Starting the day right can have an amazing affect on your general state of well-being. The science of Ayurveda is a never-ending journey into ancient wisdom, and dedicating a short amount of time each morning to some of the Ayurvedic practices could change your life.
Due to my immense passion and interest in the benefits of applying specific Ayurvedic principles to my lifestyle, I’d love to share my top five recommended morning rituals to brighten up your day – every day!
1. Awake: Regardless of your Ayurvedic constitution, it is highly recommended to wake up early every day, specifically with the sunrise. Even if you have a late night out, making yourself rise early always has its benefits, according to Ayurveda. On the note of constitution, Vata’s tend to naturally be early risers, however Kapha’s are generally the ones who always need an alarm (and who need to be kicked out of bed)!
2. Eliminate: a) When you rise in the morning be sure to go to the toilet straight away to empty your bladder (and bowels, if your digestive system is in order). This helps to kick start the digestive system and eliminate toxins that have built up overnight.
b) Blow your nose (after you’ve finished your business above) as this helps to increase the oxygen intake, and cleanse the channels – the gateway to the nadis.
c) The last elimination step is to scrap your tongue with a proper Ayurvedic tongue scraper. This is my favorite step every morning! It is interesting to observe what - and how much - comes off the tongue each day, as this is a direct reflection of your diet.
3. Activate: Having an empty stomach is the perfect time to get moving in the morning. Before you have breakfast, be sure to fit in your yoga practice. This may be to your favorite DVD, or being creative and intuitively guiding yourself through a self-practice, or even simply turning your world upside down into your favorite inversion for 5 minutes. Inversions help to flush blood from the feet to the internal organs, whilst energizing your lymphatic system.
4. Stimulate: A delicious morning ritual to get straight in and cleanse your digestive system is to drink a fresh cup of Lemon, Honey, and Ginger Tea. To make this simply grate some fresh ginger, place it in your favorite cup and cover with hot water. Squeeze in some fresh lemon. Give it a stir. Allow the tea to sit for a couple of minutes, before adding raw honey (heating honey too high means losing many of its nutrients, hence using raw honey and adding once the tea is warm, and not hot).
5. Invigorate: After drinking your tea, and allowing it a little time to move through the body, get stuck into a healthy breakfast. In Ayurveda it is believed that breakfast is not necessarily the biggest meal of the day. This is due to the fact that we are breaking the fast, and too much food can shock the digestive system. Find a breakfast option that is appropriate for your constitution. Vata types are more suited to cooked foods, and Kapha types can have more of raw foods. However, this is a very generalised statement.
Something important to note, is that in the Ayurvedic system fresh fruits are not recommended for consumption with other food types, such as carbohydrates, fats, dairy, etc. Fresh fruits (as opposed to stewed or baked) must be eaten separately, otherwise the stomach can become overly acidic and bloated.
I would love to hear about any of your morning rituals, which you have applied to your ongoing lifestyle. I highly recommend you try any, or all, of these each day for only a couple of weeks and you will certainly notice the benefits.
If you are interested in learning more about Ayurveda, I greatly recommend the book Prakriti: Your Ayurvedic Constitution by Dr. Robert Svoboda, or any books by David Frawley.
These five simple tips won’t take much time out of your morning. Can you afford not to squeeze them into your day?
Have fun, and be sure to get scraping your tongue!