Once upon a time I was not a morning person. I saw the early morning just before I went to bed. Yet, over time I have changed and now delight in waking up in the pre-dawn hours. With these early mornings I have found there are little things I like to do when I rise to set the foundation for a great day-my morning ritual.
I confess, when I first awake I do reach for a device. However, I reach for my device, go to my Insight Timer app and start the day with a chant. Om Mani Padme Hum is one of my favourites though sometimes I mix it up. After a quick chant I find a meditation to start the day. The wonderful thing about Insight Timer is you choose the length of time for your meditation and a topic you would like to focus on. I used to think I didn’t have time to meditate, but this app has meditations as short as one minute. Everyone has one minute-no excuses. I used to think I couldn’t meditate, or didn’t like meditating without ever giving it a fair shot. Maybe you hold the same thoughts. Again, no excuses. Commit to trying it for 3 weeks and see what benefits you can reap from this simple act. I started with just one minute once a day.
Once I have finished my chanting and meditation I journey to the kitchen and put on the kettle for tea. My tea of choice is Earl Grey, however for the first morning cup I opt for an herbal or green tea. While waiting for the kettle I step outside, breathe in some fresh are, then take a moment to write in my gratitude journal. In a gratitude journal you simply write 5 things that you are grateful for. Traditionally, I think people suggest doing them before bed. That didn’t work for me so adapted it to what does work for me.
Bringing my steeping tea along, I then go to the yoga mat where I do a little morning yoga. Perhaps I will do a couple poses, perhaps I will do several. The point is not to be strict with yourself. The point is to partake in healthy habits that build a healthy life while at the same to listening to your body and working with your schedule. As I do yoga I enjoy that first cup of tea.
After my yoga my body is awake and energized. I now take part in some form of workout. What kind of work out? Again, it depends. Some days it is a brisk walk with the dog or a bike ride, other days it is BarreAbove, TRX or strength training. Maybe if I really don’t feel in the mood I will do a couple body weight exercises such as squats and push-ups. It doesn’t matter what the work out is or how long, what matters is your moving your body. If you don’t keep moving your body and challenging it, you will find that you begin to lose the ability to do the things you once did, and be plagued by aches and pains and low energy. In my 20s there was a time I didn’t work out and had debilitating back pain and no energy. In my mid 40s I feel much healthier now than I ever did then. Through whatever form of exercise I choose that morning I sip on some water to keep myself hydrated.
Once done the workout I am ready for a little reward and take the time to make my own London Fog. I prep a bowl of fruit and some yogurt for breakfast. As I sit down to eat my breakfast I grab a book to read while eat. Again, with the brain-use it or lose it. I believe we have to challenge our brains for it to stay fit. Reading is a simple yet pleasurable option.
So you might be thinking -chant, meditate, fresh air, gratitude journal, tea, yoga, workout, breakfast, read-I can’t fit all that in. First, I would say, ‘Of course you can’. My whole morning ritual can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the time I have and my motivation that day. Start with small amounts of time for each activity. Secondly, you don’t have to choose every action I take. Start with a handful that most interest you or choose some of your own.
In my experience, morning rituals set the stage for a positive day. The best part of my morning ritual is it is available to everyone. It doesn’t cost money, can be adapted to all ages and abilities, can be done in any home and with whatever time you have.
What does your morning look like? I would love to hear fun, positive ways others start their days. Whatever your morning looks like I hope you are able to make a great day. Namaste.