Do you get up just in time to throw on some clothes, leave for work, and maybe grab some coffee on the way? Do you get up early so you can take your time and wake up slowly, read the paper, and eat breakfast at home? What does your morning look like?
I have always found myself in the category of people who hate to have to rush, even if that means sleeping less. A while ago, before I got into Ayurveda, I started meditating or doing different mudras (good when you – like me – have a hard time letting your thoughts go – mudras work whether you are able to focus or not). It hadn’t occurred to me that there are other rituals that could help start the day right.
This is the daily routine as presented by Ayurvedic physician Vasant Lad (which is the one you’ll find most in books or online – with minor variations in the details).
I am posting this article from the Nithyayoga-site because it goes a little more into detail regarding the oil pulling technique (“Gargling” in Lad’s article), which I find important. Also, I think that setting a positive intention, and thus: the tone of your day, might be a little more accessible than the prayer for some.Ayurveda knows of routines not only for the morning but for the entire day – the Dinacharya in Sanskrit. Just type the word into your search engine of choice, and you’ll find a bunch of sites giving you a variation of this.Now do I do all of this? Well, sort of but not to a t. I am a person who loves rituals, and to some extend feels lost without them, so naturally, as I read about Ayurveda, the idea of adopting a morning routine (and one for the evening) sounded appealing to me.These days I start my mornings:
- early – I wake up between 4.30 and 6.30, depending on a variety of factors – usually around 5 or 6 (regardless of whether I am working that day or not)
- by drinking some room temperature water, sometimes with a little lemon and honey in it (Ayurvedic remedy if you have problems emptying your bowels in the morning)
- going to the bathroom
- boiling some water for tea and a nose cleanse – during the winter I often wake up with a stuffed nose, cleansing it with warm salt water helps
- over the past few days I started doing some yoga before (I don’t have/take time for this on the days that I work)
- meditating and doing mudras for about 30 minutes
- oil-pulling/gargling for about 15-20 minutes
- while I do that, I usually turn on the computer, check e-mails, start writing something
- after I spit out the oil, I brush my teeth, wash my face and underarms – or I take a shower
- when I do take a shower, I started combining this with a massage (again: if I have the time, so, not on working days, and not even on all days off)
- I get dressed
- drink some tea
- and start writing
The order in which I do things does vary, I also skip some steps some days, when I am too impatient and anxious to actually start my day – working on that one. Like today, I brushed my teeth but never really washed the rest, and I am still not really dressed. Sometimes I just feel like I need to start writing first, and then after a while I’ll get back to finishing the morning routine. In reality, it often doesn’t happen then, and I never actually sit still for a while to contemplate the day I am about to begin. Kind of funny, that I manage to rush into the day even though I consciously follow a morning routine.
I am not ignorant (or I’d like to think at least not THAT ignorant), so I know that me having this kind of extensive morning ritual is largely thanks to me not having a full-time job, and my hours being spread over only two to three days per week. Also, am guessing that not having kids might have something to do with it. Basically, I have the luxury of being able to use a lot of my time as I please.
I find this kind of morning routine very pleasant, energy-inducing, and thus: I find that it helps me make the most of my days. I can recommend it to anyone but I do wonder: is this realistic? Can anyone (who wants to) adopt such a routine? Is it just about setting priorities, and getting up early enough? Or does the world we live in today not really allow for paying so much attention to yourself? Will I still do this as a parent? Do those of you who are parents do this? What do your mornings look like?