Each morning, before the sun rises, the air feels fresh. The world is calm and our minds are rested. How we spend this special time of day sets the tone for the rest of our day. Aligning our morning routine with nature brings balance and harmony to our lives. This is one principle of Ayurvedic medicine.
Try adding the following practices to your morning routine, one at a time, at a pace that is helpful to you. You will naturally have your own priorities and time availability. See what works for you. Over time you can build your own healthy and happy morning routine.
No two people are the same. For instance, everybody needs a different amount of sleep. In general, though, it is best to rise early. This affords you time for healthful practices. That means, of course, getting to bed early the night before. For many of us, this is easier said than done but the rewards are significant. Doing this gradually can make things easier. For instance, if you are usually in bed by 11pm, try making it 10:45 for a week, and then 10:30 the next week. Gradually set your goal for 10pm. In this way, you will begin feeling more rested and naturally feel better about waking earlier.
Cleanse and Refresh
It’s not unusual to feel groggy on waking. Our bodies work hard all night recuperating from the previous day. So it’s important to enliven the body. This can be done by splashing cool water on the face and eyes, brushing teeth, and cleaning the tongue with a tongue scraper. These cleansing practices can also include neti and dry brushing.
- Neti – cleanses nasal passages to prevent colds, sickness, and allergies. You can find a description here.
- Dry Brushing – increases blood flow, stimulates lymphatic system, exfoliates skin. Use a body/bath brush, brush upwards starting at feet, (soft, smooth strokes) gradually make your way to your heart. Then do both arms, start at the hands, stroke upwards towards the heart.
Before breakfast, light exercise, such as an early morning walk in nature, a swim, or yoga asanas can help shake off grogginess and give you an overall feeling of lightness. Strenuous exercise should be avoided first thing in the morning. Remember, you want to ease into your day. The day will naturally pick up and get busier, so make your morning routine as stress-free as possible.
Early morning is an ideal time for Yoga Sound Meditation. Because our minds are rested and the day isn’t yet in full swing, we can focus more easily on spiritual sound. This is a gift we can give to ourselves that has a positive influence on the rest of our day. Here is a simple 10 minute guided practice that can be done in the morning or any time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow5NnHEr6gQ#t=398