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The Power of the Morning Routine

Updated: Jul 22, 2021

Knowing the risk of sounding overly dramatic here, I can truly say that morning routines have changed my life. When I started making space in my morning for health practices, I started feeling more grounded, connected, and like I had more energy to go about my day. Here I'm going to share my personal morning routine, but I highly encourage you all to experiment with what works for you!


In a dream world, I would be able to do all of these things every morning. One of the silver linings of the pandemic starting last year was that I found more time to develop these practices. That being said, if I have limited time, I pick one or two. After a while, I've gotten so that leaving the house without meditating feels like I've left without brushing my teeth!


1. Water

After our bodies have been without water for (hopefully) at least 8 hours, we need to rehydrate! If you keep a water bottle on your nightstand with 8-16 oz of water for the morning, your body will thank you for waking up and rehydrating. It's also great for people suffering from constipation because as they say, water is nature's lubricant!



2. Oil Pulling and Tongue Scraping

This is one of the Ayurvedic practices that I learned when I did Panchakarma (an Ayurvedic detox program) in Nepal in 2019. Oil Pulling is now a daily practice for me and I feel like I can't start my day without it! A more in-depth detailing of some Ayurvedic practices will come later, but for now here's a quick run-though of my favorite practice.


First, put a teaspoon or so of oil such as coconut or sunflower in your mouth and start swooshing, chomping, moving it around. This can feel uncomfortable at first, but you'll get used to it! You can do other things to maximize time like journaling or emptying the dishwasher. Ideally you do it for at least 5 minutes, and you can work up to 20. In Ayurveda, there is a huge emphasis on our digestion and keeping our body free of toxins. With our mouth being one end of our digestive tract, toxins can end up there! In oil pulling, the oil adheres to the toxins, and then you can scrape them off your tongue and remove them from your body.


After swooshing for 5 minutes minimum, spit the oil in the waste bin and scrape your tongue with a metal tongue scraper. Gargle some salt water or mouth wash to get rid of the rest of the oil, and go ahead and brush and floss as normal.


3. Meditation

After experimenting with various forms of meditation, I learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) in 2017 (you can learn more about it here: https://www.tm.org/homepage ), and felt like I had finally met my meditation match. Before learning TM I often felt like I was "failing" at meditating, or not doing it "well enough". In TM, you are given a mantra to work with that is yours for life, that you use for 20 minutes, ideally twice per day. I learned how to be ok with my mind wandering and to gently bring it back to my mantra with no judgement. With that, meditation went from being a chore that felt frustrating, to being much more enjoyable. That being said, I know some people do better with guided meditations, or just focusing on their breath for even as little as 3-5 minutes. Wherever you are at is ok, I just encourage you to experiment with a few different ways of meditation until you find something that feels good to you. Beginning with a few minutes of deep breathing with bringing your awareness to your breath is a great place to start.



4. Writing

While doing your oil pulling or brewing your coffee, try writing a few pages. No need to think about what you're writing or structure it in any way, just write what's on your mind. It can be a random jumble of thoughts bouncing around, how you're feeling about stressors in your life, your to-do list, or the crazy dreams you had the night before. This is what author Julia Cameron calls "Morning Pages" in her book "The Artist's Way". The words don't need to be legible, as this is not to share with anyone or even to look back on yourself. Ideally, you don't even lift your pen off the page, it's just a constant stream of thought. Over time, you'll get more and more connected with your inner world, and feel lighter to go about your day after emptying your thoughts onto paper.



5. Yoga or Movement

I would love to have time for a full hour of yoga every morning, but 5-10 minutes is more realistic most days. Try to intuitively move in a way that feels good for your body like doing a short yoga video online, or put your favorite jam on and dance. This will help you connect with your body and help it to wake up for the day.



6. Sitting for a Peaceful Breakfast

Check in with your body and ask it what it wants for breakfast. Eggs? A warm bowl of oatmeal? A smoothie? Take 5 minutes to sit and just enjoy your food. Eating in a peaceful and quiet environment will help your body to digest properly and give you one final quiet moment before the day begins!




Now you can go about your day feeling more connected, grounded and with energy to get after your goals. Try a few out and let me know what you think! Shoot me a note about your experience and what your must-dos are before you dive into your day, I would love to hear.


Much love,

Anya





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