How do you feel when you wake up first thing in the morning? That is the first question that I ask my clients. How you feel in the morning tells the whole story of your physical, emotional, and mental health. According to Ayurveda, the ancient and natural medicine from India, a sign of good health is waking up feeling refreshed, clear, and enthusiastic about the day. If you can't get going until you have a cup of coffee, it could be a sign that diet and lifestyle need some fine-tuning. If you are still tired even if you went to bed early or there is still some sluggishness, this may be due to a variety of reasons. It is possible that a meal was too heavy or eaten too late the evening before which created toxins due to undigested food. Ayurveda recommends having a smaller, lighter dinner ideally eaten before 7:00 pm.
Rather than starting the day with drinking a cup of coffee, drink a cup of hot water with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This is the like an internal bath or shower. Then if you need coffee, take it after that and gradually move toward less acidic drinks such as green or white tea. An occasional cup of organic coffee is fine, but if you are dependent on it for energy then I would recommend another source of healthier energy either from high nutrition foods, exercise, or improved quality of sleep.
Stiffness, joint pain, and immobility first thing upon arising could be due to a build up of toxins, called ama. Taking an Ayurvedic herb called triphala the night before will help reduce ama in the joints. There are many levels of ama in the body. The most important is avoiding the build up of ama through diet and lifestyle. If the toxins have been there for a long time then a 3-4 home cleanse or a more intensive cleanse done in residence that include Ayurveda rejuvenation therapies called pancha karma may be recommended.
Fatigue, could also be an indicator that the quality of sleep is poor, either difficulty in falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night, and oversleeping. Do you ever feel more tired when you sleep in the morning? According to Ayurveda, the best time to wake up in the morning is before 6:00 am before it is the ‘’kapha” time of the day. Kapha is the quality in nature and in the body comprised of earth and water. It has a cold, heavy, thick, quality that has to do with structure, phlegm and heaviness. Excess kapha in body can increase phlegm, weight, and fatigue. Waking up congested, or having to spit phlegm may be due to a kapha imbalance as well.
Depression and heaviness in the body could be a build up fatigue over time, an indicator the body is crying for deep rest. Give yourself several days of just taking it easing and allowing the body to rest and do nothing for a few days or a few weeks. Or depending on your situation and body type, what may be needed is more exercise.
Cloudiness in thinking may also be caused by constipation, dehydration, or indigestion. Fatigue can also be do to thyroid problems, blood sugar levels or heart problems.
If you would like to wake up early, fresh and happy (even on rainy days) then I would begin by keeping a notebook by your beside and write what your first impression is of the day. It could just be one word such as tired, grumpy, achy. Include what you ate for dinner and the time you ate it the night before. If you have difficulty with elimination try to keep a record of the times you had a bowel movement. Proper elimination is also one of the keys to good health according to Ayurveda.
Try to have a lighter dinner before 7:00 pm as the digestive fires called ‘Agni” start to get less as the sun goes down. It’s about connecting with nature. The life giving Sun also called Agni starts to set, and as the Sun sets, our inner Agni or digestive fires start to get less. That is why digestion is strongest between 11:00 am and 2:00 PM, when a larger meal is recommended. A smaller dinner, earlier, will help to digest easier. With this, the quality of sleep with improve and you will start to wake up fresher.
There is whole protocol for sound sleep and digestion in Ayurveda. Finding out the causes of morning fatigue are many and each recommendation is catered to that specific reason and imbalance.
For more information on Ayurveda Health Education, please contact Bonita Carol at 530 401 8627 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.ayurvedahealthcoach.com
Bonita Carol has been an Ayurveda Health Educator for over 25 years and offers Ayurvedic Health Consultations in the Bay area and Nevada City, California.