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A Powerful Ayurvedic Morning Routine that will Calm Your Mind, Improve Focus and Increase Productivity
In Ayurveda, a daily routine is called Dinacharya. Dinacharya is designed to tune our bodies to the natural circadian rhythms. This Ayurveda practice is one of the simplest but most powerful tools to bring about radical change in mind, body and consciousness.
Finding rhythm in your daily life will help you sleep better, improve your energy and bring balance to your mind, body and ultimately live a more purposeful life.
In this blog, I’m sharing my morning routine which you can try out too. It will help calm your mind, improve focus and increase your productivity throughout the day!
I also share what my Yoga practice looks like and my recommended home practice that you can try out in the morning as well as the benefits of each Ayurvedic morning routine.
My morning routine – what I do and the benefits
Early morning is the most sacred time when it is still and quiet. It makes it easier to turn inward and begin the day feeling calm and peaceful in both mind and body, and ultimately allow you to make better choices throughout the day.
Wake up early – I wake up between 6 and 6.30am without an alarm. I used to wake up at 5am but since the lockdown and working from home I have started waking up later… which I really want to change!
In Ayurveda, it is recommended that you wake up before heavy Kapha time begins at 6am. (I talked about the Ayurvedic circadian rhythm in the previous blog post.)
The first thing I do after getting out of the bed is to urinate.
Scrape Tongue & Brush Teeth
After urinating, I scrape my tongue and then brush my teeth.
The benefits of scraping tongue:
- It helps reduce the toxins and bacteria on the tongue that cause bad breath
- It helps eliminate coating on the tongue
- It helps enhance the sense of taste
- It helps improve digestive health
- It helps boost your immune system
- It also activates saliva production
Make sure to use either copper or stainless steel tongue scraper and avoid plastic one.
How to scrape your tongue
1. Hold the two ends in both hands and stick your tongue out and place the scraper on the back of the tongue and gently pull towards the tip of the tongue.
2. Repeat 7 times but make sure to rinse the scraper in between.
3. After you scraped your tongue, brush your teeth!
After I scrape my tongue and brush my teeth, I have a half glass of warm water (I pour 1/2 of filtered water and 1/2 boiled water).
I usually switch a kettle on to boil water before I scrape my tongue and brush my teeth so that when I’m done, the kettle is boiled!
Neti & Nasya Oil
Neti is a nasal rinse with a rock salt and warm water and Nasya oil is a herbal infused oil to apply after nasal rinse to balance the drying nature of salt.
The benefits of daily nasal rinse:
- It cleanses, refreshes and protects the nasal passages
- It helps reduce allergies and mucus congestion
- It helps improve clarity and focus
- It reduces excess Vata mind (anxiety, fear etc.)
- It strengthens the Agni (our digestive fire)
- It helps aids Pranayama (breathing exercise), meditation and Asana practice as it allows the air to flow better through the nostrils
The benefits of Nasya Oil:
- It lubricates and protects the nasal passages after nasal rinse and relieves congestion
- It provides a soothing relief for nasal dryness
- It releases tension in the head and accumulated stress
- It helps promotes mental clarity
- It balances all Doshas
If you choose to nasal rinse, this is how I do it:
1. Make sure to use either a copper, ceramic or stainless steel neti pot and avoid plastic one. (I use a stainless steel neti pot)
2. Add ½ teaspoon of rock salt. Pour about 3/4 room temperature filtered water and 1/4 boiled water in the neti pot. Do not use tap water!
3. Lean forward and turn your head to the side so that one ear is facing the sink. The side of your head should be parallel to the sink.
4. Raise the neti pot and slowly begin to pour through the upper nostril (that is facing the ceiling) and out of the lower nostril.
5. Pour about ½ of water through the nostril and then swap the nostril and pour remaining water.
6. Instead of blowing your nose, exhale out of the nostrils to clear water in your nostrils. If you experience a burning sensation in your nose, adjust the amount of salt you use.
7. Rinse your neti pot afterwards. I use a bit of washing up liquid to make sure there’s no salt left in the pot. Leave it to dry thoroughly.
8. Please note it is very important to keep your neti pot clean to avoid potential inflections. You should always read and follow the specific instructions of how to use your own neti pot.
Next is elimination – yes Number 2! Even if you don’t feel like it, take time to sit on the toilet every morning. Eventually your body will get the message!
After eliminating the waste, it’s time for my morning Yoga practice! (It’s also worth noting that from waking to elimination takes about 15 minutes.)
When I say a Yoga practice I don’t mean just Asana, a physical exercise.
My Yoga practice includes:
- Chanting Mantra
- Pranayama (breathing exercises)
- Dhyana (meditation)
- Asana (physical exercises)
…and yes I practice them in this order! I then end my practice with chanting Mantra again.
It’s important to practice Yoga according to your Dosha (natural constitution). I’m a Vata Pitta therefore I focus on grounding and calming practice but include strengthening poses which Vata needs.
You can check out recommended Yoga poses for each Dosha in my previous blogs:
Or if you would like to learn more about what types of Yoga, Mantra, Pranayama and meditation is suitable for each Dosha, check out my online course, an Introduction to Ayurveda & Conscious Living.
If you don’t know your Dosha (Ayurvedic mind-body type), take my Dosha quiz to find out your mind-body type!
There are many benefits of practicing Yoga in the morning but here are the main benefits of each practice.
The benefits of chanting Mantras:
By the combination of sound, breath and rhythm, chanting Mantra channels the flow of energy through the mind-body circuit, calms the mind and balances our moods and overall sense of well-being.
The benefits of Pranayama:
Daily Pranayama practice will help reduce stress and calm the mind. It can also help improve lung capacity and digestion.
The benefits of Meditation:
Daily meditation will help reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps increase mental clarity and focus. Meditation also helps focus on the present moment and therefore increases self-awareness.
The benefits of Asana practice:
- Better flexibility & posture
- Develops strength (physically & mentally)
- Tones muscles and re-aligns body
- Boosts metabolism
- Higher productivity during the day
- More alert and energized
What my Yoga practice looks like
My Yoga practice is usually between 30 to 90 minute long depending on how much time I have in the morning.
I usually spend about 1 minute on chanting, 10 minute on Pranayama, 5-10 minute on meditation, and rest on Asana practice.
If I only have 30 minutes, I would practice 1 minute of chanting, 10 minutes on Pranayama, 5 minutes on meditation and 15 minutes focusing on Yoga poses that I feel are most needed on that day.
If I have 60-90 minute, I would practice 1 minute of chanting, 10 minutes on Pranayama, 5 to 10 minutes on meditation and spend the remaining time on Asana practice where I make sure I stretch every direction of the spine which includes forward bends, backbends, side bends, twists, balance, and inversions.
I highly recommend following this structure if you practice Yoga at home so that you can balance and align the physical, energetic, mental, emotional and intuitive self through these practices.
After my Yoga practice, I have my breakfast. I used to eat my breakfast in the kitchen standing, but I make a conscious effort to sit down and take time to eat my breakfast without my phone to distract me!
I then shower after breakfast!
After my shower, I’m ready for the day ahead feeling fully balanced in my mind, body & soul!
Do you have any questions? Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org