Do you hide under the covers when the sun blazes fire? Not to worry. With a few tweaks in your routine, you can transform your morning into the most nourishing, energizing part of your day. Try the seven simple rituals given below for two weeks and see if Ayurveda's promises come true for you. According to Vaidyas (healers), these techniques will cleanse your body of toxins, balance your doshas and infuse you with joy, peace, and strength as dawn turns into day, you'll be more prepared to face whatever comes your way.
According to Ayurveda, pure, tranquil, sattvic qualities dominate the atmosphere during pre-dawn hours. That's why yogis meditate between 3 and 6 am., when it's easiest to attain peace of mind. Although that's probably too extreme for your schedule, try waking up about 20 minutes before sunrise and notice how alert you feel.
Before your feet touch the earth, say a prayer. Spontaneous or traditional, it should connect you to the Divine. If you'd like, you can try this prayer, translated from the Vedic scriptures:
Dear God, you are inside me, within my every breath, within each bird, each flower, each mighty mountain. Your sweet touch reaches everything and I am well protected. Thank you, God, for this beautiful day before me. May joy, love, peace, and compassion be a part of my life and all those around me on this day.
After praying, touch the ground (or floor) with your right hand as you step out of bed, then touch your hand to your forehead, remembering your love and respect for Mother Earth.
With cool water, gently splash your face and eyes. Gently massage your eyelids, then blink your eyes seven times and rotate them in all directions (side to side, up and down, diagonally, clockwise and counter clockwise to foster alertness.
Next, drink a glass of room temperature water, ideally from a pure copper cup filled the night before. The slightly bitter taste of this water kindles agni (gastric fire), flushes the kidneys and gastro-intestinal tract and stimulates peristalsis, which will encourage healthy bowel movement. Brush your teeth with ayurvedic toothpaste, then scrape your tongue with a stainless steel tongue scraper from back to front 7 to 10 times to remove ama (dead bacteria and toxins) and improve digestion.
Indulge in a five-minute gentle body massage, using warm (not hot!) organic oils to pacify your dominant dosha. For vata: sesame oil; pitta: sunflower oil; kapha: corn oil. Then take a shower and scrub your skin with natural soap.
Dab one drop of essential oil on your temples and belly button. Then put your finger at the spot where your earlobe meets your jaw. Trace the line of your jaw downward just until it curves toward your chin. At the bottom of that curve, apply another drop of oil. Applying attars (oils) at these areas, where prana (life-force) is pulsating. For vata: tulsi or vacha oil; pitta: khus, sandalwood or jasmine; kapha: amber or heena.
Walking in the fresh, early morning air is the best way to get your mind and body in sync with the morning freshness. Then loosen up with this simple asana: Stand on one leg as shown in the pic and slowly bring hands to prayer position. Repeat with other leg.
Wind down with a systematic relaxation in shavasana (corpse pose) and at least five minutes of meditation. Following this morning routine regularly will bring harmony, happiness and perfect health into your life.
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