Ever think about the way your morning sets the tone for your whole day?
Like, if you slept through your alarm and then had to rush to get the kids up and fed so you forgot to feed yourself. Then traffic feels worse than normal (when in reality it probably isn’t) and you feel rushed and scattered the rest of the day?
When you happened to wake up ten minutes before your alarm, so you got an extra minute to stretch. Then got out of bed leisurely, laughed and played while getting the kids ready for school so you get on the road 5 minutes early, looks like there is no traffic — and all day things just fall into place? It’s amazing how that works right?
The best way to guarantee your whole day just falls into place?
With a sense of balance and ease?
A strong steady morning routine!
Creating A Morning Routine
In Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science literally meaning “life knowledge”, it is believed that a morning routine is essential to bring balance and, if necessary, change to the body, mind, and sensibilities. And, if you know your dominant dosha (your primary ayurvedic element/constitution – earth, air or fire), you can take steps throughout your entire day to create balance. Read up what the doshas are and signs of imbalance here.
There are a lot of steps to a traditional Ayurveda practice in the morning. It can feel a bit overwhelming. Let me break down the practice for you– then let’s talk about how it can fit into YOUR lifestyle.
Ayurvedic Morning Principles:
- Wake before the sun rises, preferably before 6 am when nature is still calm and at peace, to bring that same energy into your day. Your dominant dosha might affect what time is best for you to get up too. Not sure what yours is? Discover your dominant dosha with my quiz.
- Say a prayer before you get out of bed; thank your higher power. Or even just yourself to show gratitude for the new day you’ve received.
- Scrape your tongue with a stainless steel or copper tongue scraper from back to front a minimum of seven times rinsing between each swipe. Follow up with brushing your teeth. Take it a step further by rinsing your mouth with an ayurvedic rinse or an oil suited to your constitution (coconut oil, sesame oil, etc.) This is also known as “oil pulling” which dislodges fine food particles, strengthens your teeth, and aids healthy gums. Side note: when I can oil pull regularly, my dentist is floored by how good my mouth looks and has said I don’t even need him!
- Drink warm or room-temperature water. Use a pure copper cup filled with room temp water or heat some water on the kettle and add lemon or lime by squeezing a quarter of the fruit into the warm water. This cleanses the GI tract of toxins and makes for an easier bowel movement.
- Cleanse the sinuses with a nasal spray/flush (like a neti pot) or by putting a couple of drops of warm oil into the nose (again coconut oil, warm sesame oil, or something different depending on your constitution).
- Cleanse the eyes by washing them with cool water or spritz the face with organic rose water. This site has some tips on eye wash solutions based on your dosha.
- Abhyanga or self-massage is the practice of applying warm oil to the scalp and/or body and massaging it in to keep the skin soft and protect it from outside bacteria and toxins. The type of warm oil will, again, depend on your dosha… but coconut oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, and even mustard oil are all options. Enjoy giving yourself this daily oil massage.
- Dress and exercise! When you dress, ensure you are dressing in clean clothes and use natural scents like essential oils instead of perfumes to invigorate your body and senses. Follow up with some gentle exercise like yoga or a nice walk outside. Your dosha might require you to do a little more vigorous exercise, in which case do a more fiery vinyasa flow to start your day!
- Meditate at the end of your physical practice. Meditation is a calming exercise that leads to mental clarity and mindfulness. Adding this to your daily routine will make a difference in your thought patterns, sleep patterns, and overall physical/mental health.
- Time to eat breakfast and get on with your day!! Nourish your body for your constitution and fuel yourself with healthy food to give you energy and vitality.
That’s a lot of steps! And I understand that you are a busy woman. You take care of a home and/or kids and do ALL of the things. So how are you going to make the time to add all this in too?!
Here’s the thing, you make your practice fit YOU. Not the other way around. If you have strong beliefs and make the time to have a pure ayurvedic morning routine, that is AMAZING! But if you’re new to this and just want to try some of it out and see how an ayurvedic morning makes you feel, THAT’S GREAT TOO!
