I know this might sound daunting, but waking up early is key to feeling fresh.
Ayurveda teaches us that rising by six am imbues us with the qualities of vata energy; granting us alertness and quickness for the rest of the day. After six am the morning takes on slow, heavy and dull kapha qualities. Waking during kapha time will likely make us feel slow and dull.
Go to bed by 10 pm.
How we slept last night has a huge effect on how we feel today. Ayurveda recommends that we go to sleep by 10 pm to synchronize ourselves with nature’s daily ebbs and flows.
Around 10 pm, the night takes on a few hours of active, fiery pitta energy. If we stay up much past 10 we’ll likely experience a second wind, negatively affecting our sleep and impeding our early morning chipperness.
Sleep with your curtains open.
The dawning sun is the most gentle, peaceful alarm ever created. If there’s no chance of peepers or glaring city lights in your windows, give open curtains a try. You’ll find it easier to wake up if your body can register the morning light.
Choose a nice sound for your alarm.
It is completely unnatural to wake up to the blaring BEEP-BEEP-BEEP sound of an alarm clock. Make your wake-up less abrasive with a soothing ring tone set on a low volume—think ocean waves, gongs or the “chimes” ringtone on the iPhone.
Hold off on looking at your phone, computer, or TV.
If the first thing you see in the morning is a stressful work email or a horrific news story, your whole day will carry a negative undertone. Set your electronics aside until you’ve first done something that promotes your personal wellbeing.
Begin the day with purification.
Ayurveda’s wisdom teaches us to rid ourselves of the previous night’s accumulated wastes and toxins first thing in the morning. This means emptying the bowels, brushing the teeth, scraping the tongue, massaging the body with oil and bathing.
Cultivate a morning ritual.
After you’ve purified your body, do something for your mind and soul. Meditate, give gratitude, practice yoga, or go to nature. You might smudge some sage, dab yourself with uplifting essential oils, or listen to spiritual music.
Devoting even five minutes to your deeper self will positively alter your entire day.
It takes time to fully embrace this kind of routine. Start slowly by changing your alarm ringtone and going to bed by 10 pm. Wake up a little earlier each morning until you naturally arise with the morning dawn. You’ll soon find yourself waking up in a good mood every single day.