Do you want to feel energized in the morning? We all do! However, you may be starting your morning with the wrong yoga routine. Ayurveda is all about living by nature. Thus, the best morning yoga routine will shift throughout the year, just like nature and the Ayurvedic seasons.
The seasons play an integral role in living a healthy lifestyle. There are three seasons according to Ayurveda:
- Kapha season = February – May
- Pitta season = June – September
- Vata season = October – January
Each season carries the elements and qualities of that specific dosha. For example, the Kapha season brings more earth and water elements. Thus, one may feel more sluggish, have slower digestion, or experience respiratory issues and excess mucus. It is suggested that we alter our habits throughout the year to live according to nature and the corresponding elements of that time of year for optimal health. Thus, to balance excess Kapha during Kapha season, we seek balance from the opposing elements, fire, air, and ether, through our diet, lifestyle practices, and yoga routines.
The intention is to bring optimal health to our being through balancing practices of the current season. Below is the best morning yoga routine based on the Ayurvedic seasons that each take about 30-minutes.
Best Morning Yoga Routine for Kapha Season
Kapha season is innately heavy, slow, static, dull, and cold. So the best morning yoga routine will bring balance to this energy by adding warmth, mobility, and lightness.
Late Winter/Spring Pranayama
Pranayama is the perfect way to start your day as it brings prana to energize you. During Kapha season, pranayama should be hot and powerful! One of the most energizing breaths for Kapha is Kapalabhati pranayama, also known as breath of fire. Kapalabhati consists of alternating short; explosive exhales with longer, passive inhales. It is a great breathing exercise to purify the blood, increase the supply of oxygen, charge the nervous system, and improve digestion. Learn more about the benefits of pranayama.
- Sit up tall and lengthen your spine. Create space between your navel and your heart.
- Start with gentle belly breathing. Close your eyes, place your hands on your belly, and check-in with the nature of your breath.
- Breathe in and out through your nose. Imagine your belly filling up with air like a balloon on the inhale, and softly use your abdominal muscles to push the air out during the exhale.
- Start to shorten your breath. Pumping your navel up and in on each exhale.
- Try to equalize the inhale and exhale in strength and length.
Take a full deep, and long breath after each round. Try this for 3-5 rounds, starting with a 50 count.
Late Winter/Spring Asana
Follow up your pranayama practice with asana. The most balancing poses during Kapha season are the ones that open the chest and bring warmth into your body and mind. Vinyasa yoga is a balancing practice for Kapha as it flows breath to movement, increasing heat.
- Sun Salutation A
- Standing backbend
- Forward fold + chest expansion
- Warrior 1
- Reverse Warrior
- Plank + side plank
- Cow face
Practice these yoga poses individually or as a sequence as the best morning yoga routine during Kapha season.
Late Winter/Spring Mantra
Chants and mantras are powerful ways to ignite energy through specific vibrations. Balancing sounds for Kapha season should be uplifting, warming, inspiring, and invigorating. Below are basic seed mantras that balance Kapha.
- Ram (Rum)
- Yam (Yum)
- Ham (Hum)
Chant these sounds before or after asana to bring in more fire, air, and ether.
Late Winter/Spring Affirmations
Consider adding these affirmations during this season:
- I am worthy of love and time.
- I am good enough.
- I am my true self.
- I am free.
- I am deserving of my dreams.
Best Morning Yoga Routine for Pitta Season
Balance yourself during the summer with this best morning yoga routine for Pitta, including cooling breathing exercises, restorative yoga asana, grounding mantras, and accepting affirmations.
Pitta season brings intensity and heat because of the fire element dominating. It is best to practice a cooling breath, Sitali pranayama, to balance your energy. This cooling breath is also excellent to treat pitta-type symptoms such as inflammation, acne, jealousy, anger, and frustration.
- Sit comfortably and take a few cleansing breaths.
- Curl your tongue like a taco and extend it out of your mouth a little. Inhale through the tunnel of your tongue (focus on the cooling properties in your mouth, throat, and torso)
- Release the tongue, close your mouth and exhale out your nose
Repeat the above inhaling and exhaling for a few minutes, allowing the cooling effects to relax the mind and body
The best morning yoga routine during Pitta season should encourage acceptance, compassion and should be cooling in nature. By focusing on twists and moving slowly, you can relax the intensity of Pitta.
- Child’s pose
- Moon Salutation
- Chair twist
- Side angle
- Revolved side angle
- Supine easy twist
Practice this yoga individually or as a sequence to bring you to balance during Pitta season.
Vibrational sounds that are cooling and grounding will support you during Pitta season. By focusing on vibrations that soothe the mind and calm the body, you will begin to ease the intensity brought on during Pitta season.
- Lam (Lum)
- Vam (Vum)
- Yam (Yum)
Chant these sounds before or after asana to bring in more earth, water, and air.
- I forgive myself.
- I accept myself exactly as I am.
- I give and receive love effortlessly.
- I am at peace.
- I am pure love.
Best Morning Yoga Routine for Vata Season
Vata season is the end of the cycle and is the time of year when the air and ether elements are most prominent. These excess elements are experienced through stress, anxiety, lack of focus, indecision, emotional instability, worry, and fear. It is crucial to have a grounding morning yoga practice during this time of year for optimal balance and health.
Fall/Early Winter Pranayama
Start your day with a 10-minute pranayama practice to center inward. It is crucial to connect to oneself at the start of the day, but even more critical during the Vata season. This will allow you to create stability in your energy before engaging with the energy of others. The most balancing pranayama exercise during vata season is Nadi Shodhana. To learn how to practice Nadi Shodhana and other pranayama practices, check out five pranayama exercises to add to your yoga practice.
Fall/Early Winter Asana
Balance Vata through slow and intentional movement. Seek out poses where your feet are connected to the earth, further grounding your energy. Postures that focus on balance, spine lengthening, and forward folds will be most balancing for Vata.
- Mountain pose
- Sun Salutation A + B
- Warrior 1
- Warrior 2
- Extended side angle
- Wide leg forward fold
- Tree pose
- Seated forward fold
- Legs up the wall
Practice this yoga individually or as a sequence to ground your mind.
Fall/Early Winter Mantra
Center your mind through grounding vibrational sounds. The bija mantras associated with the earth and water elements are the perfect sounds to balance you during vata season. Adding stability and moisture is most optimal during vata season.
- Lam (Lum)
- Vam (Vum)
Chant these sounds for 5 minutes with your eyes closed before or after asana to bring in more earth, water, and air.
Fall/Early Winter Affirmations
- I trust myself.
- I have faith in my higher power.
- I am safe.
- I am grounded and secure.
- I live free from worry and fear.
Boost your practice with Chyawanprash
To amplify your practice even further, take 1 tsp of PIOR Living Chyawanprash 15 minutes before your morning yoga routine. Chyawanprash helps to boost overall vitality while sharpening focus and clarity and increasing the body, mind, and spirit connection. Chyawanprash is unique in that it balances all doshas, making it the perfect herbal jam year round.
Clare Michalik, Ayurvedic Practitioner and Yoga Instructor.