Most highly effective people have recognized that there is a direct correlation between the systems they employ in their life and the results that they receive. While many of them give lip service to eating healthy and sleeping well their health is merely a means to the end of higher productivity leading to larger wealth creation. Superstars such as Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferris all have routines that are aligned with their purpose, goals and values.
Ayurveda, the science of medicine born in India, has a similar approach to creating routines and like many of these big players it places special importance on our morning routines. Most time management books state that you are the most productive in the first four hours of the day and recommend a starting by strategizing your day and then spending the morning focused on your biggest priority.
As Ayurveda is translated as the science of life or longevity it is most often seen as a health care system. While this is true, when the Sankrit word for health, “Svastha” is translated its meaning is more similar to “living in accordance with one’s divine purpose.” That probably led to the confusion of Ayurveda being seen as a religion instead of a healthcare system. So let’s look at the systems Ayurveda employs as pieces of a morning routine that allow for “health.”
This is just a snapshot of a laundry list of possibilities. I have left out many of the recommendations that are also recommended by the productivity superstars mentioned above.
Meditation- while there are as many ways to do meditation as there are people on the planet the underlying intention of doing meditation early in the morning is to align with your highest purpose. Like the strategic planning utilized by others as part of their morning routine, meditation is a way to become aware and conscious of the thoughts, feelings and sensations in the body that are going to guide your day. I usually recommend to my clients taking some time to write their priorities for the day based on the information they received in meditation. Or they can recite some affirmations so that they can imprint positive thoughts and intentions on their mind.
One thing that makes Ayurveda very unique and sometimes inaccessible for some is that it is not linear, it is circular. It is based on subtle energies, right brain thinking and ritual. The system is basically to tune into the wisdom and guidance that is ever-present and to get out of your own way.
Movement Meditation- After sleep the body will need to come back to life slowly. Yoga, tai chi, dance and other forms of gentle movement to awaken the body can be beneficial. Similar to meditation the practice is focused on identifying your body’s unique state today. As you move your body continue to connect to your unique experience and embrace the embodiment you are facilitating.
Nourishment- While food is a powerful part of the nourishment program another form of nourishment unique to Ayurveda is oil massage. Our skin, the largest organ in the body, is embryonically connected to the nervous system. By doing a self-oil massage we can nourish our mind and body simultaneously. For more information on how to do a self-oil massage visit Banyan Botanicals.
Warm Water- A traditional technique for waking up the digestion and elimination is drinking warm water upon arising. Ayurveda views the human body like a fire. When the digestive fire goes out it no longer ignites the other fires and the body dies. This is why when people die naturally it happens after they stop eating and drinking, because they are no longer feeding their fire. Feeding the fire can also happen on a mental, emotional or spiritual level as well. The foundation of maintaining a health fire is good digestion and that can be facilitated by drinking warm water upon arising.
Ayurveda identifies that each person is unique and by working with an Ayurvedic practitioner you can establish what type of oil to use for your massage or how much warm water to drink or the amount of time you spend in meditation. This is because the goal of the practitioner is to align you with your own source. Like the productivity guru’s implore the most important thing to do is ACT. Incorporate some of these techniques into your life and let your experience guide you.