Ayurvedic Morning Routine

Daily Bio-Feedback

Although Ayurvedic medicine can heal us when we’re sick, the primary aim is preventive, buttressing our health when we’re well. Starting the day with an Ayurvedic morning routine is thus a useful way of promoting the kind of wellbeing that can also serve as an indicator of our state of health. Integrating Ayurvedic morning routine components such as oil pulling, self-massage or tongue scraping into the start of the day offers an easy and effective solution to self-care.

Ayurvedic Morning Routine

The Preventive Power of Observation

Each component of the Ayurvedic morning routine provides daily bio-feedback, direct routes to an evolved body awareness which enables the immediate detection of even the tiniest disorders and issues. Following the mantra of ‘avoid the danger that hasn’t happened yet’, Ayurvedic medicine provides a fascinating opportunity for preventing illness using our body’s inner intelligence.

‘By finding out how I’m doing physically first thing in the morning, I can do something about it straight away, e.g. cancel a dinner date, eat easy to digest foods for the day, take the appropriate herbs, have some manual therapy, or take part in a Yoga class.’

Christina Mauracher

When Doshas Step out of Line

The Ayurvedic teachings tell us that if imbalances aren’t addressed, over time they will initiate an illness process. This unfolds in six stages:

1. An increase of one or more of the Doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).

2. The excess of Dosha leads to the formation of Ama (metabolic residue) in the digestive system. In stages 1 and 2, Dosha imbalances can easily be remedied by making minor lifestyle changes. E.g.: If, during your morning routine, you discover a slight coating on your tongue ­– perhaps because you had a glass too many or ate too heavily the night before – you can correct this imbalance by eating easy to digest foods, dinner cancelling, or even fasting.

3. Doshas and Ama spread in the bloodstream. By phase three, problems have become more apparent. This is when a deep cleansing with a detox or Panchakarma programme is urgently recommended.

4. Doshas and Ama settle in a weak part of the body.

5. An imbalance or illness becomes apparent.

6. The imbalance or illness enters the complication stage and symptoms worsen (e.g. cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, kidney failure, etc.). Once you reach this phase, issues are becoming chronic.

Ayurvedic Morning Routine
Ayurvedic Morning Routine

Ayurvedic Morning Routines with Christina Mauracher

This serves primarily to draw toxins out of the mucous membranes. Besides a strongly detoxifying effect, oil pulling balances the head-neck-Vata area, which is characterised by dryness. It also strengthens the teeth and gums, protects against tooth decay and eliminates bad breath. Another benefit of oil pulling is that it improves wrinkles around the lips and chin. With regular practice, positive anti-ageing and lifting effects become apparent.

Depending on Dosha type and season, warming oils such as sesame oil or cooling oils such as coconut or olive oil are used. You should always acquire these from quality health food stores.

Method: ‘Pull’ the room-temperature oil through the teeth for a few minutes and slosh it around in your mouth until it becomes viscous, then spit it out.

Most of us apply lotion after showering. With self-massage, we do it the other way round. Vata Dosha increases quickly in volatile situations or a fast-paced lifestyle, but oiling yourself up with a good oil before showering can reduce Vata by as much as 10%. Self-massage also has a positive effect on the musculoskeletal system. E.g., if you suffer from osteoarthritis, targeted oiling and lubrication of the problem areas can help. It alleviates discomfort and postpones the development of chronic issues.

Another benefit of self-massage is self-care. During these 2–4 minutes you are completely at one with yourself. You also become aware of every twinge and niggle in your body. Constantly ignoring or overlooking pain or similar complaints leads to chronic disorders. The biofeedback from self-massage makes it possible to react early. For instance, if you notice that your back muscles are weakening, you can change your sitting position in the office.

Cleaning the tongue is an ancient Indian practice. Ayurveda considers this a key morning practice, because the tongue provides a lot of information about our state of health. A coating on the tongue indicates that there are toxins present in the body and it occurs, for example, if we eat too late in the evening. The tongue reflects the state of the digestive tract and the digestive fire Agni, as it secretes waste products (Ama) into the mouth every day via the oral mucosa. If the tongue has a thick white film on it, this suggests the presence of Ama, which means that digestion is not working properly. By scraping the tongue daily, changes in the tongue coating can be observed over time, making it easier to recognise Dosha imbalances. The tongue also changes when a person becomes ill.


  1. Scrape your tongue in the morning, on an empty stomach.
  2. Stick out your tongue. Place the tongue scraper as far back on your tongue as you feel comfortable (be careful not to place it too far back or you may activate your gag reflex).
  3. Pull the scraper along the tongue from back to front, applying light pressure (tongue scraping shouldn’t hurt).
  4. Rinse the tongue scraper under running water and repeat the process 3–5 times.

Drinking hot water in the morning is like taking an internal shower. It cleanses the organs, detoxifying and flushing everything out. The intestines are thoroughly ‘showered’, and the effects are quick, especially if you’re constipated. If you don’t like the idea of drinking hot water, you can opt for lukewarm or room-temperature water instead. However, boiled water penetrates the cells better because heat changes its molecules. Cold water should always be avoided.

Affirmative statements can facilitate a positive start to the day. It’s important that the declarations fit a person’s specific situation. so it’s crucial to identify what this is. Just saying ‘I love you’ to yourself in front of the mirror doesn’t work for everyone. Examples of positive programming:

Today I’ll face the things I can’t change calmly and patiently.

With each breath, I let go of my fears and become calmer.

I’m open to whatever the day may bring.

I take time for myself and for my needs.

The sun salutation is a great way to start the day. It stretches and strengthens the muscles, gets the circulation going and promotes blood flow. You can practice variations, if you like: perform it more quickly to improve your fitness or more slowly to strengthen your muscles.