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I feel so much better when I have a morning routine, so I was happy to see that Ayurveda provides a good regimen. Dinacharya: ‘Din’ means ‘day’ and ‘acharya’ means ‘to follow’ or ‘close to’, allows your body to wake up, release, and focus before the day begins.

1. Brahma Muhurata

Wake up 1.5 hours before sunrise to start your routine. In the winter, this is around 6 AM, in the Summer it is more like 4:45 AM. I am still trying to get the hang of this one, especially with a puppy.

2. Ward off Negativity

Rub both hands together and move the palms slowly down over your face, shoulders, arms, and legs to clear your chakras and create an energy shield.

3. Breath and Step

Check which nostril you are breathing out of (this changes about every 35 minutes). The right nostril is solar-pitta, and the left nostril is lunar-kapha. The right side of the brain controls creative activity while the left side controls logical verbal activity. Step out of bed with the same leg.

4. Eliminate your Waste

There is no pleasant way to say this one- go to the bathroom, and make sure you poop! Drinking warm water with lemon may help you. This is a really crucial part of the morning routine.

5. Wash your Hands and Face

Of course, you are going to wash your hands after going to the bathroom, but wash your face, too. Pay attention to the soap you are using to make sure it is not made of harsh chemicals. Try this easy recipe if you are interested in making your own.

6. Practice Mouth Care

  • Dinacharya involves scraping your tongue before you brush your teeth. I had never heard of this before, and now I look forward to it. Food tastes so much better the rest of the day. It also reduces toxins and bacteria on the tongue.
  • Then, brush your teeth. I am currently loving Dr. Bronner’s Cinnamon toothpaste, which received an EWG rating of 1.
  • Do a daily swish, known as oil pulling- swishing warm oil can improve your sense of taste. This can be sesame, coconut or any other oils of your choosing.
  • Message gums with the oil to improve gum circulation.  (For both the daily swish and the gum message, I use my Whipped Coconut Oil Lotion recipe. You will taste the lemon more than the lavender.)

7. Lemon Water

If you haven’t already done so, have a glass of warm water with lemon (or lime). It doesn’t have to be hot, though it shouldn’t be cold. If I am out of lemons, I add a drop of lemon essential oil.

8. Meditation

According to Banyan Botanicals, it’s not important that you have a specific meditation routine, as that you have a routine. You may be an advanced yogi practicing pranayama. You might be religious and into praying. I practice a morning chakra meditation series that I love with some chakra sprays. I usually meditate for 15-40 minutes.

9. Movement

Now that you have woken up the mind, it is now time to wake up the body. This is less about shedding pounds, as it is improving circulation and awakening your joints. Early morning and early evening (6-10 AM and PM) are both great times for movement.  Ayurveda recommends different types and intensities of exercise for different constitutions and suggests that we only exercise to only about 50% of our capacity (until the first break of sweat). This is different advice, I know. I am a Pitta dosha, so I love a mix of yoga, reformer pilates sometimes with a jump board, and to get on the elliptical for 10-15 minutes before yoga and pilates.

10. Abhyanga

Abhyanga (Ahh – bee – yawn – ga), or ayurvedic self-message, is supposed to be done before a shower or bath and in a relaxing, warm place. I’m not going to lie, though. I actually practice this right in the shower. Yes, the oil is messy and keeping it contained in the shower really helps, but my biggest problem is time. I start at my head. My Moringa shampoo has oil right in it, so I just massage the shampoo into my scalp. Then, I use a homemade blended oil (sunflower, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils, and vitamin e) and massage my face and ears. Then, I run two fingers in each nostril and two more in the ears. I then run long strokes down my neck, chest, and arms. I rub in a circular motion over the joints at the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Then, yes ladies, give your breasts a little love for optimum breast health, except during the ‘no no’ time in the month when you want to be extra gentle with yourself anyway. Then, I move to the back and rub the stomach, up and over from the left to right to encourage bowel flow (Ayurveda is all about elimination!). Don’t forget about those hip joints afterward. Then, long strokes down the legs while showing the knees some love. Lastly, a little standing foot massage. Use soap where necessary only.

And this is my morning routine. My biggest problem is how time-consuming it is. I stick to this routine M-S, but I like to sleep in a little on Sundays and relax. Usually, the dog gets fed right before meditation and working out. With a strict morning routine like this, everyone will have to find their own way to make it happen. Maybe you only meditate 3 times a week or maybe you work out when you get home from work instead. For me, finishing it all in the morning makes me feel accomplished and ready to tackle the day.

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