Doing It in the Morning.
by Joe Cachey www.yogijoe.com
Recently, I’ve spoken with too many people who aren’t doing it in the morning. As a result they’re missing a little bounce in their step, they’re not as happy as they know they could be, they just don’t have what it takes to get through the day with a smile on their face and joy in their heart. Most people want to do it but “life” keeps getting in the way.
Of course I’m talking about morning sadhana, a yogic and meditative morning practice. A study published in this month’s Biological Psychiatrydemonstrated that regular and brief meditation physically changes the brain and reduces the body’s chemical reaction to stress . . . even four months after the test subjects stopped practicing! So why aren’t more of us starting our day by breathing, moving and being?
People I encounter have the desire but not the discipline. They wake up and bolt to the smart phone or an awaiting family to care for. They believe they don’t have time to do something for themselves at the beginning of the day. The perception is that once we open our eyes time is running. Truth be told, time doesn’t run – it walks at an even, steady pace. What runs is our thinking and that’s why the a.m. is the perfect time to develop and maintain some mind control with the benefits lasting throughout the day.
But how do we begin?
My experience has lead me to create a morning routine that leaves little space for any decision making. The night before, I set my alarm not giving myself the option to hit the snooze button in the morning. Once I have my feet on the floor, I hit the bathroom, drink a glass of water and start my morning practice. I’m not fancy. I don’t have a special room or special clothes but I do know what I’m going to do beforehand and have my mat/cushion and my timer laid out, ready to go. No decisions to make, no choices to block my path. I just get up and do it.
My practice varies over the course of the year and always includes three minutes of pranayam (deep breathing), ten minutes of asanas (stretching) and five minutes of meditation. Actually, it’s a lot like a mini kundalini yoga class. The breathing detoxes the body and energizes the brain. The asanas open up a body that has grown tight over night. The meditation allows us to understand our mind, develop mindfulness, and start controlling our mental state.
That’s it . . . just 20 minutes and you’re ready to move through the day with grace, confidence and ease. I’m asked, “But how do I find the time?” First, take an inventory of the first hour of your day. Be honest and write down everything you do even if it only “takes a minute.” Those minutes add up and they usually expand into five and 10 minute chunks. Now from that first hour peel away anything that can wait for the first half hour of your day. Do you really need to look at emails or check in with Facebook first thing? Or are you someone who gets up and rushes out the door? If so, I have good news. There’s a simple solution to that predicament . . . set your alarm for a half an hour earlier.
The beauty of a morning practice includes being kind to ourselves first thing, developing discipline around our practice and arranging our life so we can practice, and noticing the benefits later in the day. Don’t wait, the perfect time or circumstance never arrives. Start now . . . do it in the morning and feel fine all day long!
To learn more about establishing a morning practice contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org