Here is a fool proof morning routine from the Ayurveda world. But first of all, lets tweak our thinking, lets get out of routine and into ritual. Meaning, that we do each of these steps with self awareness and presence. It’s all about turning the mundane, human tasks into conscious moments.
Make the daily Divine.
W1: Waste elimination
Pay attention to your Poo (and wee)
Step number one, is probably something you are already doing, so why not make it a deliberate and conscious part of your routine. Poo and wee ie; eliminated wastes are one of the biggest insights we have to our inner world, how our gut is going and how the emotional body is digesting the feelings we are experiencing. It should be like a ripe banana.
W2: Wash; hands, feet and face
Through the night, our bodies are working overtime to eliminate unprocessed food, thoughts, ideas, emotions and environmental toxins. It comes out as ama, in our sweat, breath and that white coating you might have noticed on your tongue. Instead of having a shower first thing in the morning, just wash your hands and sole of the feet with warm water, same with your face. Then we get to work on the mouth (oil pulling, tongue scraping and brushing teeth) if you have congestion in your nose and sinuses you might try using a neti pot, and if you wear glasses or contacts or have any gloop in the eyes – give them a little rinse too.
W3: Warm Water
Drink a decent amount of warm water, anything from 1 glass to 1 litre- whatever amount feels good to you. Think of it as melting away any build up of ama from the internal walls of the digestive and urinary tract. Your intentines and kidneys will love you for it. Adding some fresh lemon or apple cider vinegar is great for stimulating agni (digestive fire) fresh ginger is awesome for grounding vata and adding good quality salt can help to re-mineralize filtered water.
Sit the F down.
Give yourself 5-10 minutes of no screen and no sound. This is the original self-care, self-love practice. Self-massage, known as abyungha, is a technique using high-quality oil (coconut, sesame, almond, olive oil – whatever you love!) warm it up a little, maybe add some essential oils, grab a towel and sit down.
Starting at your face use circular motions to massage the forehead, temples, cheeks and chin. Then moving to the neck and upper limbs. The basic technique is long strokes down the long bones and muscles (eg. Biceps, forearms) and circular strokes around the joints (shoulders, elbows, wrists)
Massage across your chest, breasts, belly and back, then down each leg. Take time to work on the soles of the feet and any tender points or injuries in the body. So healing for injuries and illness, super soothing for the nervous system and increasing the flow of prana energy through all layers of body-mind
YOGA. Do I need say more? Or am I preaching to the converted. This is the optimal movement system, but do what you love and what works for you right now. Go for a walk, dance, climb a tree, karate chop; just move. Yoga can be a serious sacred and profound practice and at the same time its as simple and daily as brushing our teeth, drinking water or doing a poo.
Lets get clear on this. Meditation is just about being yourself and knowing something about who that is. Its not about being a space cadet or getting enlightened. Its just engaging with reality, with whatever is [resent. Now lets not conflate our movement (although it might be deeply meditative experience) with our sitting meditation practice. And let’s not get caught in the thinking that meditation replaces movement or is in some way superior to yoga asana. Sit and breathe quietly wherever you can, whether if that’s at the end of your yoga practice on your mat, or sitting on a park bench, or even in the cubicle at the gym. Sit still, breathe and feel.
If you want some guidance for your meditation practice, check out my 10 minute downloadable audios here.
And my seasonal yoga videos here.
And my morning and evening yoga practises here.
If you have a morning ritual that you love, share it with me in the comments below!! If you want to see more of this kind of post, hit the heart button.