Here’s an example of how I created an ayurvedic daily routine for myself:
Brett’s Ayurvedic Morning Routine
- Calibrate my energy in bed by saying an affirmation or prayer. Starting out the day this way generates self-esteem and gratitude. Your attitude can affect your day more than anything, and this literally takes you no time at all and starts the day on a positive note.
- Tongue Scraping – I’m going to brush my teeth anyway, so why not add a few seconds to get rid of extra food debris and remove — yuck– dead bacteria?
- Drink a large glass of warm lemon water – This stokes your digestive fire and allows your digestive system to work better throughout the day. It’s best to start the day with water, so why not make it Ayurvedic? And don’t forget to drink water throughout the rest of your day too!
- Exercise – I start with yoga asanas to get my body moving and nourish my nervous system so that I am better equipped to handle any mishaps that may occur throughout the day. It also improves circulation, making it easier to physically move through the day.
- Meditate even if you can only sit quietly for 5 minutes! It will set a positive tone and create calm in your mind.
- Nourish– I’m vata/pitta dominant so that means porridge or grains like barley. When I nourish my body properly I establish balance in my internal organs. Plus, I can easily prepare these types of foods the night before.
Does that sound a little more doable and less overwhelming? I hope so! Still trying to think of some more simple ways to create a morning routine? Here are some tips to give you ideas.
Tips to Boost Your Morning Routine
- Get up at the same time every day. This will help your internal clock set and give you a more sound sleep at night too.
- If you don’t have time to do an oil massage over your entire body, gently massage the oil into your hands after brushing your teeth or waiting for your tea instead.
- Go outside, take a walk, or even sit on your patio for 5 minutes. Getting sunshine will promote health.
- Eat a healthy nourishing breakfast based on your dosha (you can read up on what that might look like with this Ayurvedic Diet post).
- Drink something nourishing for your immune system that kick-starts digestion (mushroom elixir, green smoothie etc.)
- Get on your mat no matter what! Use an app like Insight Timer to track your practice and add in some deep breathing exercises too.
- Journal and manage your to-do list as part of your meditation practice. Give yourself an extra two minutes at the end of meditation to let your thoughts out or manage your list to feel more confident about your day.
Do I get to do every part of an ayurvedic daily routine like I want? No, I don’t. Life is busy and you can only do so much. But you CAN DO SOMETHING! Why not set your day up for success by making your morning routine the most important, luxurious, self-satisfying part of your day?! And if you can’t fit all of this into your morning, then add it into your daily routine where you can. Do you want to add in the self-massage but don’t know where? Make it a part of your asana practice like with this Fascial Fitness program.
Like the idea of tongue scraping and eye cleansing but it’s just too much to start the day with? Put it in your nighttime routine instead.
Take these practices and personalize them. Or even better, you can find a local ayurvedic practitioner to guide you through what ayurvedic practice and ayurvedic medicine to add to your day!
Go a step further with Yoga for Self Mastery to go deeper into your self-care practice, discover and do practices specific to your doshic constitution, and light up your life!
- Take my History of Yoga Course to learn all about yogic principles and how they are applied to daily life!
- Check out my Yoga Philosophy knowledge hub for more inspiring content
- Join Uplifted for exclusive content that you can access right from the app. Take a deep dive into your practice with me this year!
Experience 3 Training Videos from Inside My 200-Hour Online YTT
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- Jal Neti Kriya: The Best Thing You Can Do To Clear Your Head Right Now
- My Exact Ayurveda Morning Routine For Yogis
- The 6 Stages of Disease in Ayurveda
- Discover Your Ayurvedic Constitution and Balance Your Mind, Body, and Spirit
- Understanding the Basic Principles of Ayurveda for Yogis
- 3 BEST Ayurveda Schools for a Holistic Ayurvedic Certification
- What Are Nadis? Your Guide to Energy Channels In Your Body.
- What the Heck is an Ayurvedic Diet? (And What Is Your Dosha Type?)
- A Day Around the Doshas: What I Learned When I Followed the Ayurvedic Clock
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