How do you start your day off on the right foot? Do you use yoga to help you achieve the balance you need for the day? I suggest creating a wake up routine for yourself in order to experience the beginning of the new day you’ve been blessed. A routine will help you start your day in a way that is blissful and full of peace. Another important reason for creating a wake up routine is that the world is completely out of our control. The only things we can control are our own thoughts and actions. Therefore, giving yourself part of the day that’s completely for you can help in your quest for getting through every day sane and happy. Some tips for creating a wake up routine:

1. Focus on the habits you want to establish. If you don’t feel like putting them into habit you won’t. Be sure you know why you are doing what you’re doing in the morning so that you feel it is worth your time to do so.

2. Put into action the things you ENJOY doing! For me, this is having a cup of tea, some oatmeal, a bit of yoga, running, and quiet time. I love all of these things and therefore, they are easy to wake up and do. If you are forcing yourself to do something you hate, maybe it’s time you reconsider why you’re forcing yourself to do something in the first place. It is true that there are things in life we have to do, even if we don’t enjoy them. But this morning time is for you, so remember that. Seriously consider all the things already taking up your time and ponder how necessary they truly are.

3. Consider waking up about 20 minutes before the sun but be sure to do so in a calm, relaxed manner. When I have to wake up to darkness to do something other than relax or take in the still-cool air, I don’t really enjoy this. This can be very difficult for some people, especially night owls. But science has proven that our brains are sharpest in the mornings and that if you wake up at the same time every day, and go to bed at relatively the same time every night, you will not feel tired. Furthermore, according to Ayurveda, vata energy fills the air in the time before the sun rises. Vata is known for movement so this is the best time to wake up your body. Then, you can also be awake when the energy changes from vata to kapha (muscle energy) with the sunrise. When this transition happens, your body is already awake and present, allowing you to make that transition easily. However, waking up before dawn doesn’t just happen. Ease your body into it so you can enjoy it. For a week, go to bed a half an hour earlier and wake up a half an hour earlier. Each week you can progress, changing your sleep schedule to allow yourself to wake up comfortably before dawn.

3. Ayurveda (and modern science) also says that whatever you put into your body at the beginning of the day will set the tone for the rest of it. Thus, it is a good idea to drink a glass of lukewarm water with a slice of lemon or lime in it at the beginning of each day. The lukewarm water gets your digestive fires going and the lemons and limes are full of vitamins and minerals that can help flush out toxins in the digestive tract.

4. If you don’t already, get in the habit of eating breakfast every day. This is not to be underestimated. Break-fast describes exactly what you’re doing: breaking the fast of the night. If you are someone who just cannot stomach breakfast in the morning, start small. You don’t need 4 eggs, hashbrowns, and bacon. Start with a piece of fruit. Take it easy but eventually try to get yourself to eat a little bit more in the mornings if you don’t already.

5. Try to exercise in the morning. One of my favorite running quotes is “I run in the morning before my brain tells me not to.” I don’t remember who said this but this is extremely apt. Even though I love to run, as the day wears on, I get tired, as do most people. It is really difficult for me to get myself to seriously work out at night. Also, in the morning your core body temperature is lower than at the end of the day and your heart rate is also lower, making perceived effort less.

6. A thought about habits: Work on one habit at a time. If you bombard yourself with 5 different habits you want to adopt NOW, you’re bound to fail. Take it one at a time. It takes about 13 weeks to fully establish a habit. I like to keep a little journal of my progress. Check off every day that you do said habit for 13 weeks. If you miss a day, you start over. This is the clincher. The prospect of having to start over with all my hard work motivates me to do that action every day.

Other things you can consider adopting into your morning routine, depending on what appeals to you:  reading, meditation, sitting outside enjoying the quiet, writing, getting a creative flow going with whatever it is you do creatively, taking photos, journaling, taking a walk, reading your blogs, updating your own blog. Notice how all these things are probably enjoyable to many people. I didn’t say check your email, pay your bills, clean your bathroom, get on your cell phone, do exercise you hate but do anyway, listen to loud music. The sanctity of the morning revolves around the fact that it can be all about you and it is quieter than any other time of the day you may be awake. Revel in this and appreciate the morning for what it is: wonderful!

What morning rituals do you participate in? What do you do in the morning that helps you keep your cool throughout the day? Why do you LOVE the morning?

Namaste. Jenna

photo via Niffty