Mornings lay the foundation for the rest of your day. Creating a positive morning routine helps accomplish more with less energy expended. Once done, everything starts falling into place without too much internal bickering of thoughts when your morning is steady.
It is also important to be mindful of what you put in your body. My mother (an Ayurvedic doctor) always sticks to her trick to drink hot water with lemon in the morning, ‘first thing you should drink when you wake up must hydrate your body, then go for your flat-white’ she would say. Detoxifying the mind and body fuels you up to accomplish any task you have at hand. Let’s fire up your mornings and read on for a better Morning Routine: 4 Ways to Give Yourself a Great Kick-Start!
1. Start with a Morning Yoga Stretch
Whether you have a yoga mat in the room, or you just want to stay in bed, doing some basic yoga postures first thing in the morning will definitely help awaken your body and mind. Push the curtains aside, let the sunshine through (or watch the rain splatter across the window if it’s a grey day!) and start your day with these stretches:
Cat-Cow Stretch – Tap into your energy with this spinal stretch. It involves arching and rounding the spine – just like a cat! Move gently along with the movement as you feel it in your body. Not only will this benefit your back but also set a firm foundation in the morning as you make your first moves!
Side Stretch in Easy Pose (Sukhasana) – Sit cross-legged and put your arms over your head. Gently extend the left arm towards the right, extending the left side of the body and repeat on the opposite side. It is a great stretch to activate the shoulders and oblique muscles. Feel the energy travelling from the crown of your head invigorating your whole body.
Child’s Pose – One of the most basic but effective poses in yoga. Tuck your knees and let the forehead touch the mat. This pose is a sign of humility. Two ways you can take the child’s pose are: first, an active child’s pose with your arms on the ground and palms facing upward. Second, a passive one with the arms extended, hands in prayer and reaching behind the back of the head.
2. Mindful Breathing or Pranayama
Breath is often neglected in modern, day to day life. Anxious thoughts are usually accompanied by rapid breathing. Take a moment to tune in to your breath. Sit outside on the balcony or open the windows to let the fresh air in. You can choose to close your eyes and breathe deep and slow with vigorous inhalations and exhalations. A tip is to count 5 (or 3 depending on capacity or preference) on the inhale, hold the breath and sigh it out on the exhale. Repeat as many times as your body craves it and this will improve lung capacity and boost circulation (by oxygenating the cells and removing free radicals).
3. Try Tea Meditation
A great way to detox the body and awaken your senses is to drink herbal tea. In addition, it is more beneficial to practice mindfulness whilst drinking the tea. It’s very simple – pick your favourite mug and choose an herbal tea (tulsi and cinnamon are great ones to boost metabolism). Then boil some water in the kettle. Mindfully indulge your five senses in this beautiful process! Hear the sound of the water boiling, smell the aroma of the tea leaves (or bag) in the water and then slowly sip the tea. Enjoy each sip at a time. See if you can even notice some patterns in the cup if you stir the tea gently. Enjoy the Zen calm moments of transparency and relaxation from stress and worries!
4. Set an Intention
A positive affirmation is the cherry on top of the cake to a great morning routine after you’ve done all the above.
Sit cross-legged on the ground or a chair and close your eyes. Try to envision what you would like to accomplish for the day. Start with little things. It could be running errands or working on an assignment. Focus on how you would like to feel while undertaking the task. Then say an affirmation out loud for example: ‘I expect this activity to succeed in a fun, creative way’ or, ‘I want my attention to be sharp and attentive to every detail so that I can develop my memory’. Now set off and do it and notice what your mind and brain does to help you.