Creating a Ayurveda morning ritual is a good way to start your day. For many reasons, these practices are aimed to enhance your human experience here on Earth. Developed by the yogis of ancient India, some 5000 BCE, these practices have stood the test of time. They are only now starting to become more common in our modern society, because of their benefits.
While you may know about yoga, there is a whole other word of Ayurveda that happens to work as a sister science to Yoga. The two combined, is said to create a recipe for perfect health in the mind and body.
You can start integrating these Ayurveda morning rituals into your day and see how your body and mind develop. The rituals are safe to practice and are very simple to do once you get the hang of them. And by creating a space in the morning to practice them, you will be setting your day to be more than productive and successful. All this while keeping you grounded to mother earth.
1. Sleep and Wake Up at the Same Time
Sleeping and waking up at the same time every day is a great habit to start. Not only is this recommended in Ayurveda, sleep therapists and counselors also recommend it. In the modern world, this is a good habit to keep your body in a circadian rhythm.
However in Ayurveda, the goal is to sleep at the end of the Vata phase of the day, and rise with the sun during the Kapha time of day. At this time of day, your body is in its natural state and knows it’s time to get physically and mentally ready for the day.
Without going into much about the specifics of your physical and mental blueprint, try to sleep at 10 p.m. each night. And make sure your last meal for the night is 3 hours before sleep. So in this case, you’d be done with dinner around 7pm.
Again a general rule, if you usually feel lethargic or heavy after you wake up in the morning, trying to set your alarm to 15 minutes before the sun rises. If you feel like your mind rushes way to much or that you are fatigued when you wake up, trying waking up 15 minutes after the sun rises. And if you have no mental or physical reaction when you wake up, set your clock to rise with the sun.
Keep consistent with this Ayurveda morning ritual and see how your mind and body start responding.
2. Tongue Scraping
Tongue scraping is a practice that is very uncommon in the modern world. Before I knew what tongue scraping was, I would use my toothbrush to brush my tongue in the morning. As part of my journey as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, I learned quickly that I needed to stop brushing my tongue.
Tongue scraping is the act of removing the white coating that appears on your tongue. In Ayurveda, we believe this is ama or toxins. These toxins build up on your tongue throughout the day. The ama is however very apparent after you wake up in the morning.
Tongue scraping should be done right before you brush your teeth. Learn more about how to scrape your tongue in this article. Also get the specifics on what type of scraper to buy and how to actually use it.
3. Drink Water
After scraping and brushing your teeth, drink a whole glass of warm water. Ayurveda does not ever recommend drinking cold or ice water. The reason for this will take up another full article, but we need to keep going here.
During sleep your body loses a lot of water. So the first thing you are to do is replenish your body by drinking some warm water that will wake up your digestive system.
If you do not like plain warm water, try to make this CCF tea that will act to both replenish the depleted water, but also works as a digestive tea with a multitude of benefits. Click here to get the CCF recipe to make this at home.
4. Practice Jala Neti
Nasal irrigation or jala neti is an Ayurvedic practice of clearing out the nasal passage. We recommend this to clear out your nasal/sinus passage. However, the practice of jala neti as part of your Ayurveda morning ritual is to get your breathing ready for number 6 below.
You can get a jala neti from Amazon or from your local pharmacy who sell it for the purposes of allergy cleaning.
Make sure you are using it the right way so that you don’t get water into higher areas or your ears. Proceed with caution.
5. Abhyanga Massage
The Abhyanga massage is a practice that should definitely be part of your Ayurveda morning ritual. Performing this ritual is not only calming and nourishing to your skin, it is also nourishing to your mental state. In Ayurveda, we ask patients to show self-love every morning by applying oils to their skin. And while not all oils are good for everyone, the safest for you to pick for any Ayurvedic body type, is either coconut or sesame oil.
Start by heating the oil and applying it on your scalp first. Work your way down your body until you reach your feet. Try to show gratitude towards your body as you are focusing on applying the oils. Keep the oils on your body for about 2 hours if you can. You can also proceed to completing number 6 and 7 below and then take a shower to wash off any excess oil from your body.
If you are soaping up and scrubbing your body in the shower, try to reapply some oils after your shower too. This doesn’t have to be too much, but just enough to nourish your skin after the shower.
6. Practice Pranayama
Pranayama is the practice of breath work. Prana meaning life, and yama meaning control. It is the control and appreciation of the life giving force that resides in you. When you practice pranayama, you are working on bringing mental and physical wellness to yourself.
There are many methods of pranayama that you can practice, but the safest one for most people is anuloma viloma, or alternate nostril breathing. This is the practice of sitting cross-legged (if you can) on the floor. You use your ring finger and your thumb to close one nostril as you breath in thought the other. And then you close both nostrils, wait for a few seconds (as much as you can wait), and release the breath from the alternate nostril. Check out this video to help guide you through.
If you are just starting this morning ritual of pranayama, make sure you do not over do it. Do this for a maximum of 2 minutes every morning until you feel well enough to increase it.
After you are done with the Ayurveda morning rituals above, you are now ready for the most important mind body soul connection ritual. Meditation for most people who have not tried it, seems useless or daunting. And while we all may know if people to tout their meditation practices, that is just spiritual arrogance in motion.
When starting a meditation practice, you can try so many ways to get you started on your journey through meditation. Read this article on how to practice meditation like the yogi’s of India developed and practiced eons ago.
Meditation is recommended in the early morning to help you reconnect with your true self. It is also setting you up for a successful day by being present for everything that shows up in your day. By knowing the truth of our existence, we are much more capable of handling the human experiences we have. Take time to meditate for at least one minute and day and slowly increase the time until you are ready to meditate for an hour or two. Note that to get to an hour will possibly take you a year or slow. But remember, slow and steady wins the race.
I hope you are able to get some of these Ayurvedic morning rituals into your daily practice. They are meant not only to help your body wake up and be ready for the day, but also your mental state.
While these may seem overwhelming at first, I do recommend starting with #1 and getting used to that, and then adding in #2. Once you are good with #1 and #2, then add in #3. You get the point! That way you will have a foundation to start on before adding in the next morning ritual.
What practices are you going to start with? Let me know below.
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