I've never been a person who thrives on routines or waking up early, and I know I'm not the only one. But we can do a few things in the morning to help us get a good start to the day. Ayurvedic medicine, also known as Ayurveda, is an ancient form of Indian medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years and still plays an integral role in India's traditional healthcare system.
Ayurveda medicine practitioners encourage us to start the day with a set routine. This series of activities, known as Dinacharya, helps to promote balance in the body and mind. The specific activities vary depending on the individual's needs, but they often include dry brushing, tongue scraping, and meditation. While it may take some time to get used to, incorporating Ayurvedic principles into your morning routine can greatly improve your health and well-being.
If you aren't doing these already, here are 10 Ayurvedic practices you can try, in no particular order.
1.Go to bed early.
Getting a good night's rest is essential for good health, but many of us still need to find the time to prioritize rest. Life can be hectic, and it's easy to stay up late and watch TV or scroll through social media while lying in bed to decompress. However, there are many benefits to going to bed early and getting a full eight hours of sleep. For one, you'll wake up feeling more rested and have more energy throughout the day. Getting enough sleep has also been associated with better mental health and a stronger immune system.
2.Wake up with the sun.
The best time to wake up is before the sun, according to Ayurveda.
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According to the principles of Ayurveda, the best time to wake up is before the sun rises. Waking up with the sun helps balance the body's natural rhythms. Sunlight is also said to be cleansing and purifying, helping to reduce toxins in the body. In addition, waking up before 6 a.m. gives you a chance to start your day with some quiet time for reflection and meditation. If you need help being an early riser, try setting your alarm for a few minutes earlier each day until you reach your desired time. Don't press snooze! Over time it will be easier to rise with the sun.
Oil-pulling or Gandusha is the practice of swishing an herbal oil around your mouth for 15-20 minutes. Sesame oil and coconut oil are two of the best for oil-pulling, as they are highly effective at removing plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums. In addition to whitening teeth and freshening the breath, oil-pulling improves oral health by reducing inflammation, strengthening tooth enamel, and preventing cavities. You should oil-pull on an empty stomach before brushing your teeth and drinking water. But, remember, don’t swallow the oil when you're done! Spit the remaining oil in the toilet.
4.Drink a glass of water.
The best beverage to start your day with is water.
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Many people begin their day with a cup of tea, coffee, or orange juice, but did you know that water is the best way to start your day? Drinking a glass of room-temperature water before you drink any other beverage in the morning will help you hydrate your organs and improve your energy levels. It also stimulates your metabolism and aids in healthy digestion.
5.Go to the bathroom.
You read that right. Having a bowel movement in the morning is important for your gut health. While sleeping, our gut processes the food we ate the day before. When we wake up, our colon begins to contract so we can have a bowel movement as soon as 30 minutes after we wake up. Five healthy foods that help you poop are apples, leafy greens, avocados, legumes, and sweet potatoes.
6.Try dry brushing.
Dry brush your body once a day for optimal benefits.
Dry brushing, also known as Garshana, helps improve circulation, exfoliate the skin, reduce cellulite, and encourage lymphatic drainage. To dry brush, purchase a natural-bristle brush and use it to massage your skin in circular motions. Start at your feet and work your way up your body, avoiding any sensitive areas. For optimal use, dry brush once a day, ideally before you bathe or shower.
7.Scrape your tongue.
Tongue scraping has many health benefits. It clears toxins and bacteria from the tongue to prevent bad breath and poor oral health. Ayurveda practitioners believe tongue health is connected to the health of several of the body's vital organs such as the heart, kidney, liver, and stomach. For the best results, scrape your tongue twice a day after brushing your teeth. Check out this list of tongue scrappers.
8.Cleanse your body.
Taking a bath can provide a moment of peace in an otherwise busy day.
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While many enjoy a relaxing evening bath, taking a morning bath improves your well-being. For one thing, it can help to improve your skin health. Soap and water can help to remove dirt, oil, and bacteria from the surface of your skin, leaving you feeling clean and refreshed. In addition, a morning bath can also help to relieve anxiety and promote relaxation. The warm water can help ease muscle tension, and taking a bath can provide a moment of peace on an otherwise busy day.
9.Connect with yourself.
Meditation can help you to focus your thoughts, connect with your innermost feelings, and find calm and peace. You can also use this time to pray, set your intentions for the day, or affirm yourself by saying motivational and encouraging messages. If you are new to meditation, try a guided meditation to start.
10.Eat before 9 a.m.
A healthy meal in your mornings is a major key.
Eating a balanced, nutritious breakfast is essential to maintaining a healthy digestive system. When you sleep, your body is fasting, so you break that fast with a healthy meal. Breakfast helps to jump-start your metabolism and get your digestive system moving. People who eat breakfast are less likely to experience indigestion or other gastrointestinal problems later in the day. Studies have also shown that not eating breakfast can lead to poor heart health.
Having a set structure to start the day helps ease us into our daily schedule. It can be challenging to find time for ourselves, but carving out even just a few minutes in the morning to be intentional about how we spend time with ourselves helps us feel more centered, balanced, and prepared for whatever the day may bring.
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