Wake Up! And Move Your Body!

ayurveda brain health environment healthy living immunity meditation mindful movement morning practice sleep strength training Nov 12, 2023

By now I hope you're starting to piece together a daily routine that will support you in getting a great night’s sleep!  And hopefully you’re realizing that there are a lot of small habits we can employ when we’re awake to maximize the benefits of the time when we’re actually sleeping.  

And if this all seems new to you, remember to start small, with one or two changes, to give yourself the best possible chance to make them last!

So far we've covered the following habits:

  • Turn all screens off by 8 pm (LINK)
  • Find ways to manage stress - including Breathwork  (LINK)
  • Pay attention when your body is tired, and turn in before 10pm  (LINK)

Now we’re going to turn our attention to the beginning of the day and:

Wake Up and Move Your Body!

According to Ayurveda, the ideal waking time is around 6 am or approximately the time of the sunrise.  Many people will wake up during Vata time, 2 to 6 am, feeling refreshed. Vata time is the ideal time not only to be creative, but also to perform the morning routine to reap the greatest benefits from the prana (a.k.a. energy) of a new day.

Awaken without an alarm clock, if possible since alarm clocks can be a jarring way to wake up. Try keeping your shades or curtains open and see if the light of the sun naturally awakens you.

Getting up early ensures that you will benefit from the qualities of lightness and activity that are present in the environment in the early morning, at the end of Vata time.

Meditating early in the morning coincides with the body’s quieter rhythms, and when we’re still just waking up is a great time for meditation and breathwork.

Get some early morning sunshine!

And getting outside, and allowing the eyes to be exposed to natural outdoor light, will influence our circadian rhythm and help regulate sleep patterns and hormone regulation.

The brain’s pineal gland benefits directly from the sun stimulation. The pineal produces melatonin, an important hormone made during dark hours that protects our skin. In addition, melatonin is a powerful antioxidant for body-wide use, is important for proper sleep and intestinal function, and can help prevent depression.

Exposure to morning sunlight also helps raise body temperature to normal (after a slight reduction during sleep), and numerous brain activities including increased alertness and better cognition—helping mood and vitality.  Taking a peek outside at the dawn’s first sunlight is a habit worth implementing.

Question: How do you feel when you sleep until 9:00 or 10:00 in the morning? Do you still feel tired and sluggish despite getting extra hours of sleep? When you feel heaviness at this time, it’s because you’ve woken up during Kapha time. It is that same feeling that makes us  want to wind down and prepare for sleep at day’s end, from 6:00 to 10:00 in the evening. Therefore, rising early in the morning will also help you find balance as you start the day.

And now it’s time to enjoy some body movement to get your energy flowing.

Mindful Movement

Regular exercise is essential for physical health and psychological well-being, and it also helps us sleep!  An important part of a healthy daily routine is mindful movement, which is exercise where we are present and aware of the sensations and movements of our bodies.

A complete practice of mindful movement includes these three elements:

  • Cardiovascular/aerobic activity – which helps detoxify the body, strengthen the heart, boost mood, and increase stamina
  • Strength training – builds muscle mass and protects bone health
  • Flexibility training – beneficial for joint mobility, calming the nervous system, and integrating the mind/body system

Pranayama is a form of mindful movement because when you’re breathing, prana, the vital life force, circulates through the energy channels of the body. You can include regular pranayama practices to enhance the flow of prana and experience other benefits for mind-body health.

A Wake-Up, Warm-up Practice

As we get older, it becomes even more important to warm our bodies up at the beginning of each day, and before any activity.

Here’s a morning routine that incorporates these ideas

  • Rehydrate yourself after the night with a mug of warm water–sometimes with lemon, or tea
  • Sit for breathwork and meditation
  • Then wake-up and warm-up more by moving and dancing to energetic music (I like Wake Me Up Before you Go, Go!), plus a series of gentle, warm-up yoga stretches covering all areas of the body from head to toe – this doesn't need to be long, 10 -15 minutes or so.
  • Depending on the day, and the weather, it’s time to get outside to greet the sun and find an enjoyable activity that will have you moving your body even more.

Mindful awareness and mindful movement are equally important for whole health.

While these two activities seem dissimilar—in one you’re cultivating physical and mental stillness, and in the other you’re in a state of heightened physical and mental activity—it’s possible to merge awareness and physical exercise together as one. This allows you to experience the present moment during your physical activity. 

Whatever your activity, do your best to stay focused on that activity (no multitasking!) and be aware of your total body experience.

Bottom Line

Restful sleep provides the foundation for your mental and physical well-being. 

After a day of stimulating activity, your body is ready for and needs deep sleep, as just like in nature, our physiology is dependent on cycles of activity and rest.


So What's Next?

Here’s a Sneak Peak of the new 


15 days, Five habits, 1 goal

· Education, Coaching

· Accountability, Empowerment

· Five Habits that make a difference

· Coaching and accountability to keep you on track

· Change is possible!

Great Sleep is only 2 weeks away

· Together, we can do this!



For more info on this and other natural health topics:

Submit your questions here!

Sign up NOW for my weekly newsletter, and you'll also get the Sugar-Free Kitchen Recipe Club e-book #1!

If you're like me, you're often looking for new recipes to try.  

Every week I'll be sending out some recipes to everyone who subscribes to my newsletter!

Don't worry, your information will not be shared or sold in any way, for any reason. And you may unsubscribe at any time.