Tongue Scraping


So you wouldn’t think that scraping my tongue in the morning would have a component of spirituality to it would you…?  I said tongue scraping in my class today and was met with a hilarious mix of curled noses, incredulity and raised eyebrows. They’re not alone.

On Saturday at Yoga Teacher Training, our teacher Molly from Yoga North demonstrated tongue scraping and…wait for it…using a neti pot for the class.  Fantastic.  I have a huge smile on my face thinking of it because the faces around the room (mine included) were the same as the faces in mine.  Except I may have turned my head away during the neti pot part because I get gaggy at boogers.

Ok so why, you may ask, am I blogging about Tongue Scraping and how could it possibly be a spiritual act??  Bear with me.

One of the legs of the table of yoga is Ayurvedics.  Supporting the body, treating it with the best care, so that you can do your best work serving the world with your gifts.  And one of the suggested practices of Ayurvedics?  Tongue Scraping.

It sounds so violent.  But truly – it isn’t.  You use this nifty little tool – mine’s copper.

Nifty Tongue Scraper!

And just kind of slide it down your tongue after you wake up.  The metal ‘scrapes’ off the gunk that accumulates in your mouth as you sleep.  Why?  Well how Molly said it was this, “Your body is getting rid of the gunk and gets it to the tongue, you’re just helping move it off the tongue and out of the body.”

The Chopra website has many things to say about it, but here’s a good one,

“Scraping the tongue daily removes any build-up on the tongue, which, if left untreated, can lead to bad breath and may house a significant number of bacteria. This simple practice is a direct way of removing Ama from your physiology. In Ayurveda, Ama refers to any accumulation of toxic residue in the mind-body. This can result from improper eating, poor digestion, or a reflection of an imbalance somewhere in the gastrointestinal system.”

Umm…ok.  I’m in.

I’m on Day 2.

And here’s what I want to say.  It’s not the act of tongue-scraping itself that is for me a spiritual act.  It’s that I’m doing something that CARES FOR MY BODY that is a spiritual act.  I am taking a minute out of my day to care for my beautiful self.  Just one minute.  Why?  So that I can support my body as I do my work, as I live and love.

Tongue Scraping may not be your thing.  And that’s cool.  But what is one thing that you can do to support your body as you live, serve, work, love and be in the world?  What’s one thing that you can do every day – without it seeming like a drag?  But a loving act that you can add in gently?

Here are some suggestions if you can’t come up with anything:

*Warm glass of water in the morning with a capful of lemon juice or a squeeze of fresh lemon.

*Lotion after your bath/shower.

*Taking a minute after you wake up – ONE MINUTE – to throw some gratitude around for this cool life you have.

*Stretch after you get out of bed.

*Go for a leisurely walk when you get home from work.

*Take some deep breaths throughout your day.

*Eat more vegetables.

*Drink more water.

*Smile at yourself in the mirror.

Or…you could tongue scrape!  haha!  If you’re interested, I got mine through Yoga North’s Online Store.  Click the ‘Products’ button after you link in.

Much peace to you on your journey and may it be filled with joy, love and peace.