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Awakening with Ayurveda: Unleashing the Power of Your Morning Rituals

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medically reviewed by Dr Godmi Tresa

Dr. Bhavya

Updated on October 25, 2023

Rise and shine!

The early hours of the morning hold a mystical allure, brimming with untapped potential and promising a fresh start. It's no wonder that sages, philosophers, and high achievers have extolled the virtues of a well-crafted morning routine throughout history.

From the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda to the cutting-edge insights of productivity gurus, one thing remains clear: a morning routine is a secret ingredient to unlocking a vibrant and fulfilling life.

By embracing the power of intentional rituals as the sun peeks over the horizon, you can harness the magic of the morning and set the stage for a day brimming with clarity, productivity, and joy.

Dinacharya, the daily routine in Ayurveda, comprises several key components that promote balance, health, and well-being. In this blog, you will discover Ayurveda's structured approach to your morning routine.

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The Sacred Hour: Tapping into the Spiritual Energy of Brahma Muhurta

Brahma muhurta gets typically described as the period approximately 1.5 hours before sunrise. The exact timing can vary depending on the location and time of year. It is generally the last part of the night, just before dawn breaks.

Waking up early is vital in Ayurveda for the following reasons:

Alignment with Nature: 

Brahma muhurta is when cosmic energies align, creating a calm, pure atmosphere with positive vibrations. It's perfect for connecting with the divine and deepening spiritual practices. 

Increased Sattva Guna: 

During Brahma muhurta, the sattvic guna, symbolising purity and harmony, prevails according to Ayurveda. This time enhances spiritual practices as the mind becomes naturally calm, focused, and receptive.

Favourable for Spiritual Practices: 

Brahma muhurta is cherished for its ideal meditation and self-reflection opportunities. The mind experiences peace and freedom from distractions, fostering a profound self-connection and heightened awareness. Regular meditation at this time enhances clarity, intuition, and spiritual growth.

Setting Intentions: 

Many people use the early morning hours of Brahma muhurta to set intentions for the day ahead. By taking time to reflect, visualise goals, and affirm positive thoughts, one is believed to align their actions with their aspirations and create a positive trajectory for the day.

While Brahma muhurta carries spiritual and energetic significance, it may be practical for some to awaken during this time. Prioritising the overall quality and duration of sleep is crucial for one's health and well-being. Finding a balance that suits your lifestyle is essential, allowing for a regular sleep routine.

Early to bed and rise is the motto followed by holistic health experts.

Nirva Experts' Tips to Keep Up with the Motto 

If you wish to gradually adjust your wake-up time to align with the natural rhythms, try it!

Gradual Transition: Rather than making sudden and drastic changes to your wake-up time, try to shift it gradually. Set your alarm for a few minutes earlier each day and slowly extend the time until you reach your desired waking time.

Consistent Sleep Schedule: Maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed simultaneously each night. This helps regulate your internal clock and makes it easier to wake up early.

Create a Bedtime Routine:

  1. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine that signals your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep.
  2. Avoid stimulating activities like screen time before bed.
  3. Opt for calming activities like reading, taking a warm bath, or practising relaxation techniques.

Allow Sufficient Sleep: Ensure adequate sleep supports your overall well-being. The recommended amount of sleep varies for individuals, but most adults require around 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

What Just After You Wake Up?

Drinking water after waking up .PNG

Ayurveda advises you to sip warm water in the morning. This practice is called Acchamana.

It is considered a purifying and hydrating ritual.

This practice helps cleanse the mouth, throat, and digestive system, removing accumulated toxins and refreshing the senses. It also provides hydration after a night of sleep.

Drinking water in the morning helps activate the digestive system, preparing it for food intake throughout the day. It stimulates the production of digestive enzymes and can improve overall digestion. It also encourages regular bowel movements.

 Note -Avoid gulping down water, which can dampen the digestive fire. Also, it is advisable to refrain from consuming cold water during this time.

Cleansing and Oral Hygiene: The Foundation of Dinacharya

Oral hygiene .PNG

The mouth serves as the gateway to the gastrointestinal tract, initiating the process of digestion. Chewing and moistening the food, mixing it with oral secretions, and forming a smooth bolus for easy swallowing begins in the mouth.

When we think about, anticipate, or see food, the mouth produces salivary secretions, preparing the environment for food consumption. This synchronises with the mind's readiness to eat.

