Updated: Nov 9, 2019
Now that it is the middle of winter and high vata time, one of my favorite daily self-care routines to do is oiling my ears, called karana purana. This is a great way to care for the ears and can help nourish all the parts of the ears, improve hearing, and calm the mind. I find that it even keeps me grounded and warm – essential for pacifying vata.
Karana purana also treats the nadis, or energy channels, that supplies prana to the ears. Payasvini is the nadi that branches from the third eye and goes to the right ear, and shankhini is the channel that goes to the left ear. In Ayurveda, the ears are considered two of the ten gates of the body, all of which are where we receive and transmit energy. Prana comes in and out of the body through these different gates or orifices and by treating these orifices and their related channels we are therefore treating the energy going to the mind and body. Since the ears are so close in proximity to the brain, this treatment directly impacts the mind, bringing a calm and relaxed state.
Brahmi oil is great for karana purana, although I usually just use plain sesame oil. It is done by lying on your side and placing a few drops of medicated oil in your ear and then massaging it in for a minute or two, then flipping over and doing the other side. I usually take the easier route and simply put a small puddle of oil in my palm and use a clean pinky finger to get it in my ear. While I’m at it, I’ll stick my pinky up my nose to get the nostrils lubricated as well – the nostrils being two more of the energy gates in the body. Then let the fun begin as you find oil trickling out of your ears and nose for the next half hour!!