Ayurvedic Morning Routine For Winter

This post comes from our Australia contributor, Miann Scanlan. Follow along with her on Instagram @freepeopleaustralia!

I recently stumbled upon Ayurveda and never before in my life has a particular school of medicine or life science made so much sense of the constant mixed well-being messages that saturate our media.

Flourishing thousands of years before modern western medicine, Ayurveda came out of the heart of ancient India. Beyond merely treating illnesses, it aims to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.

Ayurveda taught me that our internal landscape reflects mother nature’s shifts in season. Our physiology literally senses the weather pattern that the world around us takes as we orbit the sun each year which is why it’s important to adopt a seasonal routine to align ourselves with the dynamic rhythms of the natural world.

At present, we in Australia are in the Kapha season, aka the winter chill. In this typically wet season, the metabolism slows, and we are more likely to become congested, fall ill, and slowly start packing on extra weight.

This routine is one of the best tools for thriving during Kapha as it encourages you to live in tune with nature while strengthening your digestive power – as good health is dependent on our capability to fully metabolize what we ingest.

ayurvedic morning routine

Wake up a little later than normal
Your body knows the sun isn’t up so early so why rush it? Getting ample sleep is just as important as getting up for a morning workout, as during sleep our body literally repairs and rejuvenates itself (including working hard on properly digesting dinner).

Tongue scrape
You’ve probably overheard chit chat about tongue scraping among yogis, and with good reason. The body expels bacteria and leaves it to accumulate in the mouth over night so it’s really important to remove these first thing after rising so they aren’t recycled back into the body.

ayurvedic morning routine

Drink warm lemon water
Sip on two cups of warm water with a mixture of ginger paste, honey, and lemon juice to gently stimulate, heat and wake up the digestive system so it’s ready for the day. Keep this up and I promise you’ll ditch your morning coffee too! Extra bonus!

Slather on sesame oil
Traditionally, sesame oil is preferred for topical application in winter as it is warming. Give yourself a massage all over as you slather on the oil to release toxins and wake up the body.

Exercise on an empty stomach
Chances are it’s cold and you don’t want to go outside, lucky there’s yoga! Build heat in the body with a number of sun salutations and asanas that open the chest and throat to remove congestion in the respiratory organs.  Try fish, boat, lion and camel poses along with a shoulderstand or headstand if you can.

ayurvedic morning routine

Eat a nutritious breakfast
It’s important to eat a decent breakfast. If you don’t feed your digestive fire in the morning, the body won’t have the momentum to properly begin digesting later in the day.

Sip on warm water
Throughout the day and about half an hour after breakfast sip on warm water with a dash of ginger, cinnamon and clove as this will increase your digestive fire – though you might want to skip this if you have any inflammation problems.

ayurvedic morning routine

Avoid: Cold drinks, fasting, late nights, napping, and exposure to drafts and cold wind.

Find Miann at miannscanlan.com & instagram @miannscanlan and @freepeopleaustralia.


  1. Thanks for the winter themed post! I live in South America and all the warm summer posts were bumming me out!

  2. Love this thanks for sharing. It’s summer in Cali but pretty much winter in San Fran ;)

  3. I incorporate most of these routines throughout the year. I especially love oil pulling with coconut oil as soon as I get up. Then I drink a warm/hot glass of water with fresh lemon. I can tell it makes a huge difference with my digestion and my skin. And yes, warming up sesame oil and massaging yourself, especially on your temples and feet, is divine.

  4. Wow a really great post! I’ve loved your intro about Ayurveda, I’m so tired of shallow comments like “it’s different/natural so it’s good” about ancient medicines that usually instead of supporting the medicine end up taking its credibility. You’ve explained it so well.

  5. Any advice as to where to look for more information? Books or websites? There is a flood of information on the internet so it would be nice to have a bit of guidance from someone who already practices Ayurvedic techniques! Thanks!!


  6. I love this and have started my days with sun salutations and will try to find ginger paste for my morning concoction. And where did you find those adorable knit pants? Love them!

  7. Elizabeth – there is a wealth of information on the internet. Start with some basic ground reading on the philosophies of Ayurveda which will be a great foundation to understanding why many of the ancient practises are great to incorporate into your day.

    Meara – they are they Novella Royalle bell bottoms from Free People! :)

    X x

  8. I love all these ideas. It’s important to also understand your Ayurvedic body type. Generally, though, it’s always a good idea to roll with the natural cycles of the planet where you find yourself.

  9. I tried the lemon water technique two days in a row last week and then two days later my tonsils were covered in canker sores! What am I missing here?

  10. Banyan Botanicals is a pretty credible resource and they sell high quality authentic products. Also pretty much any Iyengar yoga studio ( and many related) will have classes and programs on Ayurveda. Only thing-Aftwr taking several classes on Ayurveda, I believe Kapha is more the end of winter and mostly a spring Dosha- wet, warm, heavy, etc. the end of Fall to Winter is usually categorized as Vata- dry, airy, cold. Not sure where this author got Kapha for winter… But nice for Kapha imbalance anyway.

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