Just as we can rely on the sun rising and setting each day, our bodies and minds thrive when they have a routine. The world is ebbing and flowing around us, and we need to know how to be resilient amidst this. This is why an Ayurvedic morning routine is so important. Each of us is different, living in different environments and climates, so it is about creating our own personal plan.
Not only does an Ayurvedic morning routine give us a reassuring structure to live within, it helps our body function properly. It regulates hormones, supports our metabolism, balances blood sugar levels, aids sleep, and creates a resilient immune system. All this in turn leads to the building of healthy tissues and ojas. It also helps generate discipline, a sense of contentment and self esteem. Just as we need to be surrounded by reliable people, systems and governments; our bodies and minds need to be able to depend on us.
Dependent on our constitution, we can alter aspects accordingly. Here are elements of a morning plan that you can tailor for yourself. I think it is all about how we start the day…
Ayurvedic Morning Routine
- Try and get up at the same time each day. Ideally this is before sunrise. I like to say thank you as soon as I wake up and my feet touch the floor. My Master in India has multiple prayers for all the stages of his waking: prayer for his feet touching the floor, and for his fingers, hands and body as they will take him through the day.
- Ideal awakening timings differ as per constitutions and season, but a general guide: Vata – 6am, Pitta – 5.30am, Kapha – 5am. At the height of winter, these timings might be a little later, and summer, a little earlier.
- I then put put a desert spoon of oil (sesame or coconut) in my mouth for my daily morning oil pulling. Before, rubbing a little oil all over my body (mini home abhyanga) sesame oil is great in winter as it is warming, and coconut oil if you are pitta constitution, are feeling hot that day or it is summer, as it is cooling.
- Bath time! (Still oil-pulling, as it ideally we do it for 15-20mins). Bathing after spreading oil all over our body means it sinks in best. I then get dressed into comfy gear for my morning sadhana…having dispensed with the oil in my mouth into compost or a bag-lined bin.
- Morning Ritual of Chyawanprash: take 1-2 teaspoons, and lick the spoon that’s covered in it slowly, allowing all the flavours to excite your tastebuds. I love this moment when I taste all the magnificent flavours of this elixir, it is a properly nourishing wake up call. I then follow this with a mug of warm water, or a mug of warm A2 milk (goat or A2 cow), or warm almond milk as its chaser.
- Now I am ready for my morning sadhana (practice): which is again very personal, but could include meditation, mantra japa, kriya, pranayama, morning pages. I have been given particular practices by my Master that suit my needs be they astrological, behavioural or constitutional. Some of this routine I do throughout the year, and some is seasonal. It is great to get some direction on this from an Ayurvedic practitioner or Vedic astrologer.
- It is good to evacuate at a similar time each day, be it upon waking up, before bathing etc.
- I would recommend doing yoga asana and stretching each morning, ideally 5-12 sun salutations, go at a slower pace if you are of a vata or pitta constitution, and a little faster if you are kapha.
- Breakfast time! My body likes a bowl of special porridge, using different combinations of things like: organic oat bran, chia, tiger nut flour, organic oats, as well as seeds, all cooked in water with a little cinnamon. I then top this with a form of fat (either almond butter or coconut cream), and some berries. This is great in winter and suits my system. I do recommend alternating food stuffs, as we don’t want to habituate our body to any one foodstuff and our gut loves variety in plant food.
This may sound like a lot, but once you are doing it, it is so life-enhancing, you want to get up early to make time for it. We only have a limited time on this earth so I say, let’s attempt to make each morning a bowing down of gratitude for our being here.
By Selina Van Orden