Simple Ayurvedic practices to add to your morning routine
Ayurveda is a holistic medicinal approach to healthy living and wellness that some scholars believe has existed for over 3,000 years - yea, you read that right, 3,000 years!
Ayurveda is built around the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth. The unique combination of these elements come together to make up the doshas—the constitutions of vata, pitta, and kapha.
According to Ayurveda, the doshas control the creation, maintenance, and breakdown of bodily tissue and elimination of wastes, as well as psychological aspects, such as emotions, understanding, and love. When balanced, the doshas maintain the systems of the body; when one of the doshas increases due to certain diet and lifestyle habits, imbalance is created. Ayurveda can help restore harmony to areas that have lost balance. - Kripalu Institute
The Chopra Center
I've read about Ayurveda for almost 10 years, I am by no means an expert but after reading different approaches to health, wellness and mind body connection when practicing certain aspects of Ayurvedic medicine I've found many things that work for me.
A few key lifestyle changes rooted in Ayurvedic practice that always help me to feel my best are:
Wake before or with the dawn - it sets the right tone for the day and gives me some quiet time to get my mind in a good place.
Upon waking, drink warm water with lemon - this helps to clear out the lymphatic system and keeps me feeling energized and less lethargic, which is part of my doshas constitution, a mix of mostly kapha with some pitta.
Set an intention for your day. It can be a few simple words, like a mantra you might go back to while doing yoga or a simple goal about a specific task or event happening that day. This has helped me immensely, especially while juggling working from home and taking care of the kids. It helps me to set the tone for our day and guide my children towards a similar goal of well-being and calmness. It doesn't always work and we hit bumps in the road, but it creates a foundation to return to when you hit those bumps.
The below are tips to include throughout your day, not just in the morning but it's especially helpful if you start your day by eating foods that benefit your dosha and incorporate some morning exercise or basic stretching:
Eat more sharp, astringent, bitter foods - rather than dairy, fatty and high carb foods.
Exercise 30-60 minutes per day. Short on time, this could be a quick yoga flow or a 20 minute strength training to help awaken your body and set the tone for the day
When I apply simple changes to my diet, exercise regularly and try to incorporate yoga and meditation into my day I feel more energized, focused and in tune with my mind and body. Interestingly, I feel more in control of my life, my surroundings and my intentions are more genuine, even my relationships feel stronger. Even if you don't commit to a strict daily practice, Ayurveda is a wonderful resource to pull from at any point in your life. I plan on revisiting these practices to help balance my mind during these strange times.
Find out what your dosha is here.