My new 5,000-year-old morning routine. Five things Ayurveda has taught me.
I’m obsessed with hearing about other people's morning routines. There’s something so exciting about the prospect that I might learn something that could dramatically change my life. I still can’t help but believe my life could be better if I could just figure out how to run my mornings.
My ears perk up a little everytime I hear the phrase “morning routine” as if someone else has found the secret to vibrant health, unending energy, and blissful peace wrapped up in a step-by-step process.
This idea is rooted in the very same overly optimistic belief that a new pair of shoes will solve all my problems. I’m still waiting.
The Search is Real
So as you can imagine, I’ve tried a lot of different things in my quest for the answer to life that be done within a 30 minute time frame. About 2 months ago, I stumbled onto a word I’d heard before but never paid much attention to; Ayurveda.
I’ve been oil pulling for years and had a loose understanding that it was an Ayurveda practice but never searched deeper.
But for some reason this day at the library doing my usual search through the self-help section waiting for the next book to call to me (anyone else do this?), I found a book about the basics of Ayurveda.
At this point, my digestive issues and extreme tiredness have become a part of my life that I thought was non negotiable. I was settling with the idea that I have a weak stomach and a very low tolerance for activity without resting every couple of hours.
I will feeling low. Both in energy and in spirit.
I was at the point where I was asking, “why me?” And that’s the sign I’m about to hit bottom. So my mind was ready and willing to try anything, even a book about a 5,000 year-old system of medicine based in Indian history.
A Little History About History
I love the way my newly appointed Ayurveda advisor, Sahara Rose, describes it. She, who wrote The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda, explains it as “the lesser-known sister science to yoga”.
Indian sages developed these methods 5,000 years ago to heal their minds and bodies. When the British conquered the subcontinent, they went underground and took their knowledge with them.
Ayurveda roots can be found in almost all other health systems like Chinese medicine, western medicine, and herbology. Slowly this science of achieving a mind-body balance is finding its way mainstream. You know why?
Because it works. The time tested guidelines and practices are proven and more importantly easy. There is a natural rhythm to the ideas that easily find cadence in your life.
current mood board
*All images are sourced from Pinterest
Not Another Book to Read
Look, I have spent the last few months pouring over books and learning as much as I can but for those of you who might be sceptical or just lacking in free time, here’s what I consider to be the five most important Ayurvedic principles, so far.
Try these out for a week and notice huge improvements in your mood, energy, digestion, and mental health.
Other than brushing my teeth, I haven't given much thought to my oral health but Ayurveda strongly believes that our mouths are the gatekeepers to optimal health. Your tongue is the barometer for what’s happening inside your body and toxins start in the mouth. Tongue scraping, teeth brushing, and oil pulling is my new morning trifecta.
The first thing I do every morning when I awake is head to the bathroom and scrap my tongue with a metal scraper 10 times. Then I brush with a herbal toothpaste and finish off with 5 to 10 minutes of oil pulling.
Warming It Up.
One guideline across all doshas is to eat warm food. As a Floridian and lover of smoothies and acai bowls, I thought it didn’t make sense, but I have slowly been incorporating warm food into all my meals. Breakfast is definitely the hardest, especially during a Florida summer, but the more warm food I eat, the more my digestion thanks me.
Spice It Up.
Another universal mandate is to add more spices to your food. The traditional spices including cumin, coriander, fennel, curries, and the such are a huge part of the menu in Ayurveda. These spices heal the gut and aid in digestion. Plus they make food taste wonderful without added toxins.
Touch Your Body.
I’m sure you have heard your skin is your largest organ. Toxins are released and absorbed here so it's important to pay extra attention. Dry brushing and self-oil massage (Abhyanga) are two practice you can do at home for very little money yielding extraordinary results.
Schedule Your Day Differently.
The three doshas and their characteristics rule different parts of the day. Pitta is in charge from 10 to 2 (both AM and PM), Kapha resides over 6 to 10 (AM and PM), and Vata from 2 to 6 (AM/PM). If you start to look at your day from these stand points, your day will flow with much more ease.
Between 6AM-10AM the energy is earthy and grounded. Time for self care, meditation, and yoga. It is also a great time to exercise to balance the energy of Kapha which is heavy and tired.
At 10AM until 2PM you have Pitta, which is the fire energy. This energy is when you should be most productive as well as easting your biggest meal because your digestive fire is burning hot.
From 2PM to 6PM, Vata ebnery will bring you creativity. Here is the time of day to work on projects that need inspiration and new ideas.
These are just a few ideas, once you learn more about Ayurveda there are endless ways to improve your days.
Why Don't You Try...
Finding your dosha … Ayurveda is based on this idea that you are born with a particular dosha. There are three: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Each has specific characteristics that guide your individual path. You can find your dosha through the many quizzes online. These are my favorite quizzes (HERE + HERE) but don’t get hung up on the dosha. We all have a little bit of each one inside of us and our job is to find balance.
Getting the bible … As I mentioned before, Sahara Rose wrote The Idiot’s Guide to Ayurveda and this is a great place to start. It’s basically everything you need to know. The chapters are broken down to very digestible themes and she explains ancient wisdom so effortlessly.
Grab her book and listen to her podcast HERE.
Anything is Possible
OK, I hope I’ve peaked your curiosity a bit and left you tools and links to start on your journey into this magical way of living. Whenever I’m learning something new, I tend to get really excited and then really overwhelmed. Take it one step at a time.
Add just one Ayurvedic practice into your life at a time. Once you have it down and found the right rhythm, move on to another. Not all the ideas will be for you and that’s ok too. I am 100% sure there is some knowledge here that will change your life for the better and I think that possibility is enough.
Let me know what you think about Ayurveda. Have you heard of it? Have you tried any of the techniques? I’ve been hearing more and more lately and wonder if it’s just me.
You can find me over on Instagram, connecting with me in a reasonable (non additive) way of course :)
All the love,