oil and lime My Yoga & Ayurveda Morning Routine, by Angela Sykes

I try to live as much as I can using Yogic and Ayurvedic principles. I find this helps me to remain calm, peaceful and also keeps me healthy and my weight balanced. Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences and work well along side one another. How we begin our day is important, as how we start tends to dictate how the rest of our day goes. We need a peaceful start if we want to go through the day in a peaceful way.

If you know me at all you will know how much sleep means to me and how if I don’t have enough I just don’t feel good – if I haven’t slept very well (I am an ex-insomniac and sometimes still struggle to sleep) then I tend to sleep a little longer in the morning. All going well I will wake up at 7.15-30am – I need just over 8 hours sleep to be functioning well in body and mind. This is slightly longer than recommended by yoga and Ayurveda but I cannot change this!

Once I am up I prepare a hot lime and coconut oil drink. This keeps me feeling limber and my skin nourished. The lime is cleasing and cuts through any heaviness (tamas) left over from my zzzzz.

I jump in the shower and make sure I don’t have it too hot even though I love very hot water – the reason being my ayurvedic constitution is Pitta/Kapha which means I have lots of fire anyway, therefore any additional heat may bring me out of balance. I also make sure that no hot water goes on my head as this can disturb the doshas. I don’t like to use any products with chemicals as much as I can possibly help it.

After my shower I do abayanga (application of oil) massage with coconut oil if it’s summer (cooling) or sesame oil if it’s colder (warming) and also swill my mouth out with oil. I massage my gums in a downward motion to stop my gums receding and keep them healthly. I clean my teeth then check and scrape my tongue so that the toxins are not swallowed. If there is a yellow colour on my tongue I know my pitta is a bit out of balance and will eat a pitta soothing diet until it rebalances (no spicy food, tomatoes or acidic fruits). I apply a natural skin cream with a few drops of orange flower oil added in to keep my skin smooth. meditate

I teach most mornings so I like to get into the yoga zone with a morning practice and a run through my class. I like to look at some inspiring words from ancient seers or some modern days gurus so I feel ready for the day and also ready to uplift people coming to the studio.

My practice in the morning can vary between 30 minutes and an hour depending on how much time I have.  I will normally do part of the Ashtanga Primary Series or work with certain postures or some simple flows – nothing too strenuous for me at this time, as I am just coming to life. I meditate every morning and evening and nadi shodhana is an absolute must to keep my energies balanced throughout the day.

quinoa porridgequinoa porridgequinoa porridgequinoa porridgeI drink a little aloe juice after my yoga practice to cool down my small intestines and move any built up pitta out (not too much as I need my digestive fire to be strong to digest my breakfast). After my practice, I prepare my breakfast. I normally have quinoa porridge with, ghee (great for digestion), cinnamon, almond milk, chia seeds, chopped nuts, dates and date syrup. This breakfast is sattvic (light and nutritious) and keeps me full and peaceful for the morning ahead. When I prepare food I always have in mind my digestive capabilities as it doesn’t matter how healthy the food is you eat, if you cannot digest it you are not getting the nutrients. Looking after your digestion is the most important thing you can do to stay well.

Yoga and Ayurveda – A Tonic for Modern Life.

Have a look at Angela’s profile to find out about her classes at Yoga Kula. Angela also offers Ayurvedic Massage which combines deep tissue massage with coordinated breath-work and yoga stretching.