I recently read an informative and fun book about Ayurveda, the holistic preventive medicine system associated with yoga.
One of the recommendations is having a consistent morning routine that nourishes your body, mind and sense organs. Since I began this practice, I truly look forward to my morning. Each step feels indulgent and wonderful, especially the rose water spray! Take a look at the routine. Taking your time with it will give it about a 20-30 minute duration and it’s well worth getting up earlier to kick off each day feeling so good!
Step 1: Use a tongue scraper
This helps remove undigested waste from your tongue. Carefully swipe it across your tongue until what you scrape off is clear. In between swipes, rinse the scraper with warm water.
Find a tongue scraper at any drug or grocery store.
Step 2: Neti Pot and Nasal Oil
Use these two together to clear your nasal passages and prepare them to keep bacteria and other foreign particles from settling into your body’s system. To use the neti pot, fill with warm water and 1/4 teaspoon of noniodized sea salt. Tilt you head 90 degrees and insert neti into one nostril, allow the liquid to flow through the other nostril naturally. Repeat on the other side. For the nasal oil, lean your head back and put a few drops in each nostril and massage for about 30 seconds. It’s ok if some slides down your throat.
Find a neti pot and salt at most drug stores, the nasal oil (Nasya Oil) at Whole Foods or online. I purchased my Nasya oil at amazon.com from the Banyan brand.
Step 3: Oil in the ears
Keep the ears healthy by placing oil on your fingers and gently and carefully massaging the ears inside and out, ear lobes included. I used coconut oil. You can use your preferred oil for this.
Step 4: Rosewater in eyes
Smells and feels amazing! Plus, it helps keeps eyes moist and clear. Spray on the eyes to reduce stress and fatigue, as well as treat dark circles.
Find rosewater at health stores, Wholefoods and online.
Step 5: Body massage with oil (Abhyanga)
This lubricates the skin, joints, and organs, stimulating lymph and blood flow for immunity, as well as grounding the body and mind. Massage your arms, legs and then remainder of the body with long, steady and loving strokes. I use a coconut & hibiscus body oil by SheaMoisture.
Step 6: Drink a glass of warm water
This simple step can help with your morning elimination. It’s very healthy to go to the bathroom first thing in the morning, each day.
Step 7: Joint warmups and yoga
Prepare the body for your day’s movement. I do a few cat and cow poses. 6 rounds of sun salutions and then a supine twist to energize the spine.
Step 8: Take a walk outside
Even if just for a short distance or few minutes, this will connect you with the freshness of the morning air and ground you in the present moment and appreciation of nature. If you have a dog, you can certainly use this time for their walk. No cell phones allowed.
Step 9: Breathing practice (Pranayama)
Choose your favorite breathing exercise to seal your routine. It can be simple slow breathing through the nose for a few rounds or more healing breaths, like alternate nostril breathing or kapalabhati (which I prefer to help me wake up and strengthen the immune system).
This routine helps you start your day from a clean, fresh and healthy place. It also supports your immune system and prepares your mind and body for the day’s activities.
Source Text: The Everything Guide to Ayurveda by Heidi E. Spear