My Ayurvedic Morning Routine
Do you have a daily morning routine? In Ayurveda, routines are paramount to great health. I know I personally feel 100 times better when I stick to my morning ritual. It gives me the opportunity every morning to check in and care for myself on a spiritual level, to physically detox my body, and to refine my mental and emotional awareness. I’m a better mom, lover, and health practitioner when I take care of myself first.
A regular routine based on the principles and practices of Ayurveda will help you stay balanced and peaceful, which will ultimately lead to a healthier, happier, more productive, and more fulfilled life.
Here’s a general look into my personal Ayurvedic morning routine:
1. Tongue scrape upon waking. Before drinking or eating anything at all, I scrape my tongue. When you sleep at night, the body detoxes, and the surface of the tongue collects those toxins. If you wake up and immediately eat or drink something, you’re swallowing those toxins back into the body, where they recirculate and build up. Yuck. Tongue scraping prevents those toxins from going back into your body! If you don’t have a tongue scraper, here’s a good one. To scrape your tongue, simply stick your tongue out and place the scraper at the back of the tongue. Draw the scraper all the way down to the tip of your tongue and flick the residue into your sink. Do this several times until the entire tongue feels fresh and clean.
2. Splash water in the eyes. A little bit of cool water in the eyes is a great, simple way to cleanse and awaken. You can take this a step further by doing a triphala eyewash, but I usually just splash some water in my face. If you’d like to hear more about washing your eyes with triphala tea, let me know! It could be a whole blog post of its own.
3. Warm lemon water. Then I drink a large glass of water with the juice of one lemon in it. Some days, I’ll drink plain water without lemon, depending on which one I’m intuiting my body needs more. (I have a blog post about intuitive eating over at Wild Sun Wellness. Check it out if you’re curious about intuitive eating practices.) This gives the organs a gentle cleanse and stimulates the agni (digestive fire). Lemon water also balances the body’s pH levels and keeps the immune system strong.
4. Dry brush the whole body. This is only done a couple times per week, but it’s magical and I highly recommend. Here’s a good one. Dry brushing removes dead skin cells, stimulates blood circulation, drains the lymphatic system, rejuvenates the nervous system, and enhances the function of the digestive system, just to name a few of its amazing benefits. To dry brush properly, you want to use on your whole body, making long strokes, moving from periphery to heart space. On your belly, make clockwise circular motions to stimulate digestion.
5. Leisure. We have Mysore students in the morning at our house (more so on Zoom right now due to social distancing procedures), so I generally wait to do my yoga practice until they leave. That means I usually have some time that I spend leisurely; I play or read books with my son, chill out on the couch with my own book, write in my journal, etc. I generally have a cup of black coffee during this time too!
6. Yoga, meditation, prayer. Once the students are finished, I move to the yoga room, unroll my mat and begin my yoga and meditation practice. It lasts anywhere from 30-90 minutes, depending on the day, where I’m at in my cycle, and how much time my threenager is willing to grant me. Most of the time I practice Ashtanga Yoga, but sometimes I’ll add some yin (especially during my late luteal and menstrual phase) or even do the workout routines my husband creates for his students (generally during my follicular or ovulatory phase). My personal favorite meditation practice is a simple, seated meditation.
7. Bathe. Some days I just shower, others I take a hot epsom salt bath with Connor. I generally add 1 cup epsom salt, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda to the water. We're using Dr. Bronner soap, which I love, but when this bottle runs out I'll be switching to my own homemade cleanser. More on that when the time comes... :)
8. Abhyanga. Oil massage! After bathing, I use my special Ayurveda herbal infused oils and massage into my skin. In the same way with dry brushing, I start at the extremities and work my way toward the heart space. The long limbs receive long, straight strokes, and the joints are massaged in a circular motion. I personally leave the oil on as my moisturizer for the day.
9. Breakfast. Then I cook some food and eat with Connor! In Ayurveda, breakfast should be a fairly light-to-medium sized meal, so I generally have something simple like a smoothie, a bowl of oats, or perhaps an egg with sautéed greens and a side of beans. Whatever I eat, it is spiced well and I do my best to incorporate all six tastes into each meal for balance.
10. Wash face, brush teeth. Then I finally do my thorough face washing and tooth brushing regimen. There’s nothing too fancy here, honestly. I just wash my face, brush my teeth with activated charcoal toothpaste, floss, and several days a week I’ll oil pull. I recommend oil pulling for at least 5 minutes after you floss for ultimate healthy, clean teeth!
That's it! Then I go about my day. Generally, if I’m feeling out of balance or just down in the dumps, there’s a good chance I’m slacking on my morning self-care routine— and the whole family feels the repercussions (happy wife, happy life, am I right?). But when I stay consistent, everything else falls into place pretty much immediately.
Ayurveda is awesome because it’s a practice of prevention. It doesn’t wait for something to be wrong in order to start working. Instead, Ayurveda encourages us to create sacred daily rituals that keep us healthy, whole, and thriving throughout our entire life. How beautiful!
What’s your morning routine look like?! Do you practice these too? I’d love to hear about your own self-care rituals <3