A Morning Routine Specifically Designed for Your Energy Type

Hannah Leatherbury
A Morning Routine Specifically Designed for Your Energy Type

We’ve all woken up “on the wrong side of the bed.” It’s natural to have mornings where we just feel a little off. But Ayurveda teaches us that we can begin to reclaim our mornings by establishing a simple routine. It’s an idea that most parents know well: Establish a routine and your child will have less tantrums. Think of your nervous system as this child. It wants to know what to expect each morning so that it can focus energy on other tasks like navigating your stairs and making split-second decisions while driving your car.

The basic routine is designed to take advantage of your circadian rhythms and wake you before the sun rises regardless of your energy type. From there, your routine can be customized based on your dominant energy type and/or the energy type that needs most balancing according to the season. (Don’t know your energy type? Watch this video and read more here.)

Vata – The Energy of Air and Space

Vata energy is most aggravated when dramatic weather shifts and seasonal transitions take place, as well as during the autumn and winter. Your morning routine should ground you, keep you warm, and steady your nerves.

Bathroom

Vata has a tendency towards dryness and therefore constipation. Do not strain when you use the bathroom. Instead, check the color of your urine to make sure it is fairly clear. If you are having trouble eliminating or your urine is dark, drink extra water and take a tablespoon of olive oil with your water. Try again later.

Hydration

Squeeze the juice from ¼ lemon into a mug and add a few coin-sized pieces off of a fresh ginger root. Pour hot water over the mix and sip until you feel well hydrated. You may drink 2–3 cups if feeling very thirsty and dry.

Shower and Oil Massage

Take time to really enjoy your shower (quick showering can cause you to feel rushed and further aggravate your energy). Use warm water (very hot water will dry out your skin) and finish your shower by massaging a thin coat of sesame oil all over your skin. Sesame oil is thick, heavy and warming – perfect for your energy type.

Yoga and Meditation

Opt for a yoga routine with several standing postures that help you to feel grounded in your feet and legs. Take care to warm up your hips and lower back, as these are areas where vata energy can stagnate. Gentle practices are more beneficial than quick, intense practices for vata. Never skip your meditation–whether you opt to lie down or do a seated practice, you will benefit from some time in stillness and silence.

Breakfast

The key here is to ground yourself. Skip the coffee–it will not steady your nerves. Warm cereals (oatmeal, cream of wheat, and rice cereal) with sweet, warming spices (cinnamon, ginger and cloves) are easy to digest and satisfying for your vata energy.

Kapha – The Energy of Earth and Water

Kapha energy is most aggravated when weather is damp and cool, as during spring or in climates where rain and snow are prevalent. Your morning routine should feel energizing, warming and inspiring.

Bathroom

Kapha has a tendency towards slow elimination. Do not strain or force your body to use the bathroom. Make sure you stay long enough to fully eliminate. If you are having trouble, come back at a later time (like after your yoga practice or a cup of coffee).

Hydration

Squeeze the juice from ¼ lemon into a mug and add a few coin-sized pieces off of a fresh ginger root. You may choose to add a teaspoon of honey, which is effective for breaking up the draining mucus and sinus that can accompany Kapha energy. Pour hot water over the mix and sip until you feel well hydrated.

Shower and Oil Massage

Dry brush your skin to stimulate your circulation then apply a thin coat of sunflower oil to your skin. Dress in some old clothes and do your yoga routine before you shower. Once done with your yoga routine, take a quick, vigorous shower (slow, prolonged showering can further aggravate your energy). Use warm water and finish your shower by toweling off and fully drying your skin and hair.

Yoga and Meditation

Opt for a yoga routine that is challenging and will make you focus and sweat. Incorporate inverted postures, backbends and arm balances to energize and balance Kapha energy. Opt for a walking meditation or a seated practice rather than lying down, which could make you sleepy. You will benefit from working to focus your thoughts and find inspiration early in the morning.

Kapha energy can feel heavy and slow, so to moderate this energy, practice a candle-gazing meditation or chant a mantra that inspires you to feel light.

Breakfast

Eat a light meal with savory flavors. Kapha energy tends to be heavy, so avoid dairy and heavy breakfasts. Opt for tart/dried fruits, crunchy nuts and granola or a savory breakfast with pepper and pungent spices. You might benefit from a small cup of coffee or black tea to give you some extra pep and stimulate your metabolism.

Pitta – The Energy of Fire and Water

Pitta energy is most aggravated when weather is hot and humid, as during the summer months or in tropical climates. Your morning routine should feel calming, keep you cool and help you to cultivate an attitude of moderation and acceptance.

Bathroom

Pitta has a tendency towards heat and therefore quick elimination. However, pitta energy can lead one to be an overachiever and a multitasker. Try not to ignore the urge in an attempt to get started on “more important” things. Wake up without your phone and do your business without feeling rushed.  Check the color of your urine to make sure it is fairly clear. If your urine is dark, drink extra water.

Hydration

Squeeze the juice from ¼ lime into a glass with a dash of maple syrup. Pour room temperature water over the mix and sip until you feel well hydrated. You may drink 2–3 cups if feeling very thirsty.

Shower and Oil Massage

Take time to really enjoy your shower (quick showering can cause you to feel rushed and further aggravate your energy). Use lukewarm or cool water (very hot water will inflame your skin) and finish your shower by massaging a thin coat of coconut oil all over your skin. Coconut oil is light and cooling, perfect for this energy type.

Yoga and Meditation

Opt for a yoga routine with an easy flow and some deep breathing to help you balance the craving for intense workouts and perfect alignment that is a hallmark of pitta. Incorporate twisting postures and forward folds, as these postures can calm and balance pitta energy. Never skip your meditation – whether you opt to lie down or do a seated practice, you will benefit from working to relax your highly intelligent mind.

Pitta energy can be sharp and penetrating, so to moderate this energy, practice a loving-kindness meditation. Share your wishes for others and self-compassion at the start of your day.

Breakfast

The key here is to cool your fire. Pitta energy tends to increase our metabolism and can lead us to feel “hangry” if we skip a meal. Eat a satisfying breakfast that will tide you over until lunch. You can start with fresh fruits that refresh and hydrate you and then eat a protein-rich meal. Skip the coffee if you can and opt for herbal tea instead–this will give you a less intense jolt to your morning.

Take heart–changing your morning routine will not come naturally if you are used to something very different than the recommendations above. Start by making one small change and add on as you are inspired to. Pretty soon, you may crave this version of your mornings more than you ever dreamed.