There is an amazing array of cleansing practices (called Kriyas) from the yoga and ayurvedic tradition. Maintinaing physical 'saucha', purity, is one of the key observances in living according to the yoga tradition.
For those that ask me about how to begin a self practice of yoga... I would actually start with kriya - cleansing; with nurturing self care, as well as physical poses, or asana. As these kriyas become part of your week, you will naturally begin to feel inspired to lie, play, sit and vinyasa on your mat.
I also like to shift the semantic emphasis from 'purification' of the self as a yogi to be approached in the umbrella of 'self love' and nourishment. The deeper you go into your practice, the more you 'know yourself', and begin to naturally - out of desire - do and have MORE of what makes you feel amazing, and less of what makes you feel like rubbish.
Inspired by a recent training with the inspiration Donna Farhi, here are some morning practices to make you feel nurtured, healthy, beautiful and amazing before you even get onto the mat, head out to work or to begin a day off.
1st: JIVAMULA DHAUTI - Scrape your tongue (with a toothbrush or even better a tongue scraper from Yoga Matters - [www.yogamatters.com/product/productlist.aspx?term=tongue%20scraper]
2nd: Drink Cleansing Tea:
1/2 tsp grater ginger
1/4 tsp fennel powder (blend up fennel seeds in coffee grinder or buy in Indian supermarket)
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Hot water (wait until luke warm then add)
3rd: Warm Sesame Oil Massage
Particularly good if you wake feeling stiff and dry in the joints and tissues. Pour sesame oil into a glass then put the glass in hot water to warm. Massage your body, including feet and joints with long smooth strokes. Leave to sink in for 30 minutes so that the tissues can absorb the oil. Then warm shower.
(Also look at Neti Pot - Sinus blog)