This Vedic routine is a beautiful way to start each morning, adding to the benefits of meditation and making you feel fresh, connected and full of creativity for the day. Do what you can fit into your current schedule, starting piece by piece till it becomes a habit. Radical change can cause more stress then good, so integrate this routine part by part. It might look like a lot but trust me, it doesn’t take long. And damn do you feel good when you do it.
RISE WITH THE SUN (Vata time is 2am - 6am)
Waking just before the sun rises allows you to take the light, fresh and creative energy of the VATA dosha with you throughout the day. It is an hour of stillness and purity. Rest a few moments before you arise thinking positive and happy thoughts for the day.
CLEAN YOUR TONGUE
Scraping your tongue each morning removes toxins that have accumulated in the body over night from undigested food or experiences. Try it out and see what you scrape off… you’ll never not scrape again. Tongue scrapers can be bought here.
CLEANSE WITH A DRINK
Drink a full glass of warm water with lemon (ginger optional), wait 5-10mins then go to the bathroom to cleanse the insides of your body. The more you do this routine, the easier a morning evacuation will become.
Daily Abhyanga massage is a powerful self-healing Ayurvedic modality. It connects you to your body, facilitates in the removal of toxins, enlivens your senses and creates flow and movement. If you don’t have time for a whole body massage (usually takes about 10-20min) simply focus on your belly for 5 minutes. Massage is such a great way to become aware of your own body and how you’re feeling so that during the day you make more self-aware decisions that are really going to be of benefit rather than living solely from your mind. Belly massage video here and more videos on the incredible Damian Hagglund’s website here.
Water purification is a daily ritual in India, and although you might not be able to dip into the Holy Ganges each day, having a morning shower will do the trick. Feeling cleansed and purified you are fresh and ready to start your morning meditation program.
YOGA ASANA (10-30min)
Starting the day with some simple yoga asanas is highly beneficial. You don’t have to attend a yoga class, or push out a 90min hot yoga session to be ‘doing yoga’ and gaining its benefits. It’s actually more beneficial if you are calm, relaxed and doing yoga as if you were ‘swimming in a warm ocean watching the sun rise with a smile on your face.’ Start with a few repetitions of the Sun Salutation (facing the sun), or any other gentle yoga asana sequence you have been taught. It’s the morning and the body may be slightly stiff, so take it easy, be kind and caring to yourself and allow the energy in your body to flow.
PRANAYAMA BREATHING (2-5min)
Pranayama breathing techniques help in purifying the subtle bodies and bring coherence to your brain. There are a wide variety of breathing techniques; ask your yoga or meditation teacher to suggest a technique that will benefit you in calming the body and mind before you dive into meditation.
Doing yoga asana and pranayama prepares your body and mind to transcend in meditation. When we meditate we have no expectations, no preferences for a certain experience and no preconceived ideas of what is going to happen. We let go, surrender to the moment and go with the flow of natures intelligence. It’s all about easy and effortless repetition of the mantra and a nonchalant attitude to thoughts. If you need any help with your practice get in contact with your teacher or email me here.
Nourish your cleansed body with a beautiful meal. Eat a medium sized breakfast (lunch should be your biggest meal) or if you’re not that hungry have a blended drink. Eat with the seasons, with your body type and with what FEELS good. Trust your intuition and listen to what your body wants - that’s why we do this morning routine and why we meditate! It’s all about connecting to your innate sense of wisdom. Eat something that tastes amazing, that pleases all your senses and will give you energy for the day.
WASH HANDS AND BRUSH TEETH
Hygiene is important. You’ve cleansed your body in the shower, mind in meditation, and now we clean our hands and teeth after a delicious breakfast.
DRESS WITH CARE
Dress yourself and allow your style to be an expression of your truest self. Colour is a powerful tool in reflecting and altering your mood so pay attention to how you clothe yourself. Be comfortable and confident and allow fashion to be a tool of self expression.
DIGESTIVE WALK (20min)
Walk briskly for about 20 minutes or so after you’ve had breakfast to aid in digestion and stimulate the release of good endorphins throughout the body. In Ayurveda, when you are exercising your heart rate should increase but not to the point that you wouldn’t be able to have a conversation with the person next to you. Be easy, be calm and allow your senses to absorb the incredible world around you as you briskly walk around your suburb, to the train station or wherever you need to be next.
ENJOY YOUR DAY!
Part 2 of the Vedic day coming up next.