Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Life

3 Invigorating Morning Rituals to Start Your Day Off Right

When you wake up feeling less than fresh, these self-care practices can give you the boost you need.

Lock Icon

Unlock this article with Outside+.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

We’ll donate $25 when you join today.
0% off ($4.99mo/$59.99y1)*

Get the one subscription to fuel all your adventures.


  • Map your next adventure with our premium GPS apps: Gaia GPS Premium and Trailforks Pro.
  • Read unlimited digital content from 15+ brands, including Outside Magazine, Triathlete, Ski, Trail Runner, and VeloNews.
  • Watch 600+ hours of endurance challenges, cycling and skiing action, and travel documentaries.
  • Learn from the pros with expert-led online courses.
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

As much as we wish we could always rise and shine, sometimes it’s hard enough to get out of bed, let alone feel ready to take on the day. When we’re struggling to get moving in the morning, a little self-care can go a long way. Here are three tried-and-true rituals that we turn to when we need a little a.m. boost.

Detoxify with Oil Pulling

Practitioners of Ayurveda have long used oil pulling (called gundusha in Sanskrit) to whiten teeth, freshen breath, detoxify the body, alleviate migraines, and improve digestion. Studies have shown that swishing oil in your mouth reduces harmful bacteria that collects there, including Streptococcus mutans—the strain which contributes to plaque, cavities, gingivitis, and bad breath.

TRY IT:

  • After brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue, put 1⁄2 to 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (for vata), coconut oil (for pitta), or grapeseed oil (for kapha) into your mouth and gently swish it around.
  • After 5-20 minutes, spit out the oil into a trashcan or your toilet. (Don’t spit oil into the sink because it will clog your drain over time.)
  • Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to gently kill any leftover bacteria.

—Sahara Rose, best-selling author and host of The Highest Self Podcast @iamsahararose

Shower Yourself

Check off six powerful Ayurvedic rituals while taking your morning shower. First, fight plaque and bad breath with oil pulling (see above). After washing, practice abhyanga, a gentle massage with sesame oil. Make circular strokes over your joints and belly, and long strokes over your arms and legs. Give your head a vigorous massage to stimulate the 37 marma points on your scalp. Next, put three to five drops of nasya oil in both nostrils. Sniff deeply to clear your sinuses. Then use a couple of drops of nasya in each ear for karna purana, or ear oiling; fold your ears down and massage for 30 to 60 seconds. Finish your shower with two minutes of cold water to boost healthy brown fat, lower blood sugar, stimulate your metabolism, and turbocharge your day.

—John Douillard, DC, CAP, Founder of Ayurvedic clinic LifeSpa

Savor Your Morning

Getting a pour-over coffee maker changed my relationship to java, making it a mindful ritual instead of a crude fuel. First, I fill the kettle, set it on a flame, and grind some beans. Once the water boils, I guide the kettle’s long gooseneck spout in concentric circles as I pour water over the coffee. I notice how the grinds puff up and deflate as the water drains. I inhale the bittersweet fragrance. Then, I’ll pour the hot beverage into my Brooklyn mug, add cream, and sit in my favorite chair—the one my partner forbids me from ever associating with work. If I wake up at 6, I have time to make a dent in my book, watch the sunrise, or giggle at TikToks until it’s time to fire up my laptop.

—Deanna Michalopoulos, Yoga Journal senior content marketing and online education production manager

See also:

7 Rituals to Transform Your Day Into a Sacred Practice

4 Ayurvedic Self-Care Rituals for Natural Beauty

The Pandemic Has Wrecked Our Routines. These Ayurvedic Tips Will Bring Them Back