Many of us consider morning routines to be a luxury for the self-employed, people without children or those that don’t have to work a normal 9-5 job. It can sometimes feel a little unrealistic for many of us to take time out of our mornings and incorporate self-care practices for ourselves before we begin our day. At our 200 hour Vinyasa and Yin Yoga Teacher Training we value the sacredness of the mornings; practicing silence until after our morning pranayama and vinyasa practice, refraining from using technology and eating breakfast in silence to mindfully appreciate and acknowledge what we are putting into our body.
This blog will give you some simple ideas on how to incorporate the stillness and mindfulness of a yoga retreat into your daily mornings, with tips on how to set yourself up for the day and ultimately change your mindset and outlook on life.
Any good morning routine starts the night before.
Setting ourselves up for a good sleep is the best way to ensure we are fresh in the morning and ready to take on the new day. There are a few really good ways to get yourself relaxed and ready for bed that don’t take too much time or effort and can have a great effect on your quality of sleep:
Switch off your phone at least an hour before bed
This is a great way to disconnect your mind and get yourself into a relaxed state. When we scroll through social media, we are bombarding ourselves with information, emotions and tuning our body into our para-sympathetic nervous system. Taking the time to disconnect one hour before we go to bed can have a huge impact on our quality of sleep and how we feel in the morning when we wake up.
Invest in an alarm clock
Leaving your phone outside your bedroom removes the urge to check your social media if you wake up during the night, it also removes the temptation to check your phone immediately when you wake up. First thing in the morning we are extremely impressionable; our mood can be shifted almost immediately so it’s important to have some time in the morning for ourselves before we engage in social media or respond to the needs of other people. Leaving your phone outside of your bedroom will help you to start the day focused solely on yourself and give you time to be present and focused on the day ahead. If you don’t have an alarm clock, simply putting your phone on the opposite side of the room and turning it to do not disturb is just as effective.
Set your alarm at least one hour earlier than usual
A morning routine doesn’t need to be long; it can be anywhere between 10 minutes to 2 hours depending on your time-frame. Setting your alarm even just one hour earlier can give you the time to have few moments to incorporate some self-care practices into your morning and ease yourself into your day.
What are some practices that you can incorporate into your morning routine?
Research suggests that mediating first thing in the morning is the most effective way to shift your mindset and have a more positive and productive day. If you are new to meditation start slowly with a 5-minute session, then as you become more comfortable with the practice you can slowly add more time. Guided meditations are also a great way to start, you can find lots of free options on YouTube and Spotify by searching “guided morning meditations” or “meditation for positivity” etc.
When beginning a meditation practice, it is sometimes helpful to use mantras or music, Meditative Mind on YouTube and Spotify is a great resource with lots of different playlists, and music to choose from. Once you find a style that you like, go easy on yourself, be patient and try to remind yourself that it is a practice and it is completely normal for you to lose focus or for your mind to wander.
Writing out a list of things you are grateful for everyday is a powerful way to shift your mindset and to bring more positivity in your life. When we are in a state of gratitude it is almost impossible to feel any negative emotions; we become more present, empathetic, happy and calm. It boosts self-confidence, improves our relationships and actually attracts more positivity into our lives. To incorporate gratitude into your morning routine try writing out 5-10 things you are grateful for every day, it can be as simple as being grateful for the comfortable bed you have to sleep in, or the food you have in the fridge. It is so common for us to wake up in the morning and immediately think about our problems, our to-do lists or our relationships, when we settle the mind first thing in the morning into gratitude it can help put our lives into perspective and appreciate the things we do have, no matter how small they may be.
Getting our body moving first thing in the morning is a great way to boost serotonin, increase energy levels, balance out hormones and generally start the day on a positive note. Practicing yoga, going for a walk or run or doing a short home workout are all great ways to add movement into your morning routine. If you don’t have a regular yoga practice following a short morning sequence on YouTube or practicing a few sun salutations is a great way to start.
Taking the time to cook a beautiful nutritious meal is another great way to bring self-care practices into your morning routine. Food really is nourishment for the soul and when we take the extra time to prepare a meal and enjoy it without rushing or scrolling through our phone it can be a wonderful form or meditation. At Azadi Retreat breakfast is a sacred time where we practice silence and really take the time to appreciate and enjoy the food we are eating.
A morning routine no matter how small can spark great positive changes in our lives. Taking a few moments in the morning for self-care and reflection can have an enormous impact on your physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. In our 200hr Teacher Training we establish morning routines and practices that you can carry over into your daily life. We wake up at 6am, practice pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation and vinyasa in silence, we then eat breakfast together honoring the silence until we begin our daily classes. Our 28-day retreat is one of the best yoga teacher trainings in Bali offering an all-inclusive experience and immersion into yoga, meditation, pranayama and philosophy. For more information on how to join us visit www.inneryogatraining.com or email us at [email protected]