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My Ayurvedic & Yoga Morning Routine for Energy & Wellbeing

10 Aug 2023
by Aimée Kuntz

Well begun is half done.

And as difficult as it may be, that is (unfortunately) not checking social media, news, emails or other messages on your phone. However, not doing a specific thing is very difficult. To build a new habit, it works better to do something instead. By doing this with things that are actually essential for your energy and well-being, you really start your day off right! And in the end, both you and the people around you will thank you for it.


Ayurveda pays a lot of attention to digestion since it has such a major influence on your health (and therefore on your energy). And that is also reflected in the Ayurvedic morning routine.

Your digestion is not only determined by what and how you eat, but also by your oral hygiene. Digestion also starts in the mouth (and not in the stomach). An Ayurvedic doctor can also diagnose a lot with regard to your health by looking at your tongue.

Your stool also gives many indications about the state of your digestive system and whether there may be an imbalance here. Ideally, your stool should look like a brown ripe banana (and at least daily).


1. Get up early

Get up at 6:00 AM at the latest. Between 6 and 10 am it is a kapha time. In this kapha timeframe there is naturally a somewhat slower, heavy energy. By getting up no later than 6 am, you still take the vata energy into your day, which is much lighter and more mobile.

Read more about the Ayurvedic rhythm of the day HERE.


2. Bathroom

Go to the toilet. Ideally, you also have bowel movements in the morning. In any case, make a habit of going straight to the bathroom in the morning. Your body gets used to the routine.


3. Cleaning mouth & face

a) Toothbrushing. Ayurveda recommends doing this with bitter, pungent, astringent flavors. I myself am very satisfied with Maharishi's toothpaste Ayurdent.

b) Optionally, you could also massage your gums with the Ayurvedic powders Triphala (dried fruit of Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellerica), Trikaṭu (black pepper, long pepper, dry ginger) and Trijata (cardamom, clove, bark of clove).

c) Clean the tongue with a tongue scraper to remove the "batter" (the white coating on your tongue) and mucus. Move the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and gently pull it forward. After each scrape, rinse the tongue scraper with water. Scrape your tongue about five to seven times.

Were you aware that about 80% of the bacteria in the mouth are located on the tongue? Many dentists therefore advise to use a tongue scraper as well.

Furthermore, your digestion starts in your mouth. By cleaning your mouth (including the tongue!) before you drink or eat something, the already removed waste products don’t need to be removed further along the digestive system. Scraping the tongue is also good for the taste buds on the tongue (which also improves the working of your taste buds).

Choose a stainless steel or copper tongue scraper. They aren’t expensive and they last a long time. As long as you don’t have a tongue scraper, you could also use a spoon.

d) Rinse and gargle your mouth with cold water. And also wash your eyes with some cold water.

e) Oil pulling. Wash the mouth with oil (also called Kavala or Gandusha) by pulling the oil through your teeth. Do this for a few minutes (meanwhile you can prepare the rest of your morning routine) and spit it out in the garbage bin. 

Use a tablespoon of cold-pressed oil. For example unroasted sesame oil or a medicinal oil such as Arimedadi Thailam. In the summer or with a pitta imbalance you can also use coconut oil.

Tip: Do not spit it out in the sink as the oil (combined with hair etc. can otherwise quickly clog the drains).

f) Nasya (for example Aṇu taila): put 1 to 2 drops of this nasal oil in each nostril with your finger.

Yes, we are not used to this in western customs. However, it is good for the mucous membranes. This makes it very soothing if you often suffer from a stuffy nose (because it dissolves in the oil) or allergies.

Because it also affects the quality of your breathing, it has a positive effect on various physical and mental conditions.


4. Drink warm water

So simple, but so effective! This kick-starts digestion. If you suffer from constipation or obstipation, or if your body is not yet used to having stools early in the morning, this glass of warm water in the morning is even more important.

Also, a glass of warm water is good to hydrate yourself after a night's sleep. But of course, after cleaning your teeth; what you don't want is to bring those waste products that form on your tongue during the night (when your body is working hard for you for recovery) into your intestines.


5. Dry brushing (optional)

Dry brushing is good for blood circulation. Bonus is that you also remove dead skin cells, leaving your skin wonderfully soft. It is especially good for those with a kapha constitution, kapha imbalance or during Kapha season. The benefits are a bit less for pitta imbalances and it adds the least value for Vata imbalances.

Dry brushing is done with a specially made brush made of natural material. Some of these brushes have a detachable handle, making it easier to reach your back.

Dry brushing is done before showering, so that you can rinse off the dead skin cells that come off afterwards. Always brush in the direction of the heart. Make long flowing movements, except at joints such as the knees, where you make circular movements.


6. Abhyaṅga (optional)

Abhyaṅga is self-massage with oil, which reduces Vata. This makes it very helpful if you have a Vata constitution or imbalance or in the fall (Vata season). If it doesn’t fit into your routine daily, it can also be lovely to include this practice once a week (for example during the weekend) making it a special selfcare moment.


7. Walk outside (optional)

If you have difficulties waking up early, taking a short walk can help. The combination of daylight (affects your melatonin), fresh air and exercise make you feel more awake.

If you can do this walk in nature, you will notice that it works even more beneficially for you.


8. Pranayama & Meditation

In the morning when your mind is not yet influenced by all kinds of stimuli (yes I know, don't pick up that phone just yet), it's easier to turn inward. Because pranayama works on your energy body and interacts with your thoughts, you benefit from this throughout the rest of your day.

Check for example the blogs about Resonance breathing, Bramari Pranayama and a Metta & Chakra meditation for some good options.


9. Yoga Asana or Exercise

Between 6 and 10 am it is kapha time. And since there is naturally a somewhat slower, heavy energy in this kapha block, you want to do something that counteracts that to wake up nicely. An asana practice, cleaning and other physical activities create lightness, make the body strong and the mind lively. From modern medicine, the benefits of exercise are many. So although it can sometimes be a bit more difficult to start up, afterwards you can thank yourself for stepping on your yoga mat.

Another advantage of doing your asana practice (or exercising) in the morning is that there is less chance that something will come up that makes you skipping your practice (compared to trying to do this in the afternoon or evening).


10. Bathing or taking a shower

Interesting fact is that according to Ayurveda it is preferable not to put hot water directly on top of the head or eyes, as it would exhaust the hair roots and eyes. Of course we can take the seasons and climate into account here. But still, maybe lower the temperature a bit if you put water directly on top of your head.


11. Breakfast

Breakfast: if and in accordance with your personal constitution or imbalance. And when choosing your breakfast you can also include the season. For example, fruit in the summer or a nice bowl of warm oatmeal in the fall or winter.


What is the short version of this long list?

It seems like a long list. However, most of the parts take very little time. Of course you don't want to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, it isn’t an all-or-nothing recommendation. You really don't have to apply all the recommendations at the same time directly. Feel which part you would like to apply first to your morning routine. Trust your intuition. Only when this has become completely routine for you, you add another item.

Can't decide where to start? Then I recommend that you start by scraping your tongue and drinking a glass of warm water. This already has a lot of effect on your digestion and barely takes time.

Or take the time once a week (for example during the weekend) for dry brushing or for a soothing Abhyaṅga massage to create a lovely self-care moment.


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