Avanti Kumar-Singh
January 12, 2023

A Morning Routine That Will Kickstart Your Day

Having a hard time waking up? It may be time to reset your internal clock.

If you’ve been having a hard time waking up in the morning or find yourself in an afternoon slump reaching for caffeine and sugar to make it through the rest of the day, it’s time to reset your internal clock. The easiest way to do this is by adjusting your morning routine.

Routines regulate your circadian rhythm.

According to Ayurveda, the 5,000-year-old system of healing and the sister-science of yoga, living in harmony with nature is a key to vibrant health and self-healing. When you follow dinacharya, or daily routines, that align with the cycles of the sun you are also regulating your circadian rhythm which is critical for your health. Your circadian rhythm has an effect on every process in your body because it is your body’s natural time-keeping system that controls hormonal changes. Hormones control everything from sleep/waking, body temperature, tissue repair, metabolism, and on and on.

7 steps to become a “morning person”.

By focusing on your morning routine, you’ll start your day aligned with your internal clock and with nature…which cultivates balance and supports health. Here are 7 ways to get started:

1. Your morning starts the night before. You read that correctly. The most important part of your morning routine is to go to bed by 10 pm. If that seems impossible to you, start by getting into bed 15 minutes earlier than your current time for a week. Keep moving your bedtime closer to 10 pm in 15-minute increments. When you make 7-8 hours of sleep a priority, your body will have more time to repair and regulate itself. When you make sleep a priority, you make your health a priority.

2. Rise with the sun. The pre-dawn hours are filled with the energy of vata, or movement, making it the ideal time to rouse your body and mind. By waking 10-15 minutes before sunrise, you’ll feel energized all day.

3. Drink a glass of warm water with lemon upon waking. During sleep, your body is fasting and as a result, becomes dehydrated. Drinking water upon waking serves to rehydrate the body. Warm water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and causes peristalsis, which gets things moving. The lemon loosens the toxins and waste that has accumulated in the digestive tract so that they can be eliminated more efficiently and more completely. (Not a fan of lemon? Try lime or another citrus you like.)

4. Wash the night away. While you sleep, your body goes through an internal cleansing cycle in which waste and toxins are processed for elimination. According to Ayurveda, it’s important to flush out the toxins that accumulate overnight in the eyes, in the mouth, on the tongue, and in the nose. When you wake up, rinse your eyes and mouth with warm water, scrape your tongue using a tongue scraper, and flush your nose using a nasal saline flush bulb. Scraping the tongue first thing in the morning also stimulates digestion and revs up your metabolism.

5. Sit and go in. Regular, daily practice of meditation can help reduce stress and increase a sense of inner peace, which promotes a level of well-being that benefits both the mind and body. Studies have shown that meditating for just 3-10 minutes a day has the same cumulative effects as those gained from meditating for 30 minutes a day.

6. Get moving with 10 minutes of gentle yoga or stretching. The benefits of movement on your physical, mental, and emotional health are well-documented. Try just 10 minutes in the morning of gentle yoga or stretching wherever your body needs it. This will begin to break up physical congestion and adhesions in the muscle and soft tissue that literally block the flow of the body’s prana, or life force, through the body. If prana is obstructed, the body becomes dense, toxic, and emotionally protective.

7. Break your fast gently. Because your digestive fire is weak at the beginning of the day, eat something light and warm like stewed apples or oatmeal that is easier for your body to digest.

I know…that’s a lot to change! The goal isn’t to alter your routine overnight.

In fact, I recommend you choose one habit to try on for a week. Once you feel comfortable with that one, add another and see how you feel. Over time, you’ll find that you have a new routine that calms your mind and gives you energy all day.

**article adapted from original published on avantikumarsingh.com

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