Riddhi Garg, 18, a student from Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, believes that adopting an ayurvedic lifestyle has improved her sense of well-being and helped her to balance her body and mind. Ayurvedic practitioners say that the daily morning ritual or dinacharya is a profound way to change one’s physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.
“I try to incorporate small things which make a big difference in the long term. Sleeping (between 8 pm and 10 pm) and waking up on time — it may not be exactly in the brahma muhurta (last quarter of the night before sunrise), but I keep a schedule, no matter the season or location,” Garg told Happiest Health.
She always tries to eat foods that align with her body’s nature (a combination of vata and pitta) and according to the current season (ritu). Moreover, she does mantra meditation for about 30 minutes and tries to follow mindfulness and gratitude practices. “I have happily and mindfully chosen to follow ayurveda as a way of life,” says Garg.
Dr Divya Chauhan, an ayurveda expert from Bengaluru, says that individuals will have the zeal to tackle any physical or mental imbalance by following a daily routine. Here is the daily morning routine you can follow.
Wake up before the sun rises
Experts suggest that one should try to wake up before sunrise. This time changes according to our body type. Ideally, one should wake up between 4 and 6 am. People with pitta and vata body types should wake up around 5.30 am. On the other hand, kapha type people should wake up before 5 am. According to experts, mornings until 6 am are vata kala (which is dominated by the air element) and post 6 am is kapha kala (dominated by the water element).
Begin each day with mindfulness, gratitude, and prayers
Ayurvedic physicians say that there is a flow of satwa guna (quality of goodness) in the morning which leads to positive thoughts. Following meditation and gratitude practices for a couple of minutes is a good way to start the day rather than picking up the smartphone to scroll to social media platforms. One should take a moment every day to practice gratitude. Further, it is recommended to wash one’s face and eyes with cold water.
Develop a healthy bowel movement habit
Drinking warm water or morning detox drinks helps in easy bowel movements. Keeping a good elimination practice is a sign of healthy digestion. Although sitting in a squatting position does not necessarily cause a bowel movement, it aligns with the body’s vata (air element). Practising this every day leads to regular bowel movements.
Oral hygiene is the key
It is recommended to brush teeth using fluoride-free herbal toothpaste, which has miswak, liquorice, clove, or mint as the main ingredient. Ayurveda also recommends the use of herbal toothbrushes made of neem or miswak.
Experts advise that one should clean the tongue with a tongue cleaner daily. It helps in removing the toxins and bacteria accumulated in the mouth overnight and also in improving digestion. Read here on ayurvedic tips for oral hygiene.
Nasal drops twice a week
One to two drops of anu taila (herbal oil commonly used in nasya) should be applied in each nostril twice a week to soothe and protect the nasal passage. One can sit comfortably with the head slightly tilted back and apply the drops in the nostrils. This procedure helps to expel excess mucous and clears the upper and lower respiratory tracts.
Oil pulling for healthy gum
Oil pulling is an easy process of rinsing the mouth with oil. Oil swishing should be done daily by filling the mouth with sesame or virgin coconut oil. One should swish the oil around the mouth for a couple of minutes, before washing the mouth with warm water. Oil pulling helps strengthen teeth and gums. It also prevents foul breath and teeth sensitivity.
Exercise for two per cent of your day
One should follow a 30-minute yoga routine, brisk walking or aerobic exercises on a daily basis. Consistency is the key, and one should make it a part of the daily routine. Read more on the ayurvedic approach to exercising healthily.
Scrub off the dullness
Dry brushing is a procedure of rubbing the body with herbal pastes or dry powders before a shower. Commonly recommended powders for dry brushing are horse gram, barley, triphala, chickpea and green gram. It improves the firmness of the body and leaves the skin soft and smooth. Herbal brushing helps in exfoliation and the entire procedure takes just five minutes. Read more on powder massage.
Daily oiling of the body and head helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and maintain the dosha balance (bodily energies). Read here to learn more about daily ayurvedic massages. A daily bath is an essential part of the traditional ayurvedic routine. It helps to cleanse and purify the body, bring energy, and improve alertness.
It is important to always follow a consistent time for breakfast. Experts say that a good time to eat would be 8 am to 9 am. Eat a well-nourished breakfast that includes homemade foods like idli, dosa, poha, oats, millets, and seasonal fruits. Read more about DIY diets according to your body type.
Better late than never
Even if we have a busy schedule, we can try to incorporate a few aspects of a daily ayurvedic routine. A few of the rituals require more commitment and concerted effort. As such, we can start slowly rather than getting overwhelmed of the entire ritual.
The most important thing is that one should start gradually and achieve consistency. “We have flaws to divert and distract, so at the end of the day, if we follow the basics, we have a win-win situation for being healthy in all aspects,” concludes Dr Chauhan.