The Magic of Morning Routines

Wake up, roll over, check your phone. Repeat. Blegh. This behavior leaves me feeling depressed, stagnant and uninspired. I found it very helpful to break this habit. (Deleting certain apps from my phone so I limited my access, plugging my phone in away from my bed or taking a digital detox entirely).

My morning routine keeps me sane and grounded. It keeps my anxiety at bay and my heart full. Here is a glimpse into my routine on an ideal day:

  1. Wake up after 8 or so hours of sleep.

  2. Head to the bathroom. Brush my teeth to eliminate any bacterial build-up that may have occurred overnight. (Tongue scraping is a great thing to do to remove bacteria as well! I don’t do this but it is for sure on my list to try.)

  3. Drink water. A bunch of water.

  4. Make my bed.

  5. Then I either lay on top of my freshly made bed because I have giant pillows I like to use as back support or I take it to my mat/meditation pillow.

  6. First comes 10 minutes of pranayama (breathing exercises). I use the InSight Timer App to provide me with some ambient music. I usually start with some deep belly breathing just to wake up, do some Ujayi and finish with 5 minutes of Nadishodna.

  7. Then I meditate. Since I am describing an ideal day here, I perform a Japa meditation. I grab my mala beads and take myself one trip around my malas using the mantra I was given by my teachers during my yoga teacher training at Kripalu. This is such a heart-full experience for me. Sometimes I use a guided meditation (check out some great ones here: link to medis). Otherwise, Headspace or the InSight Timer have a bunch of options. And somedays… I just need to sit in silence with nothing to do but be with myself. When I first got started, I took it to youtube. There is plenty of content. I spend about 10 minutes here.

  8. I like to seal my mediation with a quick, “spoken out loud” gratitude list. I talk to myself and bring to mind the things I am grateful for in this moment. Sometimes it’s that “I am done with my morning routine and now I can eat breakfast” and sometimes the list is long and brings me to tears.

  9. Then I do at least 10 minutes of yoga to one my playlists on Spotify (You can check out my Movement + Breath playlist here). Sometimes child’s pose consumes most of this time and others I have broken a sweat 5 minutes in. This is truly an exercise to listen to your body and what it needs today. No expectation. Every day is different.

  10. Last thing before breakfast - I get outside. I love walking in the sunshine, listening to the birds, a podcast, a playlist or calling my dad.

Start small. Choose one thing and build your way up. Make a commitment to yourself. While it’s nearly impossible and certainly not sustainable for most people (myself included) to be able to do all of these things every day, the whole point here is to be aware. To try. To see what works for you. Give some of these things a shot and form your own morning rituals. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you.