Reworking Your Morning Routine
Do you remember that first cold morning of October? That crisp chill so sweet, inviting smell. New seasons are always invigorating! Then there is the next morning, a little colder than the first followed by the next even more cold than the last. As you start to wake every fall morning, the sun starts to rise later, but you do not. Days turn into flashes of hot and cold and your warmth starts to drift away. Right now, take a breath and find that heat within yourself. Where does that heat stem from and where can we find the best new way of cultivating that heat in ourselves? As the days start to grow cooler we can start to grow warmer.
The chill of early mornings in mid October seem to creep and crawl into every nook and cranny of your aching bones and joints. The sun hasn't risen, yet already the alarm of the day is unemotionally requesting you rise from your sweet hibernation. Already, your muscles seem to tense as you clench the blankets closer to your chest and roll over. “Another morning,” you think, “maybe another 10 minutes,” and you push the snooze button. Then we wake up a little frazzled a little more tense and we are off for another morning of work!
During how many mornings have we experienced this lackluster for the day? How many mornings have we driven ourselves to work only to find we do not remember the journey to the place we have arrived? Can you remember which side you woke up laying on this morning?
Instead of wrestling around with the past and what you can or can not remember, try this when you wake up tomorrow morning to work your way into the day with a little more attention and ease:
As you hear your alarm (or if you wake up without one), start to breathe in the smell of the world around you. Take note of which nostril you can breath more fully into and take the hand of that dominant side and use it to rub the other side of the body; head, shoulder, neck all the way to your toes! Think of this as balancing the two sides. Feel the distance of the toes and the space between them as you start to stretch them apart. Then stretch that dominant foot down to the ground first and connect it to the earth. Setting both feet down firmly you can open your breath while starting to move the spine in circles gently in all four directions. As you move, start to build a mantra, or let it rise from your creative center. Choose something that you can come back to during the day. For example, I often come back with gratitude to: “I greet this day with love, joy and devotion”. Find a mantra which suits you. I find one that rings true to my most immediate situation or biggest fears for the day.
These are just some of the techniques I use to help brush away stagnant energy that no longer serves me in my morning routine. Just integrating a few of these and coming up with your own may be the best plan for you. I find that greeting the day with awareness, love, joy and devotion and stepping out of bed completely before reaching for the phone can help attain a mind-body connection and build purpose and attainable goals applicable for the day.
Sometimes reaching for our phone first can short circuit a connection to personal goals and this rewires us to fill our schedule with the less important things first. Keeping true to yourself and your goals for the day may seem selfish initially. We can work to help others all we want but replace our duties and dharma with others can be draining and is unsustainable and you have your own dharma to serve. What happens when we do take care of self with a morning routine? We find ourselves connecting within, listening, and adapting. Are you present with yourself in the morning?
Next I would encourage you to build a mantra or a goal. Mentioning your mantra or goal to yourself in second of third person can help with holding yourself to that mantra and to that goal. For example; “Marisa, you will get to yoga this morning with plenty of time and will salute the sun with your whole self as you practice. Because of this, you will radiate positivity and energy and contribute to a brighter day for those closest to you. You will have plenty of energy to finish your work today.” Take what you need from these ideas and have a beautiful day.
With gratitude, namaste.
Marisa Desiree Valdez recently finished her 500 hour Yoga training in Costa Rica with Passion Yoga School. She teaches Akhanda Shakti, Vinyasa and Yin yoga and works with her teacher to grow her understanding of Lar Shorts teachings found in The Way of Radiance. You can find more information about her classes by meeting her in person on Tuesdays at 6:30 AM and Thursdays at 7:00 AM for The Art-full Morning Flow @ Yoga Art Space or follow her @ peakpozia yoga on FB or find her full schedule on Yoga Trail @ Marisa Valdez. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sources: The Way of Radiance by Lar C. Short, The Body of Light by Lar C. Short, Yogasana- Encyclopedia of Poses by Yogrishi Vishvketu,PhD, Pathways to Bliss by Joseph Campbell. Podcasts: Hidden Brain by shankar vedantam, the Marie Forleo podcast and Botanical Biohacking.