Ayurvedic Morning Routine
One of the most important ways to bring more harmony and health into everyday life is to start every day with an Ayurveda morning routine. This helps us to follow the natural rhythm of our body (which we unfortunately too often ignore) and thus find equilibrium and health. The following morning ritual is based on Ayurvedic traditions.
1. Get up early
Ayurveda recommends getting up before sunrise or no later than 6:00 a.m. every day. When we wake up with the sun, we feel refreshed and it is easier for us to get into a state that prepares the body and mind for the day ahead.
If we sleep longer, we enter the Kapha period, which can lead to indolence. It is also important to adapt the wake-up time to your own constitution. For example, Vata types should get up before 6:30 a.m., while Pitta types can benefit from waking up before 5:30 a.m., and Kapha types enjoy the benefits of an early morning at 4:30 a.m.
In the early morning, when it is still dark outside, use pleasant, not too bright light so that the body can slowly wake up.
The next step is cleaning. During the night our bodies flushed ama (toxins) into the excretory ducts. It is important to get rid of these.
Drink water: Start by drinking a glass of room temperature or warm water to replenish fluids lost in your sleep. This also helps to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, stimulate peristalsis and balance the pH. Make sure the water isn't cold as this will force the body to use energy to heat the water. Add lemon juice and spices that are tailored to your dosha to enhance the detoxifying effects
Emptying the bowels: In the morning our body goes from calming and cooling moon energy to a detoxification and absorption cycle. If you are unable to rid yourself of the previous day's wastes, the toxins can be reabsorbed back into your system.
Cleaning the tongue: According to Ayurveda, the coating on the tongue is a collection of toxins, or ama, that the body releases. To remove this coating, scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper.
Brushing your teeth: Then brush your teeth. This is a necessary step in cleaning your mouth and removing tartar, mucus, and other ama.
Cleanse the face and eyes: Splash water on the face to create a feeling of freshness and to cleanse it. Be sure to use warm, but not hot, water.
Cleansing your nose (Nasya): Tilt your head back and apply a few drops of sesame, sunflower or herbal oil to each nostril. Before nasya, it can be beneficial to flush the nasal passages with a neti pot (jala neti) to remove dust, pollen and excess mucus.
Oil pulling: Hold or swirl 1-2 teaspoons of sesame, coconut, or olive oil in your mouth for about ten to fifteen minutes to “pull” bacteria out of your mouth and gums. Spit it out when you're done and avoid swallowing it. You can brush your teeth either before or after this.
3. Apply oil to the body
In Ayurveda, Abhyanga is an integral part of the morning ritual. Abhyanga is a warm oil self-massage that is typically done 15 minutes before bathing. This self-massage increases blood circulation and promotes detoxification, softens the skin and calms the nervous system.
To practice this form of self-massage, start by rubbing oil all over your body, including your head, ears, and nostrils. Use circular motions over round areas, such as the face, head, and joints, and stroking motions over the rest of the body. Always massage towards your heart.
Sesame or almond oil is suitable for Vata types, sunflower or coconut oil for Pitta types and sunflower or mustard oil for Kapha types. Jojoba oil is good for all doshas.
When you're done, wait at least 15 minutes before taking a bath to allow the oils to penetrate deeper. During this time, you can either relax or continue with other morning activities such as yoga or meditation.
In Ayurveda, it is important to exercise as part of a morning ritual. This is especially necessary if your day is mostly sedentary. Yoga asanas are the perfect way to incorporate exercise into your morning routine. This also ensures more alertness, focus and energy for the day and stimulates digestion.
Meditation is an important part of an Ayurvedic morning routine. Morning meditation helps create a sense of calm and inner peace that protects against the stressors of the day. It also brings focus as well as clarity, which allows you to maximise your productivity during the day.
Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably and not be interrupted. Set a timer if necessary. Relax your body and place your hands on your legs, palms up. Close your eyes and breathe very consciously through your nose, slowly and evenly. Focus on the thoughts that come without evaluating them, and when you find yourself being distracted, gently bring your focus back to your breathing. If you are new to it, it is best to start out by meditating for 2 minutes. Once you feel that this is no longer a problem for you, you can slowly and steadily increase the time.
After you've finished your exercises, it's time to take a bath.
Ayurveda is not only about eating healthy, but also about your own constitution. Vata types benefit from a warm, dense, moist, sweet, sour and salty breakfast. Pitta types get along well with a breakfast that is cool, dense, mild and dry and tastes sweet, bitter and astringent. People with a Kapha constitution benefit from foods that are warm, light, dry and fiery and taste astringent, bitter and spicy.
Be sure to eat your breakfast slowly and consciously. Chew thoroughly and stop when you're about 80% full.
With these steps, you will find more peace and balance in your morning routine. It's best to integrate the rituals that make the most sense to you first. You don't have to start with all the above steps at once. Take it slow, because even a small change can have a positive impact. With this in mind, we wish you much peace and tranquillity for a good Ayurvedic morning.
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