Believe it or not, I was never a morning person growing up. As a plant-based ayurvedic cookbook author, I write about these morning practices for a living, but it's taken me a while to craft my ideal morning. I've picked and chosen what really makes a difference in my day and stick to habits that leave me feeling fresh, inspired, and expansive for the rest of the day.
Ayurveda is an ancient set of practices based on living in accordance with your unique energy type, called a dosha. The three doshas are vata (air and space), pitta (fire and water), and kapha (earth and water). My mission is to modernize ayurveda, and my morning routine illustrates my 'no frills approach to this system'
I wake up (most of the time right before the musical alarm), and before I open my eyes, I try to recall my dreams. I have very vivid dreams, and they always signal me messages about what I need to be working on or looking out for. Dreams of flying, floating, or fleeing signal that I'm more vata (airy) that day. Realistic dreams of problem-solving show that I'm more pitta (fiery) at that time. No dreams or very sweet dreams show my mind is in a kapha (earthy) state.
Once I open my eyes, I list three things I'm grateful for (most of the time, it's some order of my fiancé, dog, and life) and set intentions for the day. I also like to organize my days with the doshas, and some days I will have a creative vata day, while other days are go-getter pitta days, and others are relaxed kapha days.
Then I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth with plant-based toothpaste, scrape my tongue with a stainless scraper, and take my daily supplements with some room-temperature water. I splash my face with water six times and massage serum into my skin.
After my quick bathroom ritual, I'll walk into my kitchen and make a delicious elixir or latte. My favorite recently has been my Shakti Rose Cardamom Latte recipe. Shakti is a feminine life force, and this latte makes me feel expressive and beautiful and in my femininity—something needed in a world of never-ending inboxes and to-do lists!
With my latte, I sit on my floor and do a free-flowing moving meditation. I roll my neck, shoulders, and hips to connect with my body and open up the fascia. Ayurveda is the sister philosophy of yoga and believes that an open body is a precursor to an open mind. No matter where I am traveling, I take at least 15 minutes to open up the channels of my body so I can think and feel my best. I feel SO stiff if I skip out'on these free-flowing stretches!
After this, I head off to my form of movement. To me, movement is critical, and I truly need some form of it every day. Three times a week I go to a high-intensity interval training class, and two times a week I go to a barre class. Two times a week I also do a yoga and dance class, which just feels good for my soul.
After I finish my movement and arrive home, I enjoy a warming breakfast and get my body going for the day. I find I feel my most energized when I eat after my morning exercise, as opposed to before, but every person is different. I then shower, oil my body with a self-oil massage, and start my day of writing, podcasting, and creating masterclasses to bring ayurveda to the modern world! I feel nourished, expansive, and balanced when I begin my day like this and notice a big difference when I don't.