Updated: Jul 27, 2021
Wondering how to create an Ayurvedic morning routine? In Ayurveda, how you start your day influences the rest of your waking hours. If you start your day stressed and rushed, you'll unconsciously feel hurried and anxious throughout. Whereas if you begin with calm and ease, you'll take on that mindful demeanour and be more present throughout the day.
I live a busy, nomadic lifestyle and it’s very important to me to have a simple Ayurvedic morning routine that I can do every day regardless of where I am in the world. The beauty of this routine is it can be completed in 30 minutes. You can take extra time when your schedule allows too.
By following this routine, it may help to increase your energy levels, strengthen your metabolism and improve your digestion. Through consistent morning practice, you’ll be able to approach life with a deeper sense of awareness and learn to respond rather than react to challenges you face throughout the day. You'll also find that having an Ayurvedic morning routine will cultivate more intention in your thoughts and actions. This will allow you to make the most out of your time during the day.
Your daily routine is called dinacharya, which means to follow or be close to the day. By establishing a routine in line with the body’s natural circadian rhythm you can maximize and set the tone for the day ahead. In your Ayurvedic morning routine, waking up with the sun helps to optimise the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
My Ayurvedic morning routine
6am (or sunrise!): Wake up
I start every morning with five minutes of breathwork. It helps me to feel calm, minimises my stress for the upcoming day and helps me connect to my body. One of my favourite apps to use is the IBF Breathing App. I set the timer for five minutes and set my inhale and exhales to five.
6:05am-6:15am: Oil pulling, tongue scraping and a neti pot
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil in your mouth, just like mouthwash. It prevents cavities, whitens teeth, improves digestion, and may help to support your immune system. While there are several types of oil you can use, I personally enjoy coconut oil.
How to do oil pulling:
Place one tablespoon of oil in your mouth, and swish it around your mouth for as long as possible. Start with two minutes and work up to 10 minutes.
Spit out the oil, ensuring you don't swallow any.
Rinse your mouth with water.
There’s no need to stand still while doing your oil pulling. You can walk around, get dressed, and start preparing your hot drink.
According to Ayurveda, all toxins begin in the mouth. This toxicity is known as ama and is seen as the white, mucus coating on your tongue. If you don't scrape this off every morning, your tongue reabsorbs them. This can lead to a lowered immune system and a decreased ability to absorb nutrients. This in turn leads to imbalances such as weight gain, acne, and bloating. Tongue scraping strengthens digestion, helps to support immunity, and improves your dental health.
While there are several types of tongue scrapers, I HIGHLY recommend a stainless steel one. As someone who has personally battled copper toxicity, I would not advise a copper tongue scraper. Copper is a heavy metal that can build up in the body. Symptoms of copper toxicity include fatigue, mental racing, emotional highs and lows, anxiety and reproductive problems.
How to scrape your tongue:
Hold the scraper with one hand on each end.
Look in a mirror, and stick out your tongue. Place the scraper on the back of your tongue.
Gently scrape the surface of your tongue in a long stroke from back to front. You’ll notice ama, the white mucus, accumulate on the scraper.
Repeat until you no longer see ama. I find it takes five to 10 strokes.
Rinse the scraper with water and brush your teeth.
Nasal irrigation is a practice where the nasal cavity is washed to flush out mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses by using a Neti pot to enhance nasal breathing. I use clean, filtered sterile water with three drops of tea tree oil. You can also use sterile water with a little salt.
How to use a neti pot
Pour sterile water into your neti pot. Lean over your sink and tilt your head sideways, keeping your chin and forehead and the same level.
Breathe gently with your mouth open and insert the neti pot sprout in your upper nostril. This movement will cause the water to drain out of your lower nostril. Then, gently blow your nose with a tissue to get rid of extra mucus and discharge.
Repeat the steps above for the other side and cleanse face afterwards.
6:15-6:30am: Warm drink, meditation and breakfast
Ayurveda recommends starting your day with a hot drink because it's more healing and hydrating than something cold. Your body doesn't have to exert any extra energy to warm the water.
Warm beverages like hot water with lemon dissolve ama from your system, stimulate your digestive fire, and enhance your metabolism. I always drink hot water with lemon before I sit down to meditate.
After meditation, I have breakfast and one of my favourite things to do for breakfast is oatmeal. Below is my favourite recipe and it’s also a gut-healthy and hormone-stabilising meal. It's the perfect way to start your day.
1 cup of oats
2 cups of plant-based milk
A handful of blueberries
Half a banana
Tablespoon of almond butter
Add your oats and plant-based milk to a saucepan, warming for around 10 minutes until the mixture thickens and the oats cook.
Add your toppings.
About Erica Breen
Erica is a life-long mover and forever student. Trained in Pilates, Yoga and Ayurveda, Erica has a breadth of knowledge when it comes to the human body and its inner workings. Leading a nomadic lifestyle, you'll find Erica sharing her work online from all over the world! Find out more at ericabreenpilates.com.