This was my starting point, my Ayurveda morning routine was the first thing I implemented into my Hashimoto’s healing journey. There were a few mitigating factors why we didn’t start with my diet. The main one being that I was preparing to do Kambo. But the main reason for starting this journey with the Ayurveda morning routine as it really is the foundation on which you build everything else.
One of the first things Clare (my Ayurveda Practitioner) and I spoke about was how I have tried and failed to make changes so many times, but something will happen, and like a Jenga game, it all falls apart. My foundations were never solid. I always hit things hard changing everything at once and clearly, this was not working for me. I needed to break this cycle of trying and failing.
So we decided that we would take things slowly. Rather than overwhelming me with a total life overhaul all at once, she would drip feed me small manageable changes and hold me accountable for implementing them. This time I want these changes to stick.
What is an Ayurveda Morning Routine?
Before I share my Ayurveda morning routine with you, I probably need to explain a bit what it actually is.
In Ayurveda, the art of self-care is serious business. It has its own name, Dinacharya, which is a Sanskrit word that translates as
Dina = day, sun, or flow
Charya = practice or conduct
Why are these daily rituals so important? Simple, our daily actions and choices have a BIG effect on our long term health. Every decision that we make affects our health, and let’s face it, it’s not always easy to make the right decisions. More often than not, even though we know better we make bad decisions.
It’s hard to be disciplined.
It’s hard to make the right choices for your health.
BUT when you start the day in a disciplined way, doing things that make you feel good and energize you. Then it becomes much easier for you to continue that momentum throughout the day and make better choices.
Get disciplined about your Ayurveda morning routine and it will become a habit you won’t want to break, and you will notice the effect it has on every other aspect of your life.
Why does this have to be done in the morning?
Good question. The best time to practice Dinacharya is during Kapha time which is between 6 am and 10 am. This is the time when you have the most strength and the willpower to carry out this daily ritual.
I don’t know about you, but I find that if I don’t exercise in the morning I will find a million and one excuses as I’m going through the day as to why I’m now too busy to exercise, so this totally makes sense to me.
My Ayurveda Morning Routine For Hashimoto’s
Before I talk more generally about the different components you can choose to put together your Ayurveda morning routine, I want to share mine with you.
This Ayurveda morning routine has been specifically created for me by a qualified Ayurveda Practitioner, you can find out more information about her here and how she can help support you and your healing journey.
We created this routine around some things I already do, my current health issues/ imbalances/ and my previous experience. I am not coming to this from zero, I already have a good understanding of Ayurveda and many of the practices through my Ayurveda Yoga Teacher Training.
- 6:30 am Wake up
- Tongue scraping and teeth brushing
- Wash face
- A glass of water with medication
- Pranayama – 3 rounds of 100 kapalbhati (to build fire) followed by 3 minutes of luna nostril breathing (to cool)
- Meditation (10-30 minutes)
- Abhyanga – oil massage
- Neti and Nasya – cleaning out the nasal passage and then oiling it
- Spiritual reading (5-10 minutes)
- Drink tea while listening to a self-development podcast
- Bathe and dress
- Move – This will be Asana practice, dancing, or Muay Thai for me
- 9 am – 10 am Start work
This works for me as I have the luxury of being able to take my time in the mornings, I don’t have a family to get ready or a job where I have to clock in and out at a certain time. On days when I don’t have much time, I’ll cut out or cut down the time dedicated to meditation, tea-drinking, and moving my body and try to fit them in later in the day.
You need to create a routine that works for you, one that is easily achievable for you, and one that you can shift around a bit when you need to.
General Dinacharya Practices you can incorporate
- Vata types: 6 am
- Pitta types: 5:30 am
- Kapha types: 4:30 am
Don’t know your Dosha? Read this.
Set a Daily Intention
This is one of the easiest things to start with. Just simply waking up and then before you have even thought about getting out of bed take a few moments to set an intention for your day. You could even keep a notebook and pen next to your bed and write them down. I also like to do this with a gratitude diary, just thinking of 2-3 things you are grateful for each day can go a long way in lifting your mood.
