A morning routine has the power to ground you, uplift you and give you clarity and focus for the day ahead. Below are my top morning rituals which are simple in their nature and designed to help you start your day off right.
Meditate the Morning Brain Fog Away
Before you let the busy world in by turning on your phone, computer, radio or TV, get up early before the rest of your household and take five minutes to sit in silence and just be present in the moment. This will help to clear your mind and slowly awaken all your senses in the morning.
Having a dedicated serene sacred space at home is important, as it’s the spiritual root of your daily practice – you are more likely to turn up to your practice if you surround yourself with the things you love such as your favourite blankets, crystals and incense.
Conscious Ritual: cleanse and wake the body with an activating cold shower
Before your shower, dry brush your body for 10 minutes with a natural sisal hand brush, brushing with energetic strokes, starting with the feet in an upward motion towards the heart. Once done, have your usual shower but for the last 20 seconds, adjust the water from warm to cold.
This will immediately activate your body by giving your circulation a boost and overtime, it will strengthen your immune system and make you more resilient.
Yes, it is a shock to the system, but it increases your oxygen intake, which in turn causes your heart to beat faster and releases a rush of blood through your entire body which provides a natural energy high!
Greet the Day with Yoga
Once your mind is clear and open to the new day ahead, get your body aligned with your head. Practicing yoga in the morning is a great way to start your day as it opens and awakens the body and releases endorphins into the bloodstream, which act as a natural mood enhancer.
I always find the time to practice 5-10 rounds of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) in the morning. I love to practice on my bright green planet-friendly Liforme yoga mat.
Invigorate your Senses with Essential Oils
Scent has a tremendous effect on our emotions. Surround yourself with uplifting aromas that you associate with energy or happiness. I love to diffuse doTerra essential oils first thing and my favourite at the moment is a citrus blend called Cheer. Other oils you may find helpful are lemon and rosemary (known for promoting focus) or joyful and uplifting oils such as wild orange and peppermint. Balance is another favourite, made from tree´s & roots, this blend is all about grounding you for the day ahead.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
A good night’s sleep is key to feeling refreshed and motivated in the morning. When we feel tired and groggy it can be even harder to stick to a healthy routine. A good way to wind down after a busy day is to practice Yoga Nidra.
Yoga Nidra or ‘yogic sleep’ is an incredibly powerful practice that aims to induce a state of consciousness between sleeping and waking to support overall good health and the body’s natural healing process. Its a practice that anyone can do and you cannot practice Yoga Nidra incorrectly. There are no postures involved as the practice is taken lying down and you follow the voice that is guiding you.
You can find some good app´s for a guided nidra such as HeadSpace and Calm. Alternatively, if you are looking for classes I teach Hatha Yoga, Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra at my studio in Bristol and online, so you can practice from the comfort of your own home.
On Sunday 21st March I will be hosting a Spring Equinox Workshop alongside Jean Foley from Wild Heart Yoga of Hatha, Yin Yoga and Nidra to celebrate the light, growth and energy that comes with Spring! To book your mat space for this or any other class, please visit my website www.selinaratcliffe.com
Written by Selina Ratcliffe @selina_ratcliffe_yoga_flourish