HELLO GOOD VIBE SOULS,
Here are 5 steps to the perfect morning ritual. The real golden nugget in this one is step #5. Therefore, note to the quick skimmer of online reads (like myself): Whatever you do, do not skip #5.
WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR LAST ALARM
Wake up 5 to 15 minutes earlier than you need to get up and sit quietly with your eyes closed for a moment. For those of you saying I’d rather use the extra 5 to 15 minutes to snooze, trust that some juicy intention setting and movement can kickstart your day better than any subpar, half-awake, in-between-alarms sleep. As with most things, don’t knock it before you try it.
SET AN INTENTION FOR THE DAY
While still laying in bed, set an intention for your day. To find your intention, scan your whole self and pinpoint what will best serve you today (i.e. peace, self-love, kindness, patience, etc.).
ADD IN SOME MOVEMENT
The best thing to keep in mind when it comes to stretches to do first thing in the morning is to keep it simple and natural (especially if the goal is to be consistent).
Your body’s needs can change from day to day, so the best way to stretch in the morning is to move in the way your body needs in that moment. Before getting up while still laying in the bed, scan your body. How do you feel? Where may you be aching, feeling stagnant? Stretch into those places. Let your body move intuitively and trust that this is exactly what you need. Taking this “listen & trust” approach to morning stretches is the best way to start off any day.
Below is a gentle full body stretch, waking up all parts of the body: the toes, feet, ankles, calves, thighs, hips, side body, back, arms, fingers, shoulders, neck. All while feeling so natural and simple. Doesn’t get any better than that!
GENTLE IN-BED YOGA SEQUENCE
- SCAN AND BREATHE: While still lying down on your back, scan your body. Take note of how you are right now. Noticing each part of your body, noticing your breath and how it feels naturally. Then get ready for a deep breath: take a deep breath in and a deep breath out, noticing how your belly rises and lowers.
- PENCIL STRETCH: Breathe in as you reach your arms overhead by your ears and flex your feet then reach your heels towards the foot of the bed. Reach yourself into both directions. Then as you exhale, bring your hands back down by your sides relaxing your legs (either rainbow your arms or make angel wings down by your sides). Take a few breaths repeating this movement. You can alternate flexing and pointing your toes on each inhale if you’d like.
- SUPINE TWIST: Bring both knees in towards your chest and grab onto your knees. Allow both knees to fall over to the left side. Send your gaze over your right should giving your spine a sweet twist. Stay here for a few breaths then bring your knees back to the center then allow them to fall over to the other side. Breathe here. Then return your knees back to your chest.
- HAPPY BABY: Bring your knees wide in towards your side ribs for happy baby pose to stretch into the thighs. Grab on to the back of your thighs and rock yourself up to a seat.
- SIDE BEND STRETCH: Once seated, place your right hand down by your side. Inhale as you reach your left arm up and exhale as you lean over towards the right to take a side stretch along the left side of your body. Breathe here, each exhale taking you deeper into the side stretch. Then come back up to a seat and repeat on the other side.
- UPWARD SALUTE: Interlace your fingers in front of you and stretch your palms towards the ceiling.
- NECK ROLLS: Get in some neck rolls. Inhale bring your ear to your right shoulder and Exhale roll your chin towards your chest. Then inhale continuing to rotate your neck until your left ear goes towards your left shoulder. Repeat for a few breaths.
- You should be at a comfortable seat from here to begin a short meditation sesh.
VISUALIZE YOUR DAY
Visualize what your day will look like if it went exactly the way you want it to go. Imagine what your facial expression will look like as you interact with others. Are you smiling? Laughing? Imagine how you will feel like at the end of the day. Accomplished? Satisfied? Well rested? Whatever you chose as your intention, carry that with you, revisiting it throughout the day.
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
The ritual above is what jolts my spirit, but remember: This is YOUR morning and YOUR ritual. Do whatever works for YOU! Music, candles, journal, prayer, dance, 5-minute headstands – the exact “what” isn’t as important. Let your ritual include whatever is needed to serve you! The key is to be consistent, committing to the time and the process. The easiest way to keep up the good work is to make sure it is YOUR good work.
During the FREE LIVE Sunday Slowdown tomorrow at 10am, I will play through my AM ritual with y’all. Follow me on Facebook so you can be notified as soon as I go live. If you are reading this after 3/18/2018, check out the video recording.