Water Water everywhere tell me when to drink
Water is one of the key five subtle elements of nature with which this world including our body is made up of. Studies suggest that about 70% of earth is covered by water bodies. About 60% of an adult's body is water. The lungs have about 80% water. The brain, heart and muscles are composed of more than 70% water. Skin has about 60% and blood around 50%. Even the hardest of them all, bones have about 30% water as constituents.
Now with water playing such a pivotal role in the constitution of our body and its vital organs, one thing is sure that we need to take care about the quantity, quality and timing of water that we intake throughout the day. Water taken at any point of time during the day is beneficial but Ushapaan as a practice gains special significance in benefits that it offers when added as part of one’s daily routine.
What is Ushapaana?
Ushapaan literally means drinking water early in the morning (Usha means dawn while paan means intake). Ushapaan is a famous Ayurvedic practice of drinking water first thing in the morning. It is done in the Ushakaal which is the time 45 minutes before the sun rise.
How to do Ushapaana?
Ushapaana is a process which advises drinking 0.5-1 litre of lukewarm water (varies according to age and capacity) first thing in the morning before brushing your teeth or going to the toilet. The benefits increase if the water is stored in a copper vessel overnight. The temperature of water can be adjusted according to the season where warm water can be taken in winters while slight lukewarm water can be taken in summers.
A set of three yogasanas are generally performed after Ushapaan : Tadasana, Tiriyak Tadasana and Kati-chakrasana. These help to clear the bowel movement.
Drinking or eating anything for at least for next 45 minutes is prohibited to reap maximum gains.
Sit in squatting pose or sukhasana or vajraasana. Drink water slowly so that the overnight saliva in the mouth gets mixed with it and reaches the stomach.
If you are not used to drink water in the morning then start with one glass of water. If you are used to, then increase it gradually by one glass till you reach 3-4 glasses (750 ml to 1 litre water consumption level). Make sure that you use glass to drink water
You may choose to drink luke warm water and add little lemon to it, based on weather conditions, water temperature and personal comfort with citrus fruits.
Now get up and perform Tadasana. This asana will stretch the body up and thereby open the duodenum to create a force for water to flow into the stomach.
The next asana Tiryak Tadasana is the posture where we stretch our arms up and then bend the body left and right. This is to help water flow through the small intestine which is coiled from left to right.
Lastly, Katichakra asana is performed by twisting the spine with arms widespread. You may imagine this with the movement in your washing machine tub where clothes are twisted to remove the dirt from them. With this posture the water in the small intestine is forced to move in the large intestine and squeeze the toxins away from it.
All the three postures can be done for 8-10 mins to gain added advantages of refreshed body opened up by the stretches.
When to do Ushapaana?
The ideal time to do Ushapaana is before sunrise, instantly after waking up and before brushing the teeth. Doing it before brushing teeth is considered extremely helpful as the overnight saliva in the mouth gets potent medicinal properties. This saliva should be mixed with the water that we are drinking.
Why do Ushapaana?
Major benefits of doing Ushapaana regularly are that it:
Water kept in copper vessel cleans the intestines and moves the toxins to the excretory channels so that it is removed through urine and stool. As a result, diseases like constipation, hyperacidity and dyspepsia are treated or prevented. The skin also becomes clear and beautiful.
Ushapaan aids in strengthening the digestive fire (Jatharagni). Copper has properties that aids in the process of peristalsis (movement of food through the food canal) and eliminates toxic product of undigested food (Ama) that is stuck to the intestines. After Ama is removed, the digestive fire becomes strong.
Copper water is positively charged and it can balance all three Doshas namely Vaata, Pitta and Kapha. That alone prevents many diseases from happening in the first place which starts with a dosha imbalance.
Daily practice of Ushapaan stimulates the kidney in performing its functions normally. Absorption, circulation and excretion of impurities happen normally with the action of copper on the kidneys.
Aids in Weight Loss
Obesity happens when Kapha dosha goes out of balance. With Ushapaan, all three doshas start becoming balanced, and additionally, it also reignites the digestive fire. The overall impact is a strong metabolism and reduction in fat tissues.
Have any Queries? Contact us for any doubts you may have regarding the practice of Ushapaan.