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Everything changes, and winter is here.
Nature is becoming still and ready for deep rest. It’s time to slow down, get cozy, and relax into our roots, allowing this season to replenish our bodies, offering the perfect balance to the natural cycles of life.
As we enter the darkest time of the year, we are influenced by its transformative power and support to venture into the places we have denied, rejected, or forgotten.
How do we harness the potent energy during this time and illuminate the darkness?
Life can’t exist without the dance of the light and the dark. The darkness has the keys to unlocking our inner light, awakening us to our true self and highest potential. We must face that which is hidden in the unconsciousness—the pain, the disconnection—and bring it into the light to burn off the unreal, expanding our inner flame to shine as we truly are.
“If I accept the sunshine and warmth, then I must also accept the thunder and lightning.” ~ Khalil Gibran
Self-inquiry is turning inward to explore our true nature or essence, asking questions about the mind, body, and existence. This is where self-awareness is cultivated, supporting ego dissolution, unraveling of attachments, beliefs, and conditioning—where true autonomy and inner happiness live.
Be still and tune in. Ask yourself, “Who am I?”
Begin to observe your thoughts. Are they true? Where does the thought come from? What is it rooted in? If you are not your thoughts, then who are you? What lies beneath the changing waves on the surface of the water? Who or what are you when you are not identifying with your thoughts, with what the outer world has influenced you to be? Dive inward, listen, and explore.
What are you ready to burn, transform, and let go of?
This year, this season, the holidays all take us deeper into our core—into those tender places that hold the keys to our inner freedom.
Every day we practice and every day we transform. How we begin each day creates the space for aligning with our highest good, purifying and cleansing our body, mind, and spirit. Ayurvedic wisdom teaches us that by waking up within an hour of sunrise, we harness the energy of the morning—a new beginning full of pure potentiality, a time for daily self-care and spiritual practices. This is your time to tune in and cultivate your inner light.
Ayurveda morning practices to enlighten the new day:
1. Waking up within an hour of sunrise
Waking up with the sun helps to cleanse and purify the body, mind, and spirit with each new day.
Rising during this time helps to maximize the energy of the morning—full of potentiality and clarity, offering a potent time for daily self-care and spiritual practices. The morning is our time to establish a healthy and positive tone before moving out into the world and being in service.
2. Saying a prayer of gratitude before getting out of bed
This helps to connect us to the present moment, practice mindfulness, and give gratitude to the new day.
Try not to wake up to your phone and dive into social media, emails, and stimulation, as it will all be there after your morning self-care practices.
3. Practicing oral care: teeth brushing, tongue scrape, oil pulling
It is important to clear out any residual toxins in the digestive tract before taking in the new day.
Oral care helps to remove bacteria, stimulate internal organs, and clear out toxins that surface throughout the night. You can use coconut or sesame oil for oil pulling, swish in your mouth for five minutes, then make sure to dispose of it into the trash and not your sink.
4. Drinking warm water and lemon
This hydrating beverage helps to nourish the kidneys, flush out the adrenals, cleanse the body, and create an alkaline environment for optimal health. It also helps to activate a morning bowel movement.
5. Bowel movement
We release toxins through our urine, sweat, and bowel movements. So it is important to have a daily bowel movement and the best time is in the morning.
This is reflective of a healthy digestion and ensures that the body is clear of impurities from the previous day. Releasing toxins, heat, and energy from the body supports clarity of mind and healthy tissues.
6. Spiritual practices: breathwork, meditation, yoga
Having a daily morning practice, incorporating one or all of these practices helps to burn off the impurities.
These ancient practices are designed to purify the channels, cleanse the body, mind, and spirit, whilst quieting the mind, relaxing the nervous system, clearing out aggravations, and preparing us for the new day. They help to awaken our consciousness and, with that, connect us to our highest good and truth.
7. Self oil massaging or dry brushing
Time to tune into your body and support it with warm oil massage or dry brushing. These self-care practices help to detox, cleanse, and harmonize the body by moving the lymph, blood, and energy, as well as nourishing the skin, joints, and muscles.
These practices support longevity and overall well-being.
Take a warm shower and wash off the impurities that have surfaced throughout the night and morning practices. This helps to enliven the body and start fresh with each new day.
9. Having breakfast by 8 a.m.
This is the optimal time for digestion, tuning into the circadian rhythm, offering nourishment and energy for the new day.
Ideally, a smaller meal is recommended, as the digestive fire is just rising with the sun. Only eat if you feel hungry. Otherwise, sip on ginger tea until you are hungry, then eat.
This winter season offers a time to go inward and explore.
These practices help to balance the qualities of this season and purify the body, mind, and spirit, cultivating a deeper balance and clarity for what’s coming in the new year.
Rest, restore, and renew with Ayurvedic wisdom and allow the natural cycles to offer the perfect medicine during this potent time of year.