I Tried An Ayurvedic Morning Routine For 2 Weeks: Here’s What Happened
Are you ready to spice up your morning with warm oil, candles, and tea? Melissa Ferlatte, an Ayurveda enthusiast and writer, tried a traditional Ayurvedic morning routine for two weeks. Read her experience!
Mornings can be overwhelming with daunting to-do list’s and anxiety of how to effectively spend your time. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic “whole-body” healing systems and its benefits range from relieving stress, anxiety and depression to healing physical ailments like inflammation, high blood pressure, and illnesses.
If you’re not sure where to start in finding balance, perhaps trying this morning routine will provide you with the clarity you need!
The Ayurvedic Morning Routine
The tradition of dinacharya (daily routine) is one of the most powerful Ayurvedic tools for improving overall health and well-being. And even though the concept of daily morning routine is at the heart of Ayurveda, it is also important to adapt this general template to meet the needs of your personal life, constitution and current state of balance. If you don’t know your current state of balance check out this Ayurvedic profile quiz or visit an Ayurvedic doctor near you.
1. Rise before (or with) the sun
2. Drink warm water or CCF Tea
5. Dry brush
6. Get moving
My Ayurvedic constitution is predominantly Vata. My body is normally dry and cold. I also have the tendency of becoming ungrounded, restless, and anxious. My intention for this experiment was to feel nourished, calm, clear headed, and ready to face the day. I hoped to see my skin become more smooth and hydrated, and to clear my acne.
Every morning was slightly different. I woke up between the hours of 6:30 and 7:30am. This part was easy for me as it was my normal. If you have trouble with this part I recommend going slowly, knocking off a half hour each week.
I tried both warm water and CCF tea and found them both pleasant to have early in the morning. My belly felt warm and happy immediately. At the moment, warm water with a bit of lemon is my favorite.
During the abhyanga, I teetered between being present with my body and the distracting stories in my head. Every time I caught myself in the future or past, I would slowly bring myself back to the present moment. I recommend setting the scene with sound healing, a candle and some sage. It makes the experience 10 times better. Also the oil is only warm for a short bit so make sure your room is well tempered.
For the shower, I was suggested to use chickpea flour instead of soap and found it to work wonderfully! My skin didn’t feel oily afterwards and my natural oil wasn’t stripped from my body. I only put the chickpea flour in my hair once and I have to say it is not my favorite. From then on I decided to put only a tiny amount of oil on my scalp in the morning and kept my regular rhythm of washing my hair every 3-4 days. At the end of the shower, I stood under cold water for 20 seconds for good luck and for my lymphs.
Despite popular belief, I was taught to dry brush after a shower, which is said to be better for the lymphatic system. I’ve never dry brushed before this experiment. The bristles felt rough in the beginning against my sensitive skin but after the first couple of days it started to feel soothing.
Lastly, I would either do a yoga or a dance flow for my choice of movement which was always a great way to greet the day. I usually ended my morning ritual between 9 and 9:30, which means it was a 2.5 to 3 hour self care journey.
What I would do differently
This whole experiment came with its trials and errors. The first time I showered after the abhyanga I used soap and felt all my work was stripped away. Once I found out about the chickpea flour, I was relieved to find an alternative. One of the things I’m doing differently moving forward is washing the cup that had the chickpea flour immediately after I’m done using it. The times I forgot, the next day, I was met with a bump in my flow. I would have to scrub and soak the hardened flour for it to clean.
Another thing I would do differently is wake up a bit earlier to start my morning routine. I like to have my breakfast ready at 9 so that I can start work at 10. My goal moving forward is to wake up at 5:30am. I also have the tendency of getting into my head of to-do lists, shoulda-coulda-wouldas, and what if’s right when I get up. Continuing with a morning affirmation and meditation right when I get up (given that I don’t have to pee!) will help me ground my overactive mind.
The last thing I would change is the amount of times I dry brushed as I feel my skin only needs to be brushed 2-3 times a week. This will be different for each individual as each skin is different. Even just 1-2 times a week is sufficient.
The main takeaway I received from this morning routine experiment is inspiration. Instead of my usual morning where I walk around feeling sensitive, unsure and agitated, I now feel a lot more centered, empowered and committed to my dreams and well-being.
Realistically, some days were more difficult than others. Sometimes, old patterns of overwhelm, I can’t get out of bed… aka my head, occurred. Sometimes it was a drag to do the same thing over but every time I did it, I was always grateful to have created the space. I was surprised my skin and hair did not become too oily. I would say it helped with my skin but it’s also too soon to say if I will become softer and acne free as a result.
Although, I definitely feel more relaxed, grounded and clear headed than the previous girl who was contemplating life and dooms-day-ing so early in the morning. Now that I have this bomb morning routine, I feel a little lopsided with an okay evening ritual. Which only inspires me more.
Will I continue?
Most definitely. This experiment taught me how important it is for me to have a morning routine to lean on. I want to still hold space for flexibility and spontaneity to fly in, so every morning may look slightly different. I may go for a hike one morning or take a kundalini yoga class. Instead of my morning abhyanga I might go to the sauna. The list is endless.
If you are feeling out of balance, creating a morning routine may support you in creating a more harmonious life. Check out our 5 Ayurveda skincare tips article to learn more about the benefits of the abhyanga, dry brushing and CCF tea. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you give it a try you will start to see what works for you and what doesn’t. If you’re unable to do it all, incorporating at least one of these steps into your morning will be enough.