Drink Warm Water
If you live in a cold climate then you might need to head up some water. Living in the Caribbean I just drink room temperature water. Because my body struggles to digest anything, including water (haha) I mix up a rehydration drink with half a lemon, a teaspoon of honey, and half a teaspoon of sugar. I add it all into a jam jar and then give it a good shake. I do this the night before so it’s there ready for me in the morning.
In an ideal world elimination (pooping and peeing) should be done as soon as you wake. But sadly it takes my bowels a bit longer than that to get going in the morning. I always pee as soon as I wake, but I normally eliminate around 10 am, only when I’m in balance of course. When I’m not in balance normally my bowel movements are the first sign, because there are no movements haha. Things that help get things moving are stomach massages and of course doing yoga. If I don’t have time for a full asana practice I’ll just hang out in yoga squat for a while, normally does the trick!
Wash the Face
This is one of the first things I do in the morning. Splashing some cold water on my face helps to wake me up and feel a bit fresher before continuing with the rest of my morning ritual.
As well as setting an intention for the day, this is one of the easiest and most important things to include in your daily routine. Once you start tongue scraping there is no going back! I use this copper tongue scraper.
The simple explanation as to why tongue scraping is important is because overnight a film of bacteria and toxins develops on your tongue. If you don’t scrape this off as soon as you ingest anything you will also ingest all of those bacteria and toxins that your body tried to eliminate while you were sleeping. So scrap it off and get it gone!
Once your tongue is all nice and clear of toxins and bacterias it’s time for some oil pulling! Do this before brushing your teeth. I use coconut oil as it also helps to whiten teeth (bonus) and it has antifungal properties. You need to take 1-2 teaspoons of oil into your mouth and swish it around for 10-20 minutes. Personally, I like to do this while I’m in the shower to save a little time.
This is where we start getting into the more ‘serious’ Ayurveda practices. Neti requires a Neti pot and a little patience. It’s basically the passing of purified water through the sinus cavity (Yup, water up your nose). I add a little salt to mine. It can feel pretty strange at first and it really does take a while to get used to it. Watch this video to learn how to use a Neti Pot.
This is a practice that should follow Neti, but you can also do it as a stand-alone practice. This one is easy. Just dab a little oil on your finger and pop it up your nose to oil it up a bit. Best to use a warming oil like sesame oil.
Garshana is the practice of dry skin brushing. This helps to remove dead skin and helps to stimulate your lymph drainage system. I love doing this during the wintertime when my skin is dryer and my circulation is sluggish. If you find your feet are always cold, this is a great practice to include. Start at your feet and work up. Remember to always direct the brushing to your heart.
Another of my favorites, this is especially good for grounding Vata types like me. Abhyanga is the practice of oil massages. I told you they take self-care seriously in Ayurveda right!? The oil you use depends on what you are trying to balance.
I live in a very hot country, so I use coconut oil as its cooling, but if you are somewhere colder this might not be the best oil for you. The idea is that you take time to massage your whole body with oil. You should then leave it on for at least 20 minutes before rinsing it off. If you don’t feel you have time for this you could also pick a body part. Feet one day hands the next etc. Or this is also a good practice you could swap to the evening and do it before bed. If you do that feel free to leave the oil on overnight to let it soak in.
Showering or bathing is a ritual you should take pleasure in. through this bathing we are washing away the past. You are removing impurities and dirt that should not be held on to. Always bath with this intention of cleansing and clearing the past.
Before I do anything else I always try to take time to meditate each morning. Sometimes I just sat up in bed, other times I will set up my altar and make more of a big deal of it. More often than not I like to do a guided meditation, I like this podcast, which can last 10-30 minutes depending on how much time I have.
Breaking the Fast
I try not to eat before 10 am. It doesn’t feel good for me to eat too early, and it’s also advisable to wait for at least 1 hour after taking my thyroxine in the morning. Lately, I’ve been skipping the coffee for one of these coffee substitutes. But if you do drink coffee in the morning you should only drink it after you have eaten so as not to send your hormones too out of whack.
For Vata balancing breakfast ideas for people with Hashimoto’s disease read this.