Do you hit snooze multiple times before finally waking up feeling exhausted? Are you low on energy and motivation throughout the day? You are not alone. Given our hectic lives, waking up late and still feeling tired has become quite common. This has even led to some workplaces worldwide starting the office day a couple of hours late.
However, waking up late will not necessarily make you feel fresher. Our eating and sleeping patterns can often become quite erratic due to the stressful life. The lack of a stable metabolic routine can put the body in a constant state of high alert leading to tiredness, agitation, and loss of appetite. Over time, this can result in premature ageing and lifestyle disorders like diabetes and hypertension.
There is a science behind getting a great start to your day. This is where Ayurveda can help. Ayurveda gives high importance to establishing a balanced metabolic rhythm in our bodies. Establishing a simple morning routine gives both our body and mind the reassuring comfort of regularity. It assures the body that things are normal and creates a deep sense of relaxation. A morning routine is also a great chance to spend quality time for yourself.
The Ayurvedic daily routine, Dinacharya, is designed to make you energetic and vibrant by maintaining a harmonious balance of the three doshas in our body. This is done by aligning our metabolic cycles to the natural cycles of the Sun and the Moon. A simple understanding of Dinacharya can balance most of the negative effects of a hectic life and give the vibrant start you want to your day.
Ayurveda considers different parts of the day to be dominated by different Doshas. The time between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. is dominated by Kapha. Waking up in this period makes one feel heavy, dull and sluggish. Therefore, it's ideal to begin the day early and wake up an hour or so before sunrise. At this time, Vata dominates making you feel light, fresh and energetic. Ancient wisdom considers the time between 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. to be the auspicious Brahma Muhurta, ideal for peace, calm and inspiration. Even a few minutes of meditation during this time can bring in tremendous freshness and clarity.
Morning elimination is considered to be important in Ayurveda for flushing toxins and maintaining vitality. This can become a habit by gradually training our bodies. Drinking warm water upon waking up can help stimulate bowel movements. While brushing, it's important to clean your tongue and gently rub it with a couple of fingers. On some days you may notice a white coating on your tongue. This is a sign that toxins are accumulating in the digestive tract. Cleaning your tongue relieves the body of toxins and stimulates digestive activity. Post brushing is an ideal time to do oil-pulling to detox your body. Do this by gently swishing warm sesame oil around the mouth for a few minutes before expelling it. Gently awaken your senses by splashing water into your eyes, cleansing your nostrils and ears.
As we saw before, the time between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. is dominated by Kapha which has a grounding and stabilizing nature. This makes it an ideal time to loosen muscles and improve blood circulation. Surya Namaskar and Asanas are a great way to bring both energy and balance. Follow this up with some deep yogic breathing to set your breathing rhythm for the day. If you haven’t learned any yogic breathing techniques, sitting with eyes closed and deepening your breath is a great way to set the breathing rhythm. This yogic routine balances the doshas, improves metabolism, and burns fat. If you have a daily morning exercise routine, its best to do it post yoga.
Mornings are a great time to practice meditation as it’s usually calm and tranquil outside. Spending even fifteen minutes being with yourself can have a deeply relaxing effect throughout the day. This is a good time to plan the day ahead and set your targets. Use this time to consciously set a clear, positive frame of mind. A few minutes spent aligning your mental space can have a significant impact on the entire day.
On days when you feel like it, meditation can be followed up with a rejuvenating Abhyanga massage using warm oils. This opens the pores of the skin, flushes out toxins and provides a deep sense of well-being. The routine usually takes about 15-20 minutes. However, if you are short of time you could turn to a quicker version. Follow the massage with a warm water bath that relaxes and strengthens the body. You can use essential oils to set the mood. Excessively hot water can lead to a loss of vitality and hair fall.
It's breakfast time. Eat a sumptuous meal in winters and a lighter meal in summers. Balance the diet according to your doshic constitution. You are all set to face the day!
What we have seen so far is an ideal start to the morning. Needless to say, integrating all of this in one go can look daunting. A good way to begin a morning routine is to pick a few parts that you resonate with and integrate them into your every day. Indian wisdom tells us that for something to become completely integrated it takes one mandala or 48 days. As the routine becomes second nature to you, you can add more practices to your morning. Some practices like oil pulling and abhyanga can be done on alternate days or a couple of days a week as well.
Be sure to listen to what your body says and personalize your routine accordingly. Ultimately, what is important is consistency over doing a large number of things. Try not to miss a day as starting over is always difficult.
Try this routine out and let us know how your days are!