Ayurveda recommends integrating your being into your doing, meaning that the way you choose to lead your life ultimately becomes an expression of who you really are. And while it might be easy to be able to master a certain skill or be good at something, the challenge lies in being able to bring your intention for how you want to live into your daily life. The daily regimen, or Dinacharya, is central in Ayurveda’s philosophy of preventing and is the sum of the everyday habits we have in order to maintain good health. To help you on your way, I put together this quick guide to everyday habits for optimal health.
Kickstart your day and incorporate these habits into your routine to improve focus, reduce anxiety and stress and increase productivity.
Wake up before sunrise
How you start your mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. The morning is the time of knowledge and creative energy making it the perfect time to memorise, study or meditate. The recommended time to wake up is between 1.5hours up to 48 minutes before sunrise, aka brahmamuhurta, a little later in the winter season and earlier in the warm seasons.
Go to the toilet – Eliminate bowels and bladder
I know what you’re thinking: well, duh! Needing to use the toilet first thing in the morning is a given for most of us and a very good sign of a healthy digestive system. However, when there are imbalances in the body, elimination can become a real ordeal. If that’s something you struggle with, check here some tips on healthy digestion.
Brush your teeth and scrape tongue
Early morning, before the day begins is considered the most important time to care for your mouth, teeth and gums. Plaque and bacteria tend to accumulate in your mouth overnight causing the infamous “morning breath” so it is important to do this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Scraping the tongue is the next step, clearing your tongue of toxins build-up and activating your taste buds. Do this with a copper tongue scraper, which is antibacterial and suitable for all doshas.
Drink a glass of warm water
Drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps improve digestion and cleanse the system of the toxins accumulated during the night. It also helps rectify bowel movement and rehydrate the body tissues.
Neti – nasal cleaning
Keeping your breathing pathways clean and open is essential in Ayurveda. Using a neti pot together with a saline solution to rinse the inside of your nose helps support respiratory health by cleaning out all the agents that can irritate the nasal lining and cause sinus infections, like pollutants and allergens.
Warm oil massage
Warm oil massage, or Abhyanga, is in its core an expression of self love and care. And who doesn’t want to start the morning with a good dose of love? Besides nourishing your skin and delaying ageing, Abhyanga helps increase circulation, helps in detoxification by moving the lymph and assists in elimination of impurities from the body.
Mornings are the perfect time to take a moment to bring your mind back in balance, connect with yourself and set your intentions for the day ahead.
Mornings are all about detoxification and exercising is an essential tool that supports the body’s pathways of detoxification. It helps kindle agni throughout the tissues, improves circulation and supports elimination. And all this while keeping your body strong and healthy.
Take a shower/bath
Enjoy a nutritious breakfast
Like everything else you are doing in your morning routine, a good and nutritious breakfast prepares you for the day ahead. It’s important to start your day with the type of breakfast that serves your dosha best, warming but light for Vata and Kapha body types and sturdier for pitta types.