Ayurvedic Morning Routine
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If you follow trends in the wellness world at all, then there's a good chance you've seen Ayurveda mentioned a time or two, but hold on before you dismiss it as another fad diet: Ayurveda is the ancient sister science to yoga, and was developed over 3,000 years ago in India.
Ayurveda is gentle in its approach, never invasive, and prioritizes self care (or dinacharya), seasons and cycles of nature and the body, and finding balance in the body, mind, and spirit. I was introduced to Ayurveda last winter, following a bout with a tough cold and some serious SAD (seasonal affectedness disorder); I was exhausted mentally and physically, weak, and down in the dumps. I felt disconnected and uncentered, and the freezing winter temperatures were getting to me.
In other words, my dosha was imbalanced (no worries if you don't know what a dosha is; I wrote about the basics here), and I was in desperate need of some Ayurvedic wisdom.
Luckily enough, Ayurveda offers very simple tips for rebalancing each dosha, one of which is establishing a morning routine. Morning is considered the most important time to practice dinacharya, as it sets the tone for the rest of the day, which I absolutely love!
Read on for a few tips for starting your own Ayurvedic Morning Routine.
1. Rise and Shine
The best way to start an Ayurvedic morning routine is to wake up at a regular time each day. Historically, Ayurveda suggests rising early: around 6 AM for Vatas, 5:30 AM for Pittas, and 4:30 AM for Kaphas. I'll be honest and admit that I do not wake up that early on a regular basis - or ever, if I can help it. But I do wake up at the same time every day, and I've found that the regularity of it not only helps me plan my days better, it increases my productivity throughout the day and improves my sleep.
2. Take a Breath
After your alarm goes off, take a few deep breaths. Think of something you're grateful for, and then think of something else. Set your intentions for the day: what do you want to focus on? What are your goals and priorities for the day?
You can make this a mental practice, or you can keep a journal by your bed and write it down. Either way, start the day off on the right foot, with a positive outlook, a grateful heart, and a clear, calm mind.
3. Hydrate - Inside and Out
Wash your face with cool water as soon as you get up and pat your skin dry (I like to spray my face with Alaffia's Coconut Water Face Toner afterwards!), then head to the kitchen and drink a full glass of room temperature water, preferably with lemon or a pinch of turmeric to rehydrate and gently awaken your digestive system.
4. Brush, Scrape, and Pull
Now it's time to give some love to your teeth! Brush your teeth, scrape your tongue, and, if you're up for it, try oil pulling. It's been used in India for over 3,000 years, and has so many benefits, including healthier gums, whiter teeth, clearer skin, and a stronger immune system.
New to oil pulling? Check out this article on mindbodygreen! It breaks it down for you, step by step.
5. Move Your Body
Yoga and meditation are crucial elements of the Ayurvedic morning routine, but don't worry: you don't have to do a 60 minute vinyasa flow to feel the goodness! 20 minutes of gentle, mindful movement - awakening the body, stretching what feels tight, and moving with your breath - will do the trick. If you want to try a guided meditation, this 10 Minute Meditation for Inner Peace by Yoga with Adriene is sure to put a smile on your face.
6. Treat Yourself
No, I'm not suggesting a shopping spree. Instead, try something that pampers your body a bit and makes you feel good: dry brushing, self-massage with essential oils (lavender is my favorite!), or going outside for a walk. Take time to slow down and connect with yourself.
Most importantly, though, don't trick yourself into thinking that the time you invest in self-care is selfish. You can't give your best for others if you're not at your best. By setting aside thirty minutes for an Ayurvedic morning routine, to help set your intentions and prepare yourself for the day, you're telling yourself that you're worth the same love and care you give to the people you love most. In turn, you can give even more love and care to the people around you.
Do you implement any Ayurvedic wisdom into your life? Have you ever tried an Ayurvedic morning routine? Let me know in the comments below!