Morning Rituals

Here's an idea:

The start of our day plays a huge role in our overall behavior.  It's what sets the tone of our day and subconsciously sticks with us.  Makes sense when thinking about how we wake; to a loud, obnoxious sound (aka the alarm clock), not to mention rushing through a perfectly enjoyable shower, followed by shoveling whatever breakfast that took the shortest amount of time to make into your mouth, and of course sprinting out the door to another stressful part of the day, dun dun dun the morning commute.  If this sounds like your morning and you're fed up, I encourage you to rise a little earlier than usual and try something new.  

As a dedicated meditator and yoga fanatic, I've seen how these practices change lives because they did mine.   Self awareness now cascades into nearly every aspect of my life.  It is known that the first step towards any sort of growth or positive change is awareness.  Pema Chodran once said “life is a good teacher and a good friend.”  When you can go into every experience with a beginners mind, you'll find there's something to learn in absolutely everything, 

Now, if you're not following all the other million blogs about healthy living, check out what I have to say below. This is how I start my day and hope it brightens yours!  

Calm before the storm 

Were rushing all day long, over-caffeinated, under slept, expected of too much.  Mornings can be your time.  

My morning ritual begins with focusing on my breath, something so simple yet often overlooked.  Concentrating on your breath gives a point of focus for the mind, all the while relaxing the nervous system. 

Next step, meditate.  One form of meditating that works for me is the calm abiding method.  Inevitably thoughts will come, and with this practice you welcome them.  No distractions can save you from yourself here.  It can be scary, it can be uncomfortable, but just being ok with them is the ultimate goal.

Meditating has helped me immensely.  I cope with stressful situations with much more ease, my energy and focus are sustained throughout the day, and I'm becoming a better listener.

 

Move your body

Do something good for your body.  Thank this vessel you were born with and appreciate it for all it does.  Options are endless, with the array of workout classes available now that cater to individual interests, you can utilize the natural environment for something a little more cost efficient, or if you have the space at home take advantage.  Above all, just move that body!

Following morning meditation, my favorite way to wake up entirely is going through a few sun salutations. For any of you who don't practice, they're really easy.  Most important aspect of doing them is to sync breath with movement.  Sun salutations warm you up from the inside out.  Traditionally in eastern cultures people would rise with the sun and face it as they had their morning practice, hence the name sun salute.

Foundation is key, start in a comfortable standing position, feet hips width apart, toes turned in slightly so that the feet are straight.  

Correct your alignment before you begin:

~Inhale arms open wide to touch above, 
~Exhale fold forward, slight bend at the knees if there's any discomfort in lower back
~Inhale half way lift, lengthen the spine
~Exhale fold forward
~Inhale, bend knees, roll up vertebrae by vertebrae until standing in mountain pose, steady exhale
~Repeat
*Start by doing a few and work your way up.  Most important listen to your body.  

Last piece of advice… 

Take your time    

We live in a time of high anxiety and the result…over medication.  Were expected to do a million and one things in a day and were rushing through them all.  If we're constantly rushing through life, what's there to enjoy?  Rushing is stressful and frankly not worth the illness it puts on our bodies. 

Please feel free to share your morning rituals (peaceful or not!)