New Delhi: Many of us awaken bleary-eyed and then hit the snooze button to catch more Z’s. If the hectic pace of modern living and digital distractions is leaving you feeling depleted each morning, you might benefit from following a daily Ayurvedic routine, or dinacharya. Nature moves in cycles (day to night, winter through spring), and all the animals and plants follow suit with their own daily and seasonal routines.
By following some of these simple morning routine recommendations, you’ll feel more grounded, energetic, and balanced throughout the day. You might even become a morning person!
Ayurvedic texts recommend rising early—ideally before 6:00 a.m. when Kapha time starts, and heaviness sets in. Don’t worry if you’re not quite there yet! Just gradually make an effort to wake up a bit earlier (which, in turn, will help you fall asleep earlier).
Wipe the Slate Clean
Next up: clear your elimination channels. During the night, your body has been busy “cleaning house” and sweeping toxins into evacuation channels.
Give Yourself an Abhyanga
Abhyanga, self-massage with warm oil, tones your skin and muscles while calming your mind and nervous system. Massaging your body daily with warm, Vata-pacifying, Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oil and Men’s and Women’s Youthful Skin Massage Oils helps soothe the entire nervous system. Whether you can spare two or 20 minutes, self-massage is a great form of self-care! Moreover, it results in increased circulation, detoxification, and stimulation of nerve endings.
Do Yoga Asanas and Pranayama
Start your day relaxed and limber! Gentle Yoga Asanas help increase blood flow to your vital organs and activate your body’s relaxation response. Both of these things are beneficial for your digestion, nervous system, and overall well-being (read more about the Ayurveda Yoga Connection). Pranayama, or deep breathing, is an alternate-nostril breathing technique that helps coordinate the left and right hemispheres of your brain.
Meditate and Ready Your Mind for the Day
Morning meditation is an excellent practice that prepares your mind and nervous system for the stressors of the day. Studies show that the Transcendental Meditation® program is an effective meditation technique when it comes to managing stress. Just 20 minutes twice daily has the potential to regulate cortisol—the stress hormone—and increase serotonin, reducing stress and feelings of anxiety.
Feed Your Body
Eating warm, cooked food at regular mealtimes is a key part of the Ayurvedic regimen. Breakfast is especially important. Start the day with a stewed apple to build an appetite for lunch, stimulate regular bowel movements, increase vitality and alertness, and provide a light but satisfying breakfast. Follow it up with some warm cereal to keep you nourished and fueled.