-body wellness is at the heart of Ayurveda, and its teachings include many different approaches to maintain this sense of balance. While meditation is one of the most common practices in Ayurveda, there are plenty of others, too. Healthy habits like eating a colorful and varied diet, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise are all included in an Ayurvedic lifestyle.
In each of these practices, mindfulness is key. Ayurveda teaches that being present in each moment can help reduce stress and restore a sense of calm into your life. One of the easiest ways to work mindfulness into your daily routine is to devote some extra attention to a single activity. For a lot of people, choosing to focus on their drinking water and how they drink water makes the most sense to start because it directly relates to your mind-body connection.
Develop Your Drinking Water Practice
One of the great things about practicing mindfulness is that it doesn’t require any hard-set rules. Of course, it helps to be intentional. If you want to try using a mindfulness practice with your drinking water, try following these Ayurveda tips to get the most out of each moment.
1. Sip Slowly
Chugging two cups of water doesn’t have the same mind-body benefits as drinking your water in small sips. The Ayurvedic method of hydration encourages you to slow down. Taking a little more time with your glass is often better for digestion and get you in a better head-space.
2. Take a Seat
Ayurveda also teaches that it’s best to sit while drinking water. So, remember to take a seat as you savor each sip. Sitting makes it easier to have a relaxed posture, which can help you digest food easier as you keep your muscles and nerves hydrated throughout the day.
3. Watch the Temp
According to some Ayurvedic experts, chilled or ice water can disrupt our natural digestion process. Instead of shocking your body with cold water, they say to drink tepid, room-temperature water (or even warm water) to benefit your digestion and metabolism.
4. Create a Routine
Another tradition is to drink a glass of water right when you wake up in the morning. Also referred to as “Ushapan,” this practice helps your body get primed for the day. Some people even drink their water from a copper cup or copper water bottle to get an extra boost!
5. Mind Your Water Quality
Ayurveda is all about quality. From how you sit, to taking careful sips, it’s important to appreciate every sensation. How does your water taste? And how do you feel after drinking a glass? As you become more aware of your drinking water, you’ll probably realize that you want to keep it clean. Sipping filtered water helps you treat your body (and mind) right.
As you start to embrace mindfulness with your drinking water, you’ll be able to flex your “mindfulness muscles” in a real way while keeping your body hydrated. Eventually, you might decide to extend the practice to other areas parts of your day. Whether you’re taking a walk around the block, folding the laundry, or stopped in the car at a really long red light—there’s always time to breathe deep and appreciate the moment.
Choosing to drink filtered water throughout the day, gives you even more benefits. Each glass of water you drink can enhance your practice. The point is to adapt mindfulness to what works best for you. Start with water, and then move forward from there!
Ready to embrace mind-body wellness?