Updated: Aug 25, 2020
A morning routine.
For years in high school, I had my routine down to a science. I would hear my sister get up and go in the shower, that meant I had a good 20 mins left of sleep (ish) before she would get out. When the water stopped I knew I had 15 mins before the bus came; so I would hop out of bed, throw on my uniform, stash my dance clothes in a separate backpack, run downstairs to eat a piece of fruit or egg sandwich and hop on the bus.
Then I would wonder why it felt like I had no time in the day, or why I was so exhausted at school.
We often carry over our routines from adolescents into our adult life and wonder the same questions...Why am I so tired? Why don’t I have any alone time...or time period.
The morning is a beautiful and sacred time that you can gift to yourself. It can also determine how the rest of your day will feel.
Some people set intentions, some meditate, some wash off the previous day with their morning shower. I am going to offer a holistic morning routine rooted in Ayurveda. This is the routine I have felt MAJOR changes from just a few differences.
When to rise?
In Ayurveda it is best to wake up before the sun gets up...I know, super difficult. Think of it in terms of getting to work before your co-workers or boss gets there, you get to breath a little in your own energy before the day really begins cranking. I haven’t mastered getting up before the sun, but I will say, waking up at sunrise feels entirely different in my body.
It is as if I get to start the day WITH nature rather than against it.
I try to rise at 6-6:30 am, and I am working towards 5:30 am. People always ask me about the snooze alarm. Once your body is “kind of” awake, it is best to get up and let your whole body wake up slowly and gently rather than jolting yourself every 10-30 mins. Do you ever really feel more rested when you get up after snoozing 3-4 times? We usually just feel more rushed. Again, it goes back to gifting yourself time in the morning.
I'm up, now what?
After waking up, head to the bathroom and release any waste from the day before. This could be a morning pee where you can check your hydration level and tongue scraping to get rid of any residue from overnight. The color of the residue can also let you know what you have too much of in your body. White color means you have had too many earth foods (potatoes, gluten, oils) Yellow color means you had too many fire foods (alcohol, spicy foods, acidic foods) Brown color means you had too many air foods (raw food, crackers, popcorn). You can adjust your diet a little today to come back into balance.
The magic cup of hot water
Often when starting a new routine our body needs a little assistance to get back into a routine. I find this with a hot cup of water. Warm or hot water our bodies can use immediately. It takes no energy away from you because your body doesn’t need to spend time warming it up to your internal temperature. What this does is clear out anything left in our stomach, intestines or elimination tract. Imagine holistic drain-o. If I didn’t poop on my own in the morning, the hot water will help that happen.
We really want to start each day free from any physical or emotional baggage from the day before.
The next step for the morning if what to fill ourselves with to begin the day. Some days I start work earlier and don’t make it to this part of the routine, but when I can it helps set and sustain my emotional endurance for the day. I always make sure I at least clear out the shit from the day before.
Beauty routine 101...and so much more
Oil is one of the best ways to renew and restore balance in our morning body. Oil in sanskrit is sneha, meaning both “oil” and “love.” Not only does oil act as a moisturizer, but it also contains antimicrobial and anti-bacterial properties, literally cleaning our body. I use oil in the morning in oil pulling (swishing cold pressed coconut oil around in my mouth) and in Abhyanga, ayurvedic self-massage. I will show you how to do it in another video soon :)
The basic principle is to ground myself in the morning by checking in with my body in a loving way. I get to move the lymph, for injury prevention and maintenance, remind myself that I am a beautiful being, moisturize and clean all in one!
After I am covered in warm oil I throw on a robe and meditate or cook. For these you can choose which order feels best for you. If I am hungry I will honor that and eat first. If my mind didn’t settle in abhyanga the way I wanted it to I will meditate first and then eat. Being intentional about what foods to put in my body and what thoughts or actions I want to carry with my through the day. Filling myself up with what I choose. Setting my own energy before I open my phone or go out into the world.
Move that gorgeous body!
My final two steps and a shower and some movement. I shower by applying all the soap and shampoo before soaking in the water, just for the practicality of getting the oil off. (it is okay if it all doesn’t come off, our bodies can be like the tin man and a little oil only helps) If you are having particularly sticky thoughts, the shower can act as a physical metaphor to rinse and clear your mind before starting the day. After you are clean, try moving your body a little to integrate the mind & body before the day begins. This could be some yoga, a little dance, playing with your cat or even taking your dog for a walk. Just some type of pleasurable movement that is just for you.
This seems like a lot by it really can happen all in an hour or so. I usually do every other day abhyanga or movement, unless I start a little later or get myself to wake up a little earlier to do both. Abhyanga and a shower can also happen at the end of the day if you prefer. Each one of us is unique and will find our own morning routine based on what feels best for ourselves, and that is the beauty of it.
There is never a one size fits all in holistic health. I am here to assist you in finding your unique path!
Wake 5:30-6:30 am
Eliminate & tongue scrape
Oil pull & Abhyanga
Eat & meditate
Shower & movement
Get your unique morning routine to match the season and your dosha!
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