Today I thought I would chat about some morning rituals/routines or things I like to do, most mornings. These improve my day and health no end. I feel they set me up for a great start to my day and once you get into a routine or allow time for yourself to do these, you may find they become your ‘non-negotiables’. For me to not do these rituals, feels almost like leaving the house without cleaning your teeth, they are that beneficial or potent. I am also very human, so some days I may only do a couple of these.
As you may know there is research that it takes 21 days of being consistent to instil a behaviour or routine and cement it into the psyche. If you don’t have a morning routine, then including any or all of these suggestions will improve your health and wellbeing on many levels, whether it is each day or only a few times a week initially.
- Tongue Scraping – an Ayurvedic principle that is done on rising with a tongue scraper (available from health stores, organic shops or places that sell alternative wellness items). This removes toxins from your tongue that build up during the previous day & night. It is based on the principle that good oral health is essential for overall wellness. It is also beneficial if you suffer with halitosis (bad breath). It is a great pre-cursor to my third tip, oil pulling.
- Drink a large glass of warm filtered water or juice of ½ a lemon in warm water slowly upon rising. This helps your eliminatory pathways work efficiently and gets everything moving first up, hopefully aiming for the bowels to eliminate before you eat breakfast. If you choose the lemon juice, use a straw (bamboo where possible), as the lemon is acidic on your tooth enamel. Gently rinse with water after the lemon or ideally rinse with a small amount of bi-carb to neutralise the acid in your mouth, to prevent dental concerns. Any drinks are ideally taken 20 minutes away from food, this allows your stomach juices/acid not to be diluted and therefore allows yourself the best chance at digesting your food.
- Oil Pulling – suggested oils are sesame seed or coconut oil (good quality), place a heaped teaspoon into your mouth and swish it around the inside of your closed mouth for ideally 15 mins. If time poor. this can be done while you are preparing your healthy breakfast, showering, doing yoga, journaling or making school lunches. The idea behind this is also to remove toxins from your body and this feeds into oral health & hygiene. You then remove the oil from your mouth into the scrap bin, in a tissue in the garbage or anywhere except down the sink. Then gently clean your teeth to remove left over residue.
- Exercise or movement – this can be anything from walking to yoga, it is important to move the body, ideally outside on the grass to ground at the same time. The added benefit of seeing the sun first thing of a morning, is to reset the circadian rhythm (24-hour sleep clock). This promotes the production of serotonin (our happy hormone), after the sun rises and melatonin naturally decreases with the onset of natural light. Try to include a breathing exercise in this time, whether it be some gentle diaphragmatic breathing or alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana). These bring the body back to a state of Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) dominance, rest/digest. This is ideally where you need to be to enjoy your healthy breakfast and allow digestion the best chance at being optimal and put yourself in good stead for a relaxed, positive start to your day.
- Dry Body Brushing – use a good quality, natural fibre brush to brush your body prior to a shower. This removes dead skin cells and supports the lymphatic system in removing toxins from the body. It is important to be gentle as the lymphatic vessels sit just beneath the surface of the skin and ensure you make all movements in the direction of the heart. You can also do this if you are not a person who showers of a morning, just brush off afterwards with a clean dry towel. https://www.biome.com.au/268-body-brushing
I hope these tips help motivate you into introducing some of these into your morning routine or for many of you this may just be a gentle reminder of something you already know.