A supportive Ayurveda morning routine is helpful for all people, regardless of dosha. Ayurveda teaches us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature and to make choices that bring balance to our constitution. Whether you are predominantly Vata, Pitta, or Kapha dosha, there are similarities across the board when it comes to the ideal morning routine. However, there are specific practices that are best for balancing each dosha. In this post I will summarize ideas for an Ayurvedic morning routine for Kapha dosha types. Remember, that no two people are exactly alike, so let these guidelines serve as a starting point for further refinement of your morning routine.
Awaken before sunrise
This guideline is especially important for Kapha dosha. Kapha types are naturally deep sleepers, so they may be prone to sleeping in. However, sleeping in late can produce grogginess and lethary. That's because the Kapha dosha rules between 6am and 10am. If you want to wake up feeling chipper with enough time and energy to exercise, meditate, and/or practice yoga, wake up during Vata time, which occurs between 2am and 6am.
Dry brush before bathing
Some of the qualities that characterize Kapha dosha are moist, slow, smooth, and heavy. Whereas Vata dosha especially benefits from oil massage and other warming, grounding practices, Kapha dosha typically requires the opposite. Dry brushing (garshana) is a good practice to incorporate a couple of times a week. Dry brushing, or garshana, can be performed with a bristle body brush or silk gloves. It is particularly helpful for Kapha types because it helps to circulate lymph, clear ama and congestion, and has an overall stimulating effect. For Vata and Pitta types, dry brushing may be a useful practice to do on occasion during the spring—the Kapha time of year.
Tongue scrape before the morning meal
For those who are new to Ayurveda, you may have to get used to incorporating tongue scraping into your morning routine. But once you get used to it, tongue scraping will feel as natural and necessary as brushing your teeth. Use a steel or copper tongue scraper, and scrape lightly several times from the back of the tongue to the front in order to remove excess coating on the tongue. If the coating on the tongue is thick, this is an indication of excess ama, so you may want to consider the state of your digestion as well as recent dietary choices. Those factors are likely the culprit in any ama buildup.
Nasal rinsing (jal neti)
Rinsing the nasal passages by way of a neti pot is an excellent way to clear out allergens such as dust and pollen. This practice also clears out excess mucus, so that you will breathe more freely. Also, prana (life-force) is carried on the breath, so when your breath is more free, so will be the mind.
Stay active and light
In cultivating an Ayurvedic morning routine for Kapha, remember that Kapha types especially benefit from routines that help them stay active and light. A spoonful of Chyawanprash can be enjoyed before a light, warming breakfast or a cup of spicy tea. In addition to the practices mentioned above, Kapha types may also want to engage in some form of moderate to vigorous exercise in the mornings.
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. Her Ayurveda practice is based in Asheville, North Carolina and she is the co-owner of Iyengar Yoga Asheville.