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The Ultimate Yogi Morning Routine: 20 Habits for a Happy Day

Last updated on April 23, 2023


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Yogi practicing her morning routine by doing a yoga pose in nature

• Learn which are the 20 habits that almost every yogi practices in their morning routine to cleanse and activate both the body and the mind;

• Save the illustration of this Ayurvedic daily morning routine to have it handy (it’s at the end of this article).

The alarm goes off, you hit the snooze button, and wake up fighting the grogginess while rushing to work. What a nightmare, isn’t it?

There’s no way around it. If you want to avoid the above scenario and pave the way for a successful day, you need to set in stone a healthy morning ritual.

And what better way to create one such ritual than to get inspiration from a yogi’s “dinacharya” (morning routine)? After all, these spiritual people are renowned for their calmness and balanced way of living.

So, keep reading and start changing your sloppy morning routine for the better by adopting as many of the following 20 yogi-approved habits.

1. Be an early morning person

Time: 5 seconds.

Female yogi practicing her morning routine at sunrise

I know it may be troublesome for you, but waking up and experiencing the quietness of the early morning is the best practice you can adopt in your daily routine.

In fact, all yogis are early birds. And I also testify, waking up before the sunrise is a life-changer, especially if you used to hit up that snooze button countless times before.

Further, the Ayurvedic Institute, whose main goal is to spread Ayurveda (the science of life) into the world, explains this early wake-up habit a little more in-depth:

Depending on your body and energy type (dosha), you want to get up between 4:30 AM and 6:00 AM.

Yogi Body Types (dosha) in Ayurvedic culture: vata, pitta, kapha.

It will be hard at the beginning, but there’s a saying:

"All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end."

Robin Sharma, The 5 AM Club

Yet, if you decide to wake up earlier, you will also need to go to bed sooner. Don’t become sleep-deprived. Thus, always aim to sleep at least 7 hours a night. Psst, most of the highest-paid celebrities in the world already do this.

Tip for sleepyheads: If you just can’t get out of bed in the morning, use the 5 Second Rule.

“The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must push yourself to move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.”

Mel Robbins - author of The 5 Second Rule book

So, what do you have to do when you wake up with your face sunken in your puffy pillow? Count to 5, and when you hit 5, jump out of the bed.

2. Refresh your aura

Time: 10 seconds.

Black male refreshes his aura as part of his yogi morning routine.

This is not a secret. A yogi always takes care of the spiritual side in their morning routine.

Consequently, one of the first things they like to do in the a.m. is to freshen up their aura.

Specifically, you can do this by looking at your hands for a few seconds once you opened your eyes. Then, gently slide them over your face, chest, and way down to your waist. You should feel a change in your energy once you’re done.

3. Pray

Time: 15 seconds.

Pray: natal yogi practicing his morning routine

Many of us forget to take care of our souls in today’s fast-paced world, and praying before or just after leaving the bed is a quick and pleasuring way to do it.

It doesn’t have to take long, just a few seconds, but make sure you connect with the Universe and express your gratitude.

For example, here’s a short prayer you can say every morning:

"You gave us the hand of protection. You gave us the power to teach and learn. You gave us the power to live and love. You gave us the power to be peaceful on this Mother Earth in the lap of the beauty of nature. Thank you very much for everything."

Yogi Bhajan - famous yoga teacher

4. Wash your face and exercise your eyes

Time: 30 seconds.

Girl washing her face in the morning in the bathroom

You don’t need to be a yogi to know that washing your face during your morning routine is a must if you want to get out of that sleepy state.

However, you also want to target the eyes a bit at this stage to activate your vision.

So, begin by mildly massaging the eyelids. Then, as recommended by the yogistic experts at the Ayurvedic Institute, blink 7 times and rotate your eyes in all directions. Finish by drying your face with a clean towel.

5. Drink water every morning

Time: 10 seconds.

Young woman drinks water from a clear glass as part of her yogi morning routine.

Your body tends to dehydrate during the night, so you want to provide it with liquids as soon as possible.

Therefore, fill a glass of water (or a copper cup if you really want to get in a yogi mood) before you go to bed. As a result, you will have a refreshing treat waiting for you in the morning at the reach of an arm.

In addition, you should know that Pratham Yoga School recommends 2-4 250 ml cups of warm water drunk as soon as you wake up. Also, make sure to sit down while doing so, because the absorption will be better.