According to Ayurveda, the collective oral secretions are known as "bodhaka kapha." This specific type of kapha keeps the mouth moist and enables the tongue to perceive taste. These activities help maintain a balance of bodhaka kapha in the mouth.

Tooth Brushing

Ayurveda recommends the use of herbal twigs with anti-dosha properties for brushing teeth. For example, sweet twigs balance vata and Pitta, while bitter and astringent twigs balance Pitta and kapha. Brushing the teeth alleviates kapha, cleanses the mouth, and creates a desire for food.

Tongue Cleansing/Scraping

Tongue cleansing ensures the cleanliness of the tongue, which is the seat of bodhaka kapha. This practice allows for the proper perception of food.

It helps remove toxins, bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that accumulate on the tongue overnight. This helps prevent these toxins from being reabsorbed into the body and supports overall detoxification.

Tongue scraping promotes oral hygiene by reducing bad breath (halitosis) caused by bacteria on the tongue. 

Gargling and Mouthwash

Gargling with medicinal liquids, pastes, and powders helps maintain oral hygiene and supports the proper functioning bodhaka kapha. Different types of gargles and mouthwashes balance other doshas.

  • Unctuous substances with sweet, sour, and salty tastes alleviate vata.
  • Sweet and bitter substances with a cold nature pacify Pitta.
  • Gargles and mouthwashes with hot and dry herbs help mitigate and eliminate kapha. 

It would help if you gargled until the mouth and eyes water, indicating that these practices also stimulate the eyes. Gargles and mouthwashes are beneficial for maintaining the balance of alochaka Pitta, which supports vision.

By incorporating these practices into your oral hygiene routine, you can promote oral health, enhance taste perception, and support the balance of bodhaka kapha, ultimately contributing to overall well-being.

Nurturing the Nasal Passages: Nasya and Gandusha

Nasya (Nasal Cleaning) is a practice that involves administering herbal oils or medicated substances into the nasal passages. It serves to cleanse and lubricate the nasal passages, improving respiratory health, alleviating congestion, and enhancing mental clarity. Nasya benefits people with sinus congestion, allergies, or nasal dryness.

Benefits of Nasya:

  • Clears and lubricates the nasal passages
  • Relieves sinus congestion and allergies
  • Enhances mental clarity and focus
  • It helps alleviate headaches and migraines
  • Balances excess Vata in the head and neck region

Step-By-Step Instructions for Nasya:

  • Tilt your head back slightly.
  • Administer 2-3 drops of warm herbal oil or medicated ghee into each nostril.
  • Inhale gently, allowing the oil to spread through the nasal passages.
  • Gently massage the area around the nose to distribute the oil.
  • Spit out any excess oil or mucus that may flow into the mouth.
  • Perform Nasya in the morning on an empty stomach or as directed by an Ayurvedic practitioner.

 

Note: There are different types of nasal, some suitable for daily practice and others requiring strict expert supervision. It is essential to consult an Ayurveda expert who can guide you in the correct method of nasya for your specific needs.

In addition to this, yoga experts advise practising Neti in the morning. Neti is a traditional practice of nasal irrigation using a neti pot filled with warm saline water. It helps cleanse and clear the nasal passages, alleviating congestion and maintaining nasal hygiene. 

Gandusha (Oil Pulling), also known as Kavala, involves swishing oil in the mouth for a specific duration to improve oral hygiene, strengthen gums, and promote overall oral health. Traditionally, sesame oil or coconut oil is used for oil pulling.

Benefits of Gandusha:

  • Strengthens teeth and gums
  • Reduces plaque and oral bacteria
  • Freshens breath
  • Relieves dryness of the mouth
  • Improves jaw strength and facial muscle tone

Step-by-step instructions for Gandusha:

  • Take one tablespoon of sesame oil or coconut oil into your mouth.
  • Swish the oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes, ensuring it reaches all areas.
  • Avoid gargling or swallowing the oil during the process.
  • Spit the oil into a tissue or trash can (do not spit into the sink as it can clog the drain).
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Brush your teeth as usual.
  • Practise Gandusha in the morning on an empty stomach or as an Ayurvedic practitioner recommends.

Incorporating these practices into your daily routine can help improve oral and respiratory health, relieve congestion, and enhance overall well-being. 

Self-Massage: Abhyanga for Rejuvenation

Self massage or abhyanga.PNG

Abhyanga is a self-massage practice that involves the application of warm herbal oils onto the body. It is considered an act of self-care and self-love that helps balance the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) and promotes overall well-being. Abhyanga is traditionally performed in the morning before bathing, but it can also be performed in the evening.

