How to do an Ayurvedic morning routine

During the last six years of struggling with chronic illness, with varying, confusing diagnoses ranging from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Final Phase Adrenal Insufficiency, and Addison's Disease, I consider
this Ayurvedic daily routine my morning spa time in the bathroom.

During the winter, if I bring in an electric radiator and have the bathroom warm when I wake up, it feels as pleasant to me as going to a spa to be doted on. The only difference is, I quietly, lovingly focus on taking care of this body that I've been given. It's a beautifully reverent time of day for me.

NOTE: I combine steps 10 - 13 as I sit on a stool in the bath. (Or, if I feel weak, I pour the sesame oil into a warm bath and do head and body oil massage, nasya, and ears that way.) If I'd only known
being consistent and meditative in my daily routine would be the single most important element in my healing, including healthy food, and prayer to my Father in Heaven, and remembering the Savior's atoning love and mercy, I would have added Ayurvedic routines and foods into my days long ago.

The following is slightly adapted from an article on daily routine by Dr. Vasant Lad's, found on his website,

"A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one's
body constitution. It also regularizes a person's biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.

1. Wake Up Early in the Morning
It is good to wake up before the sun rises, when there are loving (sattvic) qualities in nature that bring peace of mind and freshness to the senses. 

Sunrise varies according to the seasons, but on average vata people should get up about 6 a.m., pitta people by 5.30 a.m., and kapha by 4.30 a.m. Right after waking, look at your hands for a few moments, then gently move them over your face and chest down to the waist. This cleans the aura.

2. Say a Prayer When You Wake Up
[In Ayurvedic practice, after prayer one touches the ground with the right hand, then the same hand to the forehead, with great love and respect to Mother Earth. In my Christian tradition, I express gratitude during my prayer to Father in Heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ. Sometimes I just sit in gratitude, feeling like I'm sitting in front of a warm fire, thinking about all of nature and creation.] 

 3. Clean the Face, Mouth, and Eyes
Splash your face with cold water and rinse out your mouth. 

Wash your eyes with cool water (or use one of the eye washes below).

Massage the eyelids by gently rubbing them. 

Blink your eyes 7 times and rotate your eyes in all directions. 

Dry your face with a clean towel.

VATA EYEWASH: ¼ tsp. in 1 cup water, boil for 10 minutes, cool and strain.
PITTA EYEWASH: use cool water or rose water from organic rose petals (most commercial rose water has chemicals in it that will sting the eyes).
KAPHA EYEWASH: try diluted cranberry juice, 3-5 drops in a teaspoon of distilled water.
4. Drink Water in the Morning
Drink a glass of room temperature water, preferably from a pure copper cup filled the night before. 

This washes the GI tract, flushes the kidneys, and stimulates peristalsis. It is not a good idea to start the day with tea or coffee, as this drains kidney energy, stresses the adrenals, causes constipation, and is habit-forming.

5. Evacuation
Sit, or better squat, on the toilet and have a bowel movement.

Improper digestion of the previous night's meal or lack of sound sleep can prevent this. However the water, followed by sitting on the toilet at a set time each day, helps to regulate bowel movements.

Alternate nostril breathing may also help. After evacuation wash the derrièrre with warm water, then the hands with soap.

6. Scrape your Tongue
Gently scrape the tongue from the back forward, until you have scraped the whole surface for 7-14 strokes.

This stimulates the internal organs, helps digestion, and removes dead bacteria. Ideally, vata can use a gold scraper, pitta a silver one, and kapha copper. Stainless steel can be used by all people.

 7. Clean your Teeth
Always use a soft toothbrush and an astringent, pungent, and bitter toothpaste or powder. 

The traditional Indian toothbrush is a neem stick, which dislodges fine food particles from between teeth and makes strong, healthy gums. Licorice root sticks are also used. Roasted almond shell powder can be used for vata and kapha, and ground neem for pitta.
8. Gargling
Gargle twice a day with warm sesame oil to strengthen teeth, gums, and jaw, improve the voice and remove wrinkles from cheeks. 

Hold the oil in your mouth, swish it around vigorously, then spit it out and gently massage the gums with a finger.

 9. Chewing
Chew a handful of sesame seeds. Alternatively, chew 3-5 dried dates and an inch of dried coconut meat. 

It helps receding gums and strengthens teeth.  Chewing in the morning stimulates the liver and the stomach and improves digestive fire. 

After chewing, brush the teeth again without using toothpaste or powder.
10. Nasal Drops (Nasya)
Put 3 to 5 drops of warm ghee or oil into each nostril in the morning.

It helps to lubricate the nose, clean the sinuses, and improve voice, vision, and mental clarity. Our nose is the door to the brain, so nose drops nourish prana and bring intelligence.

VATA: sesame oil, ghee, or vacha (calamus) oil.
PITTA: brahmi ghee, sunflower or coconut oil.
KAPHA: vacha (calamus root) oil.

11. Oil Drops in the Ears (Karana purana)
Put 5 drops of warm sesame oil in each ear.

Conditions such as ringing in the ears, excess ear wax, poor hearing, lockjaw, and TMJ, are all due to vata in the ears. Placing warm oil in the ears can help these conditions.

 12. Head & Body Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Rub warm oil over the head and body for 5 - 20 minutes

Gentle, daily oil massage of the scalp can bring happiness, as well as prevent headache, baldness, graying, and receding hairline. Oiling your body before bedtime will help induce sound sleep and keep the skin soft.

VATA: warm sesame oil
PITTA: use warm sunflower or coconut oil
KAPHA: use warm sunflower or mustard oil
13. Bathing
Bathing is cleansing and refreshing. It removes sweat, dirt, and fatigue, brings energy to the body, clarity to the mind, and holiness to your life.

14. Dressing
Wear clean clothes to bring beauty and virtue.
15. Use of Perfumes
Use natural scents, essential oils, or perfumes. They bring freshness, charm, and joy. They give vitality to the body and improves self-esteem.

VATA: the best scent to use is hina, spikenard, or amber
PITTA: try using khus, sandalwood, or jasmine
KAPHA: use either amber or musk

16. Exercise
Exercise daily to half of your capacity, which is until sweat forms on the forehead, armpits, and spine.

Regular exercise, especially yoga, improves circulation, strength, and endurance. It helps one relax and have sound sleep, and improves digestion and elimination.

VATA: Sun salutation x 12, done slowly; Leg lifting; Camel; Cobra; Cat; Cow. Slow, gentle exercise.
PITTA: Moon salutation x 16, moderately fast; Fish; Boat; Bow. Calming exercise.
KAPHA: Sun salutation x 12, done rapidly; Bridge; Peacock; Palm tree; Lion. Vigorous exercise.

17. Pranayama
Sit quietly and do some deep breathing exercises as follows:
VATA: *12 alternate nostril breaths.
PITTA: 16 cooling shitali breaths (curling up your tongue lengthwise and breathing through it) 

KAPHA: 100 bhastrika (short, fast breaths)

[*For those suffering from chronic illness, or autoimmune disorders: 5 minutes of alternate nostril breathing as a warmup, followed by 100 - 200 repetitions of Kapala Bati (pressing the belly to the spine in quick movements, with the mouth closed.]

18. Meditation
Meditate morning and evening for at least 15 minutes. 

Meditate in the way you are accustomed, or try the "Empty Bowl Meditation". Meditation brings balance and peace into your life.

19. Now it is time for your breakfast!


  1. I love your blog. I feel much, much better when I do the things you recommend. Thanks so much for sharing what you know.

  2. I'm so glad to know you're feeling better! Sending blessings your way to continue to allow balance in your life. Let me know how it goes.


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