A few benefits of drinking water in the morning

  • Washes your digestive tract;
  • Cleanses your kidneys;
  • Makes all your organs activate faster.

Now, if you wish something more than plain water, some yogis advocate for lemon water or even some digestive tea.

However, consider that making tea will take you about 5 minutes, so make sure you don’t run out of time for the rest of your dayspring ritual.

Did you know: water has zero calories, thus counting among our comprehensive list of 95 low-calorie foods and drinks for easy weight loss.

6. Eliminate toxins from your body

Time: 2 minutes.

Yogi-style toiler with a miniature palm tree and a shower cabin.

Chances are you may be looking for a morning routine that cleanses your gut, and this is a righteous thing to do. Indeed, keeping toxic substances in your body is only going to make you feel worse as the day progresses.

Thus, go eliminate the urine accumulated during the night and sit on the toilet (preferably in a squat position) to stimulate bowel movement. Doing this at the same time of the day will help to regulate your defecation.

"There is nothing better than a good, cleansing poop right before your morning practice. It makes the jump throughs easier, the backbends more graceful and the twists a little less stressful."

Melissa Singh, Toronto Ashtanga Yoga Centre

Tip for beginners: If you struggle with your bowel movements during the first hours of the day, try alternate nostril breathing, a technique you can read more about at point 14 of this ultimate yogi morning routine.

7. Do yogi-style tongue scraping

Time: 10 seconds.

Before proceeding to clean their teeth, a yogi incorporates tongue scraping in their morning routine.

Yogis scrape their tongues for more reasons:

  • It removes dead bacteria;
  • Vitalizes the internal organs;
  • Aids digestion.

How to scrape your tongue?

The Ayurvedic Institute recommends 7 to 14 gentle scrapes from the back of your tongue forward.

Also, depending on your body type, you’d want to use different tongue scrapers:

  • Vata people: gold scraper;
  • Pitta people: silver scraper;
  • Kapha people: copper scraper.

On the other hand, if you don’t wish to get so yogistic, buy an inexpensive stainless steel tongue scraper, or use a hard toothbrush.

8. Brush your teeth

Time: 2 minutes.

This shouldn’t be a novelty for you unless you were cast away and couldn’t find anything to replace your toothpaste with.

Now, seriously, a yogi always brushes their teeth. Use a soft toothbrush and invest in bitter-tasting toothpaste. As a result, you will wake up easier than if you were to use a pleasantly flavored one.

Otherwise, you can use powders like the ones made from:

  • Roasted almond shells (for vata and kapha types);
  • Ground neem (for pitta types).

Yogi tip: experience an Indian vibe during your ritual by purchasing toothbrushes made from neem wood – they’re called neem sticks. Alternatively, you can try using those made from licorice root.

These traditional tools will strengthen your gums and make them healthier.

9. Swoosh your mouth and gargle

Time: 20 seconds.

Since we were talking about strengthening gums, then you should know that swooshing your mouth with water and gargling with warm sesame oil twice a day brings incredible benefits to your oral hygiene.

Keep the oil in your mouth, move it energetically all around, and spit it out. Then, as the Ayurvedic experts recommend, use your fingers to give your gums a gentle massage.

Benefits of gargling with sesame oil

Sesame oil is known for its distinctive aroma, but did you know that if you use it for gargling it will:

  • Strengthen your teeth and gums;
  • Train your jaw;
  • Enhance your voice;
  • Contribute to better skin on your cheeks – no more wrinkles.

10. Chew yogi snacks in the morning

Time: 20 seconds.

Nuts and dried fruits for a yogi to chew during their morning routine.

Chewing in the morning is a common practice in a yogi’s daily routine.

This habit tells your liver and stomach to wake up while also improving the activity of your digestive juices.

What does a yogi like to chew in the morning?

Generally, yogis opt for nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. For example:

  • A fist of sesame seeds;
  • 3-5 dried dates;
  • A tiny amount of dried coconut meat.

Counter-intuitively, yogis start crunching on the above after they clean their teeth. However, Ayurvedic experts recommend brushing your teeth again, this time without applying toothpaste.

Digestion tip: in the Ayurvedic culture, it’s recommended to chew each bite at least 30 times to ensure the food is properly processed by your body.

11. Oil drop your nose

Time: 10 seconds.

Hand with a dropper filled with oil for applying to your nose.