Benefits of Abhyanga:

Nourishes the Skin: The application of warm oils deeply nourishes and moisturises the skin, leaving it soft, supple, and radiant. It helps improve skin texture, tone, and elasticity.

Promotes Circulation: Abhyanga enhances blood circulation and lymphatic flow, assisting in removing toxins from the body. It can help reduce swelling, support detoxification, and improve overall vitality.

Relaxes the Mind and Body: Self-massage's rhythmic, flowing movements induce relaxation and calmness. Abhyanga helps reduce stress, anxiety, and tension, promoting a peaceful mind.

Alleviates Vata: The herbal oil massage given to the body helps alleviate Vata dosha, which is responsible for various imbalances in the body. By calming Vata, Abhyanga promotes overall balance and well-being.

Vision Improvement: The massage improves vision, which helps balance Alochaka Pitta, a sub-type of Pitta dosha responsible for vision. 

Guide for Abhyanga:

Choosing Suitable Oils: Select oils appropriate for your Dosha or imbalances. 

  • Vata, warm and grounding oils like sesame or almond oil are beneficial. 
  • Pitta benefits from cooling oils such as coconut or sunflower oil. 
  • Kapha can benefit from stimulating oils like mustard or sesame oil.

Warming the Oil: Gently heat the chosen oil by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Ensure the oil is warm but not too hot to avoid skin burns.

Self-Massage Techniques: Begin at the scalp and work your way down to the soles of the feet. Use long, sweeping strokes on the limbs and circular motions on the joints. Massage in the direction of the hair growth and spend extra time on areas of tension or dryness. Allow the oil to penetrate the skin for at least 15-20 minutes before bathing.

Focus on Relaxation: Create a calm and serene environment during the massage. Play soft music, dim the lights, or diffuse relaxing essential oils to enhance the experience.

Incorporating Abhyanga into your morning routine can benefit your skin, circulation, and overall well-being. 

Bathing and Hygiene: Purifying the Body

Bathing and cleansing rituals hold great importance in Ayurveda for maintaining overall well-being. Bathing helps cleanse the body of impurities, dirt, and sweat, promoting hygiene and detoxification.

Ayurveda recognises that different water temperatures and bathing techniques can help balance the doshas. 

  • Warm water soothes Vata.
  • Cool water pacifies Pitta
  • Lukewarm water calms Kapha.

Bathing rituals provide a space for relaxation, stress relief, and self-care. They can help calm the mind, reduce tension, and enhance well-being.

Tips for a Mindful and Rejuvenating Bath or Shower:

  1. Create a peaceful and calming ambience in your bathing area. Use soft lighting, play soothing music, or incorporate aromatherapy with essential oils to enhance relaxation.
  2. Before stepping into the bath or shower, set an intention for your bathing experience. Focus on self-care, cleansing, and rejuvenation.
  3. Gentle Scrubs: Use natural exfoliants like chickpea flour, oatmeal, or herbal powders to scrub the body gently. This helps remove dead skin cells and promotes a healthy glow.
  4. Add a few drops of calming essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, to your bathwater or use natural soaps and shower gels infused with Ayurvedic herbs for a rejuvenating sensory experience.

Exercise and Yoga: Balancing the Body and Mind

Exercise and yoga.PNG

Exercise is an integral part of the Ayurvedic morning routine, crucial for dosha balance, digestion, strength, stamina, flexibility, and mental well-being.

Among the favoured exercises in Ayurveda is yoga, which combines asanas (physical postures), breath control, meditation, and ethical principles. Yoga asanas aim to enhance physical strength, flexibility, and mental equilibrium.

The benefits of yoga asanas include:

  1. Strength and Flexibility: Regular practice of yoga asanas helps build strength, endurance, and flexibility. It tones the muscles, improves posture, and enhances overall physical performance.
  2. Balancing the Doshas: Different asanas have specific effects on the doshas. Certain poses can pacify excess Vata, while others can cool and calm Pitta or stimulate and invigorate Kapha. Balancing the doshas through yoga asanas contributes to overall domestic harmony.
  3. Mental Well-being: Yoga is not just a physical practice but also a mind-body discipline. Asanas help calm the mind, reduce stress, and promote mental clarity and emotional balance. Regular exercise can improve focus, concentration, and overall mental well-being.

