If we look at nature, we notice that most things have a daily routine and follow a rhythm that seems to flow with ease. Human beings, however, don't have it quite as easy. Modern technology and modern life has allowed us to get out of touch with a more natural routine and rhythm. We often find ourselves pushing the limits of what truly serves our physical and mental best interest in order to fulfill the many important obligations we have as family members, friends, employees, etc. So where can start to build a positive routine in the midst of the realities of modern life? Ayurveda suggests attention to our morning routine as a important part of health and wellness.
1. Wake up before sunrise. This is a challenging first step for many people, but it is one that can effect a dramatic change in how we feel. By waking up at this time, we are waking at the optimal time for energy and movement. It may seem counterintuitive to our modern minds, but I challenge you to try it for two weeks and see if you notice a change in how you feel (of course, remember the ideal time for bed and see how close you can get to this as often as possible).
2. Bathroom routine. The next step to an Ayurvedic routine is bathroom-related steps: 1) eliminate if you can, 2) scrape your tongue and oil pull, 3) splash your face with water, 4) perform a self-massage with appropriate oil for your dosha, 5) shower, 6) brush your teeth.
4. Yoga. Do some yoga poses tailored for your particular dosha or current imbalance. If this is the only time you have for exercise, you might want to add in some other movements/exercises that can get you to just break a slight sweat (if this is the case, you might want to do this before your shower).
5. Meditation. You might begin with breathing exercises or go right into meditation. And voila, you're done. By now it's probably time to grab something to eat, get the kids around, or put the finishing touches on your fabulous look for the day.
Of course, this will need to be tailored to your particular circumstances. Kids, pets, partners, and other realities can challenge the amount of time we can devote to the above. We might only have 30 minutes and can only do a few things, such as getting up before sunrise, showering, and meditating. But the key is to start somewhere and implement something and start a routine. Make this a special time of day, and see how different this feels from those times when you get up at the latest possible minute and rush into the list of morning tasks that leave you exhausted before your even really begin the day.
Try it for two weeks, and see how you feel!