What is your Morning Routine? All the well-being gurus recommend some ‘extremely beneficial ones’ to us, but it’s not only them that have their hands in the cookie jar. Influential people in the fields of business, politics and show-business also share in full on how having a successful morning routine allowed them to improve their efficiency, concentration and serenity throughout their days. But what does yoga say about it?
I’m not going to be talking about the 300+ routines that celebrities have published on sites like morningroutine.com or the Miracle Morning book! How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired! Moreover, I will share about what the philosophy of yoga and Ayurveda teach us about this special moment of time that is the first hours of the morning for a day in perfect physical and mental balance.
First of all, from a general point of view, why do we recommend adhering to a “morning routine”?
First and foremost it’s about creating a moment for yourself when everyone is still asleep. This moment can make for a smoother transition during the day and help you stay on the positive overall. The main benefits being making the time to do what you love, then moving forward towards a more relaxed day through planning it efficiently. We are then satisfied with ourselves and suddenly the day starts off on a positive note that is likely to dictate the tone of the rest of it.
So what does yoga say about morning routines? The energies of the early morning, between 4am and 6am, are softer, quieter and purer. Indeed, the life around us is still at rest just like our mind is. Yoga recommends starting with a meditation – as our mind is still calm after a good night’s restful sleep, it makes it easier to connect to our inner selves and thus enter into communication with our soul and, for believers in it, with the divine.
After an early meditation routine, or even before it according to some yoga teachers, it is recommended to do some yoga postures that allow, in turn, for our body to wake up gently, as well as stretch to circulate our prana, our vital energy. The famous sun salutation is ideal for setting our whole being in motion in the early morning and as part of our morning routine.
Ayurveda, the medical branch of yoga, recommends a series of practices for a morning routine that are commonly known as Dinacharya. They are a way of cleansing the body, much like brushing our teeth, scraping our tongues to remove the toxins, washing our faces, and especially the eyes, cleaning them up with concoctions, as well as drinking a glass of warm water prepared the day before. It is a recommended morning routine to help moisturize the sinuses, clean the ears and get a self-massage with vegetal oil, called Abhyanga, and finish off with a bath or shower.
I dare say it – If our body is healthy and balanced, we will also relieve our intestines in the early hours, allowing us to start the day light! Breakfast, contrary to some modern recommendations, should be light as to respect the slow pace our body is in and is ideally not to be consumed before 8 or 9am.
As you probably caught wind of, I am obviously inspired by yoga and Ayurveda rather than the ‘teachings’ of Richard Branson or Tim Cook, even if they would allow me to become rich and not only to have a good balance of life… In short, I wake up very early, usually before 6 am, I practice a part of the Dinacharya, a part as indeed the full flesh is quite demanding, then I do some breathing exercises to calm my mind and center myself before my morning meditation and finish off with 6 cycles of the sun salutation. This richness is better than any material one those idols offer.
It is with a beautiful, positive and serene energy that I wake up my children. With soft words and kisses I get to gift of their joyous smiles and endearing hugs that fills my energy and day even more.
The most difficult thing is the awakening, once this challenge is overcome, it is only happiness that follows for the rest of the day.
I invite you to join me at my Zen for Monday wellness workshop to learn all the techniques that the beautiful sciences of yoga and Ayurveda teach us for a bit more Zen and a much richer life, or should I say, richer in energy!