HEALTH – AYURVEDA
These principles come from Ayurveda, a preventative heathcare system that’s part of the Vedic tradition of ancient India. Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge, or science. I first became interested in Ayurveda when it was brought to my attention via Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the early 90’s, and I bought my first jar of Amrit Kalash. However, many of the common-sense principles associated with Ayurveda have also been passed down by my parents, grandparents, great grandparents and my general European heritage, as well.
1 – list
2 – article
3 – article on each one of the items on the list
Want to feel more energy, focus, purpose, and generally be more productive? A strong foundation of self care in the morning can really set you up for success.
My morning routine is one of the most important aspects of my day. It’s like an investment in my health and happiness—the more I invest in it, the more dividends it delivers over time. Morning is an excellent time to give myself some love and care, partly because it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
The morning really starts the night before, so I aim to be in bed—lights out and eyes closed—before 10pm. I don’t always make it, but my ideal bed time is around 9pm. That will be different for everyone, but there is a very specific and compelling reason for being asleep before 10pm that I’ll get into in another post.
The cleansing effects of the morning.
SHOPPING LIST (image)
Essential oil (eucalyptus, clove, or peppermint)
1 – Wake up before 6AM
Don’t laugh, family. I’m a recovering night owl, so waking up before 6 is a major accomplishment for me. I’ll go into exactly why the 6AM mark is so critical in another post. For now, suffice it to say that getting up before 6 gives me a jump in the day, and allows me enough time to exercise, etc. before having to get to everything else I have to accomplish. When I get up before 6, I appreciate feeling fresher (less groggy) in the morning and more energetic throughout the day. I also get to enjoy the birds singing, the sun rising, and the whole of nature coming to life after a peaceful night. I find that I feel healthier in general, and it’s easier to get to sleep earlier when I get up earlier. It just works better, all around. I’m a convert.
One of the first things I do when I wake up is think of something to be happy about, to start myself off in a good mood. I think of things I’m looking forward to during the day or later that evening, and I think about things I appreciate. As I’m writing this in May, I recall this morning when I pulled a sprig of fresh lilac out of the jar I had set on my bedside table last night and thought about how much I love lilacs as I breathed in the delicious essence of the flower…head still on the pillow. It’s easier to think about facing the world when you remind yourself that the world is full of beautiful pleasures and unexpected heavenly treats, like lilacs.
2 – Turn on the kettle. Hot water is an important part of my whole day. In the morning I need it for a few different things we’ll talk about, coming up.
3 – Scrape my tongue. I am, admittedly, more much more excited about tongue scrapers than is truly necessary. You don’t need to spring for the 50-dollar sterling silver version below (though it’s a beauty, and I would…I did). There are much less expensive options available. The idea is to scrape off the toxins that have accumulated throughout the night, before you drink water or eat food. You don’t want to ingest them back into your system. Tongue scrapers are THE BEST. A clean tongue feels great. https://www.amazon.com/Maharishi-Ayurveda-Sterling-Silver-Cleaner/dp/B00IOVFCC8/ref=pd_sim_sbs_121_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=416TTI1qYPL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR84%2C160_&psc=1&refRID=B26QSGQQQ844YFNFN059
4 – Brush my teeth. Simple enough, right? I usually use meainstream flouride toothpaste for sensitive teeth (my dad is a retired dentist, so I grew up with a flouride bias), but sometimes I use herbal Ayurvedic tooth paste. I have keep both in the drawer and do one or the other until it feels like time to switch. Knock on wood, no cavities ever.
5 – Floss. Every day. Every dental hygienist in the world is rejoicing at this one. Perhaps one day I’ll do an entire post on the correct flossing proticol, and show off my industrial floss dispenser (thanks, Dad!). Flossing is one of the things I am most tempted to drop, but I persevere and do it anyway. It’s so very important and so worth it. Once you’re in the flow of doing it, you might even crave it every day.
6 – Massage gums. I massage my gums with essential oil, and though it doesn’t take long it feels like a major luxury. Currently, I’m using eucalyptus oil. You can also use clove or peppermint. Mmmmmm. It sounds fancy, but I just put some oil on my finger and massage my gums with it. Voila. When I first started doing this, my dentist commented that my gums looked healthy. He had never mentioned it before.
7 – Oil pulling. This is another thing that sounds complicated and fancy. It’s not. Oil pulling is basically swishing a bit of oil around your mouth for anywhere between 1-15 minutes, depending on what is comfortable. Right now—because it’s summer—I’m using the ever-cooling and luscious coconut oil. Sometimes I use cured sesame oil. Sometime olive oil. (reasons) Like everything else on this list, it feels great and is worth the little bit of extra time it takes. Self-care is self-love!
[Talk about rinsing 5-7 times afterwards.]
8 – I drink between 8 to 16 oz. of water first thing in the morning, sometimes with lemon. Drinking hot water in the morning flushes out the toxins that have been gathering overnight. Be sure to brush, floss and scrape your tongue before eating or drinking anything in the morning so that you clean your mouth of toxins rather than ingesting them back into your system.
Drinking hot water. Mmmmmm. Hydration. Getting hydrated in the morning feels fantastic. Drinking hot water when you get up starts flushing out toxins and gets everything going again in the morning. It might feel funny on your stomach first thing in the morning if you aren’t used to it. Be brave. Start slow. It’s good for you! I’m guessing if you do it every day you will come to appreciate its effects.
9 – Gharshana. Dry massage.
10 – Walk Exercise is a naturally invigorating way to get going in the morning, so it has a way of energizing the whole day. Bringing more oxygen into the lungs, getting out into the world (experiencing nature, ideally), and
Nourish – Amrit Kalash, hot breakfast
Shower – While bathing at night saves time in the morning, I shower in the morning because of what might be considered the theme of this post: Elimination. Sleeping at night is a purifying process, and then much of this morning ritual is about flushing out the ick and starting fresh. So…I recommend the morning shower. Get up earlier if you need to! (And go to bed earlier, if you can’t.)
Water my garden – Watering one’s garden could be a metaphor for any number of other activities related to taking care of the important things in life. For you, it might be spending some quality time with your kids or partner, reading uplifting and inspiring literature, journaling, doing the next step on a personal project, or…what else? The morning is the perfect time to do something that makes you feel fulfilled and accomplished for the rest of the day. When you set the tone for your day (and life) with daily rituals, these little moments add up to a beautiful life.
That’s a lot to fit into a morning. That’s why it’s so important to wake up early!
No time? Well, it’s a matter of priorities. I almost never watch movies (oh, but I’m on YouTube sometimes!). I rarely read magazines anymore. There are a lot of things I don’t do because I want more time to take care of myself, including my body. How much time do you spend on facebook and other social media and/or screen time? How about compulsive shopping? Drinking? Complaining? Worrying? Ranting? Being a victim? Being oppressed? How much time do you spend on entertainment? Feeling disappointed or depressed? Doing favors you then resent? Spending time with people whose company you don’t enjoy?
Track your time, mood, and energy for a while, and then make your choices carefully. How you *spend* your time and what you *pay* attention to is the life you buy yourself.