Exercise according to your Dosha 

 

Vata: 

Engage in slow and gentle exercises such as 12 rounds of Sun Salutation, leg lifting, camel pose, cobra pose, cat pose, and cow pose.

Pitta: 

Opt for moderately fast exercises like 16 rounds of Moon Salutation, fish pose, boat pose, and bow pose, which have a calming effect.

Kapha:

Choose vigorous exercises like 12 rounds of Sun Salutation performed rapidly, bridge pose, peacock pose, palm tree pose, and lion pose.

Incorporating exercise and yoga into your daily schedule can be a rewarding and transformative experience. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

 

Set Aside Time: Allocate a specific time each day for exercise and yoga practice. Early morning is ideal as it aligns with the natural rhythms of the body and mind.

Start Slow: If you're new to exercise or yoga, begin with gentle movements and basic asanas. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your practice as your body becomes more comfortable and flexible.

Create a Balanced Routine: Aim for a well-rounded routine that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and yoga asanas. This ensures you engage all body parts and receive comprehensive benefits.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body's signals and limitations. Respect your boundaries and avoid pushing yourself too hard, which can lead to injuries or imbalances.

Seek Guidance: If you need clarification on the proper form or sequencing of asanas, consider taking classes or seeking guidance from a qualified yoga instructor. They can provide valuable advice and ensure that you practice safely and effectively.

Remember, consistency is vital. Even short daily exercise and yoga sessions can yield significant benefits over time. Make it a priority in your morning routine, and you will gradually experience improved physical strength, flexibility, mental clarity, and overall well-being.

Meditation and Pranayama: Cultivating Mental Clarity

Meditation is a practice that trains the mind to focus and redirect thoughts. In Ayurveda, it is valued as a powerful tool for calming the mind, alleviating stress, and fostering inner harmony. Through meditation, one can experience deep relaxation and cultivate mindfulness, resulting in numerous benefits for physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation:

  1. Calming the Mind
  2. Stress Reduction
  3. Emotional Balance
  4. Improved Concentration

Pranayama, the practice of breath control, is an essential component of Ayurvedic practice. It involves consciously regulating the breath to balance and direct the flow of prana, or life force energy, within the body. Pranayama techniques aid in breath regulation, energy balance, and vitality enhancement.

Benefits of Pranayama:

  1. Balancing Energy
  2. Improved Focus and Mental Clarity
  3. Stress Relief
  4. Vitality and Pranic Flow

Incorporating meditation and pranayama into your Ayurvedic morning routine can profoundly affect your physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Find a comfortable space, allocate time for daily practice, and explore different meditation techniques and pranayama exercises.

As you cultivate these practices, you will gradually experience greater inner peace, improved focus, and enhanced overall well-being.

Mindful Breakfast: Ayurvedic Approach to Eating

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Understanding the importance of a balanced diet in Ayurveda is fundamental to maintaining optimal health and well-being. In Ayurveda, food is considered a medicine, and the proper diet plays a crucial role in balancing the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha), supporting digestion, and nourishing the body and mind.

 Here are some guidelines for breakfast in alignment with Ayurvedic principles:

  • Breakfast in Ayurveda should be light and easy to digest to kick-start the metabolism and provide sustained energy throughout the day.
  • Opt for warm, cooked foods like porridge from whole grains such as oats or quinoa, flavoured with warming spices like cinnamon or cardamom.
  • Fresh fruits, soaked nuts, and seeds are suitable breakfast options.
  • Avoid heavy and processed foods, leading to sluggish digestion and heaviness.

Remember, Ayurveda recognises that each person has a unique constitution, and dietary recommendations may vary.

Wrapping Up

The practice of an Ayurvedic routine, known as Dinacharya, offers a powerful pathway to holistic well-being. By incorporating mindful techniques such as tongue scraping, oil pulling, self-massage, and meditation, you can cultivate balance and harmony within your body and mind. Whether customising the routine based on your unique Dosha constitution or adapting it to accommodate a busy schedule or specific health conditions, the benefits of an Ayurvedic morning routine are far-reaching. 

Improved digestion, increased energy levels, reduced stress, enhanced mental clarity, and a sense of overall balance and well-being are just some rewards that await those who embrace this ancient wisdom. By blending Ayurvedic practices with your existing morning routines, you can embark on a transformative journey towards a healthier and more vibrant life.

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