Ayurveda has so much to offer in terms of healing and preventive health, and one of the best ways to begin to explore this ancient practice is by incorporating some of its simpler elements into your day. The hardest part of establishing any new routine or habit is getting started! With these five easy morning rituals, called Dinacharya, you'll be able to start your Ayurvedic journey tomorrow!
1. Wake up before dawn.
The thought of waking by 4am may make you want to cringe, but at least try to be up by 6am. Once this becomes habitual, the early morning hours will feel more natural, and you'll find it's easier to empty the bowels. In Ayurveda, it's all about regular elimination!
If you wake up after 6am, you may become prone to a slow, dull energy, with greater possibility of feeling groggy and sluggish. Even if you get a good eight hours of sleep, chances are you still won't feel fresh and well rested. So be in bed by 10pm, up by 6am. Try it! Eventually you'll love it, and you may notice that you'll get so much more accomplished in your day!
2. Scrape your tongue.
This Ayurvedic practice promotes general tooth and gum health, while removing bacteria and toxins responsible for periodontal problems such as plaque buildup, tooth decay, loss of teeth, and gum disease. Tongue scrapping is a useful tool in removing toxins from the mouth, as the mouth is the starting point of our digestion. Scraping also activates saliva production and promotes agni (the digestive fire) to assist in digestion throughout the entire day.
3. Drink warm water and lemon.
This is the perfect morning drink, as it aids in digestion, allowing the body to eliminate waste much easier (I know, elimination again). It's helpful in preventing constipation, as well as diarrhea.
In addition to easing your bathroom duties, warm water and lemon has many other great qualities! It's rich in nutrients like calcium, potassium, vitamin C and fiber.
4. Use a neti pot.
A neti pot is designed to alleviate nasal stuffiness or can be used as a preventive measure to keep the nasal passageways clear. It's an effective practice in reducing cold and flus, alleviates sinus headaches, improves sense of smell and taste, and is useful in reducing or eliminating snoring … so you can get proper rest to be up by dawn.
5. Develop a breathing practice.
While all parts of this morning routine are important, perhaps my favorite ritual in eliminating stress and ensuring optimal health is the meditation, pranayama, and asana practice. This can be as simple as a few rounds of sun salutations, deep breathing (or other pranayama techniques you are comfortable with) followed by few moments of quieting the mind.
I hope you enjoyed these simple Ayurveda principles. See you at dawn!