“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most”
Blending science and philosophy, Ayurveda is an ancient system of healing which has been practised for centuries in India. Ayurveda – which literally means “the science of life” – is a holistic way of living which can help you achieve optimum health and wellbeing through a harmonious union of the mind, body and spirit. The Ayurvedic daily program for living is called “dinacharya” and, according to Ayurveda, a series of routines form the foundation of a balanced life. So, why not take inspiration from this traditional natural healing system and power up your morning routine with these simple tips:
Wake early This may be a tough one for night owls to handle but Ayurveda recommends that we rise early as the body functions best on an early start. Not only that but setting your alarm clock that bit earlier will give you time to incorporate the other Ayurvedic wellness hacks noted below. Still not convinced? Some of the most successful people in the world are also super early risers – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is in the gym at 4am; Richard Branson wakes at 5.45am and Oprah rises at 6am every day. If it’s good enough for Oprah…
Time for some tongue TLC The tongue is one of the key organs in Ayurveda and a clean tongue is essential for our sense of taste. However, the surface of the tongue is also a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause infection in the teeth and gums. What’s more, it can also cause bad breath – yuck! It’s time to give your tongue some TLC and incorporate tongue cleaning into your morning routine. This involves gently scraping, and thereby removing, the toxins from the tongue. We love the Savile Row tongue cleaner (available from Yogamatters.com) but you can find them in many health stores and online (try Amazon).
Swish it all about This ancient ritual involves “swishing“ or “swilling” oil around in your mouth and then spitting it out. Your teeth should feel cleaner after swilling and preliminary studies have shown some antibacterial benefits too. Traditionally sesame oil is used, however, coconut oil is an awesome alternative, which has become popular with celebrities and wellness warriors in recent years – some even claiming it can help to whiten teeth. Want to kick it up a notch? Try gently massaging your gums with your index finger for optimum gum health – unhealthy gums are thought to raise inflammation levels in the body.
Put a “zing” in your step Instead of reflexively reaching for your smartphone when you get up, reach for a tall glass of water (after you’ve tongue scraped of course!). Drinking humble H2O will help to flush out any toxins accumulated overnight. If you want to amp it up, try adding freshly squeezed lemon juice which will help fire up your digestion for the day ahead and balance pH in the body (due to the alkalizing effect of the lemon). The zingy smell of lemons will help to wake up even the foggiest of morning brains and it also tastes delicious – it’s a win-win.
Move your butt Ayurvedic philosophy encourages us to do some form of exercise first thing in the morning and research has proven that morning is generally the best time for productivity. So getting a workout in first thing means you are likely to work harder and it can also help to wake the mind and increase circulation. Why not try yoga (involving synchronicity of breath and movement) which is a key part of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. The added bonus of working out in the morning? No matter what else happens with your day (working late, impromptu catch-up with friends, talking yourself out of it…) you won’t be tempted to make an excuse and skip your workout.
There’s no doubt that the pressures of modern life can make it difficult to make time for yourself, particularly in the morning but if you don’t already have a morning wellbeing routine, then don’t worry – you now have the tools to create a kick-ass one!
words by Danielle Kidd
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