A good part of the yogi world never excludes nasal drops (nasya) from their morning routines.

In fact, they use a few drops of different types of oils to:

  • Lubricate the nostrils;
  • Flush the sinuses
  • Enhance vision and mental lucidity.

For example, here are some oils you can use for dropping in your nose, as recommended by the Ayurvedic Institute:

  • Sesame oil, ghee, or calamus (vacha) oil – for vata type;
  • Brahmi ghee, sunflower, or coconut oil – for pitta type;
  • Calamus root (vacha) oil – for kapha type.

Despite the above recommendations, many yogis use a neti pot instead. A neti pot is a small container with a long spout used to rinse the nasal cavities, typically with saline solutions.

Whether you go for oil drops or the neti pot, it’s up to you. In the end, your breath (prana) and voice will thank you for adopting this yogi habit in your morning routine.

12. Oil drop your ears

Time: 15 seconds + 5 minutes for warming the oil.

Young woman applying oil into her left ear as part of her yogi morning routine.

Traditional yogis call this habit Karna Purana – translating as the Ayurvedic technique of administering warm oil into the ear canals.

The ear lubricant of choice here is sesame oil. Don’t forget to warm it before releasing 5 drops in each of your ears.

Also, you want to let the oil sink in for 2-5 minutes before you switch to the other ear.

This practice is known to help you if you’re struggling with problems like:

  • Too much ear wax;
  • Defective hearing;
  • Ringing in ears;
  • Jaw-related disorders like TMJ.

13. Morning yoga routine

Time: 30 minutes.

Black woman doing yoga during her yogi-style morning routine alongside her dog.

The main difference between a yogi’s morning routine and one of an everyday Joe’s is that they use yoga workouts to ground both their bodies and spirits every time the sun rises. And they do it with a purpose.

Benefits of practicing yoga

  • Increases flexibility;
  • Facilitates weight loss;
  • Improves your respiration and energy;
  • Makes your blood flow better throughout the body;
  • Prepares your muscles for future workouts; and more.

A session of yoga could take up to 1-2 hours, but you don’t need that much, especially at the beginning. Therefore, 20-30 minutes is more than enough to reap the benefits.

Besides, depending on your body type, you want to exercise at different paces.

  • Vata: low-intensity workout;
  • Pitta: moderate-intensity workout;
  • Kapha: high-paced yoga workout.

If you generally struggle to keep up with your workout routines, you need to learn how to set and accomplish your fitness goals. For example, one such goal could be doing Adriene’s yoga routine shown in the video below every morning for 30 days.

Quick 20-minute yoga workout

"Give every area of the body some love while cultivating heat to build total-body strength and increase mobility. Synchronize the breath with movement and flow with energy and ease to create a moving meditation. Welcome a feeling of vitality and balance back into your inner world."

Adriene Mishler - international yoga teacher

14. Yogi-style breathing exercises

Time: 5 minutes.

Asian yogi doing breathing exercises (pranayama) as part of his morning routine.

After the yoga session, you will have already got rid of the slight wooziness we all try to get away from when we wake up, and that’s because you sent blood filled with nutrients and oxygen throughout your entire body.

However, after that, you want to bring your attention to your brain. And you do that by doing deep breathing exercises, or ‘Pranayama’ as yogis’ call them.

There are lots of yogic breathing exercises you can try, but let’s focus on one of the most effective and simple to grasp.

Alternate nostril breathing

Just a few benefits of practicing alternate nostril breathing are:

But let’s cut to the chase and learn how to do this powerful breathing exercise using former international yoga teacher Yogi Bhajan’s instructions. This exercise, visually explained in the video below, will help you achieve balance in both your mind and body.

  1. Always keep your breath relaxed, deep, and full;
  2. Have the left hand in Gyan Mudra (connect your thumb to your index finger);
  3. You want to use the thumb of the right hand to close the right nostril, and the index finger or ring finger of the same hand to close the left nostril;
  4. Close the right nostril and slowly and fully inhale through the left nostril;
  5. Then close the left nostril and exhale through the right nostril;
  6. Switching sides: inhale through the right nostril;
  7. Close the right nostril and exhale through the left nostril;
  8. Continue repeating, alternating nostrils after each inhalation, for up to 5 minutes.

15. Meditation

Time: 15 minutes.

Female yogi meditates during her morning routine in front of the ocean.

