Niyama in Sanskrit means discipline and it comes with having a daily routine or dincharya. Ayurveda lays great emphasis on following a daily Ayurvedic routine to kickstart your day and get rid of sluggishness and lethargy.
The Ayurvedic Morning Routine:
1. Rise Early
Ayurveda recommends rising early, ideally before sunrise, when the Kapha time starts and heaviness sets in. It’s fine to start waking up just a bit earlier than your normal time instead of forcing oneself to do a very early morning. Slowly the system will fall into place as the body clock resets.
2. Clean the Face, Mouth and Eyes
Splash your face with cool water to clean the eyes and rinse out your mouth.
Blink the eyes a few times and rotate them in all directions.
3. Drink water in the morning
Drink a glass or two of lukewarm water to cleanse and stimulate your internal organs. Coffee and tea can be avoided, if possible as they drain the kidney and are habit forming.
Evacuate your bowels either in a seated or better still squat position. Drinking the lukewarm water followed by using the toilet at a set time each day helps to regulate the bowel movements, which is an important aspect of optimum health as per Ayurveda.
5. Scrape your tongue
Gently scrape your tongue, with a tongue cleaner from the back forward, until you have scraped the whole surface 7 -14 times. This stimulates the internal organs and helps digestion.
6. Clean your Teeth
The traditional Indian toothbrush is a neem stick, which removes fine food particles from between the teeth and makes them strong. A soft toothbrush and a gentle toothpaste can be used.
Gargling twice a day with warm water or sesame oil helps to strengthen teeth, gums and jaw, improve the voice and remove wrinkles from the cheeks.
8. Oil Drops in the ears
Putting a few drops of warm seasame
oil in each ear helps to remove excess wax, improve poor hearing, ringing in
the ears etc.
9. Apply Oil to the Head and Body [Abhyanga]
Gentle daily oil massage to the scalp and body helps to relax and prevent aches and pains.
Gentle yogasanas or any other physical exercise helps to improve circulation, strength and endurance.
10. Pranayama and Meditation
After yogasana practice, sit quietly and do some deep breathing like alternate nostrils breathing, full yogic breathing, sheetali or shitkari.
Meditating for a few minutes after Pranayama seals the dincharya or morning routine! Then you are ready for your breakfast and the rest of the day.