Whether you are a night owl or a lark, mixing a little mindfulness practice into your morning is a great way to start the day. We plan when we wake up, why not plan how we wake up?
Every morning is a fresh opportunity to experiment with a little neuroplasticity. Because the mind tends to be quieter first thing in the morning, most people find it easier to practice at this time. On the flip side, if you are someone who naturally wakes up on high alert or is going through a stressful period, practicing in the morning can help break the anxious cycle.
The pushback I get when recommending this is usually lack of time. There is a zen proverb that goes something like “If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour, meditate for two.” Though I love the gist of this, I also understand what it is like to have a screaming toddler banging down your door (who also happens to be a lark like his mama….)
Here a a few ideas on how to begin the day mindfully, right in the comfort of your own bed:
-Read and Rehydrate: Keep a bottle of water and an inspirational book next to your bed. Set your alarm earlier than you usually do. As soon as you wake, prop some pillows to read and sip. You’ll start the day with the two things your brain needs most: water and positive thinking.
-App It Up: There are some excellent meditation apps available, and many for free. Download one to play as soon as you wake. Earbuds are helpful if you are sleeping with a partner, and sitting up can be helpful to keep you from falling back asleep.
-Yawn and Do Yoga: Take that instinctual morning stretch a step further and hit a few yoga poses before your feet hit the floor. Pull your knees in towards your chest and curl up like a ball to stretch your back, take a spinal twist to either side, then flip over and hit child’s pose. Take deep full breaths as you move. If you sleep with a partner you may want to take your mini practice to the floor or, better yet, have them join in!
For more ideas head over to the Joyful Gym Rat page on Facebook!