In this fast-paced world, we neglect our inner selves more and more as we let our daily problems and the mountain of distractions take over our minds, transforming them into toxic places.

To not let this happen, follow every yogi’s advice and add a short meditation session to your morning routine. It should be around 15-20 minutes long, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

For instance, some yogis like to just walk in the garden and stand by the trees, absorbing some healthy vitamin D from the warm sun rays while reflecting on their thoughts and the beauty of nature.

Others would go all in and light up incense sticks while sitting on a mattress and humming a mantra.

Try both of the above methods and see which one makes you feel calmer and more joyful.

16. Write your thoughts in a journal

Time: 5 minutes.

Yogi writing in a journal in the park as part of their morning routine.

Write down the first things that come to your mind in your journal every morning. And be sure to express what you’re grateful for.

Tip: don’t avoid negative feelings. If you hold a grudge against someone, write about it in your journal. As a result, you’ll see what actually drives your hatred and maybe find a way to eliminate it completely.

"How did you feel before and during the practice, your emotions, physical and mental feeling is something we all need to tune in, and mindfully acknowledge."

Nicklas Johansson - founder of Yogateket online yoga studio

17. Have a bath or take a shower

Time: 10-30 minutes.

Shower cap exemplifying the habit of cleaning in the morning.

As you may have noticed by now, if you wish to have a morning routine similar to a yogi’s, then you need to focus on your personal hygiene.

Thus, after yoga, breathing, and meditation, go take a refreshing bath or a cold shower. Make sure to use warm oils and softly massage your head and body with them.

In this matter, the Ayurvedic Institute recommends:

  • Sesame oil for vata people;
  • Coconut or sunflower oil for pitta people;
  • Mustard or sunflower oil for kapha people.

Most yogis always stick to this habit because it revigorates you while removing any left signs of fatigue, dirty sweat, and mental fogginess.

Useful tip: play something inspirational in the background while you’re in the bathroom. It may be a podcast or the song that stuck in your heart since your last festival attendance, no matter if you attended Tomorrowland, Glastonbury, Untold, or any other musical venue.

18. Breakfast time

Time: 30 minutes.

A bowl of oatmeal with nuts and seeds that a yogi would prefer for breakfast during their morning routine

You should know that yogis usually avoid fasting because they think you absolutely need energy from food to function properly. So, a good nutritious breakfast is a must if you want to start your day on the right foot.

And, remember, stay away from those 16-hour-long no-eating windows.

Also, when choosing your breakfast, you need to consider what kind of food is best for your body type:

  • Vata loves sweet, sour, and salty tastes;
  • Pitta prefers to go for sweet and bitter flavors;
  • Kapha is a magnet for bitter and strong-flavored types of meals.

In addition, stick to keeping your breakfast light in the hot months and eat more high-calorie foods during the cold seasons.

What does a yogi eat for breakfast?

To help you out in prepping meals for your first meal of the day, here are some of the many types of foods yogis eat during breakfast:

  • Indian herbal blends;
  • Fruits, like apples, pears, and bananas;
  • Grains, like oatmeal, rice, and quinoa;
  • Nuts and seeds, like walnuts, tahini, and almonds.

19. Dress up

Time: 5 minutes.

A stack of clothes (shirts) hanging down.

If you dress up with clothes you feel good in, then you’re ready to rock the day.

20. Use scents, oils, or perfumes

Time: 10 seconds.

Last but not the least, you want to spray a little perfume to your neck to build confidence, acquire an air of joyfulness, and, why not, an irresistible charm.

According to the Ayurvedic Institute, yogis use different fragrances depending on their body type:

  • Hina or amber scents for vata people;
  • Khus, sandalwood, or jasmine for pitta people;
  • Amber or musk scents for kapha people.

To conclude, we prepared a summary illustration of all the 20 habits you need to adopt if you want to follow a life-changing yogi-style morning routine, from waking up before sunrise to applying the final touch of fragrance.

Summary of the ultimate yogi morning routine showing all the 20 habits for a happy day.

We’d love to know how your days unfold as a result of adopting this yogi morning routine. Drop us a comment below!

Additional sources:

  1. 2003: The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, KRI International Teacher Training Manual Level I.
Written by
Claudiu Pop is a nutritionist, medical writer, journalist, and the founder of Unfold Today. He specialized in fitness and nutrition, especially in weight gain, by helping people increase their body mass since 2019 with over 20 articles published in the field.
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