Does the mantra “rise and shine” sound like a complete oxymoron to you? If you replied yes, then you’ve come to the right place. To help you start your day with a little more shining, we have created a pacifying and awakening Ayurvedic morning routine for you to introduce into your daily routine.
Last week we talked about the best time to wake up in the morning according to Ayurveda, surprisingly it is a little earlier than you might think. The ideal time to wake up is between 4am and 5:30am, also known as the Amrit Vela, meaning ‘veil of nectar’. This time in the morning is dominated by the vata, which governs mental activities, activity and body movement. This is often why you feel a little restless at this time in your slumber. Tomorrow morning, instead of fighting this sensation, run with it. Resist the urge to roll over and scroll through social media and use this energy and extra time in your day for an Ayurvedic morning ritual.
For a more in depth look at what the best time to wake up in the morning is according to Ayurveda, you can take a look at last week's blog post here.
Ayurvedic Morning Ritual
As this hour is governed by body movement and activity, use this time to stretch your muscles, warm up your body and shake out the kinks from the night before. Whether this is through incorporating yoga, a walk to see the sunrise or something as simple as house chores. Make your bed, do the washing up from the night before, fold your clothes away. These simple tasks can set you in an upward trajectory for the rest of your day in a positive and productive mindset.
The vata dosha isn’t just referring to the activity of the body, but the activity of the mind too. During the first hours of rising, use this time to ground your thoughts and centre your mind. This can be done by incorporating 15 minutes of Ayurvedic meditation and can look different based on your dosha. For vata dosha we recommend using a grounding affirmation or mantra such as “I am focused, I am centred” to quieten your busy and creative mind. For pitta doshas who are always seeking to be productive and proactive, just remind yourself that by allowing time to empty your thoughts of your weekly to-do list you will be even more productive in the long run without a cluttered mind. Lastly for kapha dosha, we recommend that you try incorporating moving meditation into your Ayurvedic morning routine. Whether this is through walking, with hand gestures or chanting to keep your mind and body alert.
3. Ayurvedic Oral Oil Pulling
The art of oral oil pulling can have a wealth of benefits including “strengthening the teeth, gums and jaw, as well as protecting the voice” in the words of Amita Banerjee, an Ayurvedic Nutritionist. Either using coconut oil, olive oil or sesame oil, swish it in your mouth for 2-10 minutes as part of your Ayurvedic morning routine. Doing this routinely will diminish tooth decay, bad breath and bleeding gums. Follow this with a gum massaging using the residual oil in your mouth and your index finger in clockwise motions. This will stimulate your gum tissue and cleanse your digestive fire.
4. Cool your eyes
Your eyes are not only the window to your soul, but the seat of your fire. Being the seat of your fire means they are often prone to overheating and therefore becoming puffy or irritated. If you particularly suffer from puffy eyes in the morning, splashing cool water, using a cool compress or even cool slices of cucumber can help rebalance your doshas.
5. Self Massage
Also known as ‘Abhyanga’ meaning the ‘oiling of the limbs’. This traditional form of self massage is best practiced with an oil specific to your dosha: either Spirited Kapha Body Oil, Surrender Vata Body Oil or Serenity Pitta Body Oil. Warming the oil between your hands, begin to massage the entire body from feet to head. After stimulating the body, leave the oils on the skin for 20 minutes to fully absorb before rinsing off in the shower, leaving your skin nourished and your body awakened.