In order to maintain an environment of exceptional service and personalized attention, all sessions are by appointment only. I open at 9am to encourage each of my clients to have a daily routine, or "dinacarya" practice. In Ayurveda, the medical sister science to Yoga, a daily routine is considered essential to harmonizing ones body, mind, and spirit.
Here is the dinacarya routine I follow:
1. Wake Up Early in the Morning
There are different energies available at different times of the day (ever notice how 8 hours of sleep can feel so different depending on what time you went to bed?) We want to absorb and take in the serene energy available between 4am and 6am so try to get up early if you can!
Windy constitution people wake up by 6 a.m.,
Fiery constitution people by 5:30 a.m., and
Water and Earth constituion people by 4:30 a.m.
2. Say a Prayer before Leaving Your Bed
Saying a heart felt prayer before leaving bed can invoke an inner sense of gratitude, peace, inspiration, clarity etc. Doing this first thing in the morning can give your unconscious mind a sort of "aim star" or orientation to keep as due North throughout the day, and who wouldn't want something like that for their unconscious to constellate around!
3. Clean the Face, Mouth, and Eyes
Wash your face with cold water and rinse out your mouth. Wash your eyes with cool water and gently massage the eyelids. Pitta (fire element) is closely linked with the eyes, gently massaging the eyelids will feel especially good for people who spend a lot of time in front of computer or TV screens.
4. Drink Warm Water in the Morning
Drinking a glass of warm water will get your digestion and elimination kickstarted and is something everyone can do. We all become dehydrated when we sleep at night, but especially here in Arizona where it is so dry that even more water evaporates from our breath as we sleep. Please note it is best to drink water and avoid tea or coffee, as those drinks drain kidney energy, and stresses the adrenals.
Sit (or even better squat) on the toilet and have a bowel movement. If you can't evacuate consistently at this time of day take it as feedback that something in your lifestyle can be improved. Then experiment to find out what it is!
6. Scrape your Tongue, Clean Your Teeth and Gargle
Use a tongue scraper and scrape your tongue 7-14 times. This stimulates the internal organs, helps digestion, and removes dead bacteria. A thick white film on your tongue (called "ama" in Sanskrit) is an indictor that you didn't properly digest the previous day's food... so pay attention and see where your digestion is at and see if you can improve it over time.
Use a soft toothbrush and an astringent, pungent, and bitter toothpaste if possible.
Finally, gargle with warm oil and then gently massage the gums with your finger. This feels great and helps improve oral hygiene.
Chewing a handful of sesame seeds or fennel seeds or an inch of dried coconut meat in the morning stimulates the liver and the stomach and improves digestive fire. Doing this step now will help you be hungry by the time you get to breakfast. In Ayurveda it's important that you eat when you are actually physically hungry (not just when it's "time to eat"), so if you don't usually have a little heat and a few hunger pangs in your stomach before you eat your breakfast in the morning, try this out. After chewing, you can brush your teeth again without using toothpaste or powder.
8. Oil Drops in Nose and Ears
Put 3 to 5 drops of warm Nasya or oil into each nostril in the morning. This helps lubricate the nose, and clean the sinuses. I use Banyon Botancials Nasya Oil which you can find on Amazon. It has a little bit of Eucalyptus in it and it smells and feels amazing.
Then put a few drops of warm oil into the ears. I use Banyon Botanicals Nasya oil for this as well. This is one of my favorite parts of dinacarya, it feels really good living here in the dry heat of Arizona as the membranes in my ears (and most likely yours as well) are often too dry due to the AZ climate.
9. Dry Brushing and Abhyanga (Warm Oil Massage)
Dry brush your entire body using small circle motions making sure to use the same amount of pressure on all parts of the body. Then rub warm oil over the head and body. Gentle, daily oil massage can bring happiness, and a sense of integration and openness to the body. Oiling your body before bedtime will help induce sound sleep and keep the skin soft. I use either Banyon Botanicals massage oil or "Abhya Oil" from the Chopra Center (which smells amazing but is a bit more expensive).
Bathing is cleansing and refreshing. According to Ayurveda it removes fatigue, brings energy to the body, and clarity and to the mind. For me personally I always find my body feels so much more open and warm before asana if I bathe first, so it's something I always do.
According to Ayurveda wearing clean clothes brings beauty. It's also just an all around good idea, lol!
12. Use of Perfumes
According to Ayurveda using natural scents, essential oils, or perfumes brings freshness, charm, and joy. I've used essential oils as perfume for ages, and my favorite scent is Body Bliss's Turquoise Sage (a local Sedona company) but you can use anything you like.
Regular exercise should be done daily. According to Ayurveda you should exercise at this point in the morning every day to half of your capacity, which is "Until sweat forms on the forehead, armpits, and spine." For a lot of us with the cultural indoctrination of more aggressive fitness this can be a big paradigm shift. Figure out what is best for your body (an "American" orientation to fitness or the "50% capacity" recommended by Ayurveda). Here are some recommendation Dr. Lad of the Ayurvedic Institute suggests for your morning exercise routine:
Vata: Sun salutation x 12, done slowly; Leg lifting; Camel; Cobra; Cat; Cow. Slow, gentle exercise.
Pitta: Moon salutation x 16, moderately fast; Fish; Boat; Bow. Calming exercise. Kapha: Sun salutation x 12, done rapidly; Bridge; Peacock; Palm tree; Lion. Vigorous exercise.
Pranayama are breathing exercises that help improve vitality of the body and bring equanimity and serenity to the mind. After exercise, you can do some meditative breathing exercises such as: 12 alternate nostril breaths for vata; 16 cooling shitali breaths (curling up your tongue lengthwise and breathing through it) for pitta; 100 bhastrika (short, fast breaths) for kapha.
Meditating in the morning and evening for at least 15 minutes is great if you have the appetite for it! You can meditate in the way you are accustomed to, or use one of the practices you learn at Lauren Hovey Yoga that fits your bhava (mental-emotional disposition) and stage of development.
16. Now it is time for your breakfast!
Try to set aside enough time to eat your breakfast slowly and really enjoy it. Eating slowly will help you stop at 75-80% full which will keep your digestion high and make your body lean out and feel more vital. I like to have one serving of lean protein, two servings of vegetables, one serving of slow-digesting carbs and about a tablespoon of healthy fats, but I have to say eating slowly until 75% full is challenging for me! You'll know I'm doing better at it if you see my body lean out, lol, but I just wanted to let you know no-one is perfect and we are all in this journey together!
Next, enjoy your day, and come in to Lauren Hovey Yoga to learn more and practice yoga and meditation.