I personally love mornings! I see them as a reset button. Whatever happened yesterday, good or bad, becomes the past and I get to focus on the new and present. I look forward to rituals and the things I can do to jump start my day. Many don't have the luxury of 2 hour mornings to engage in ALL of the following rituals, but I know from experience that if I can at least get one or two of these in, I feel better! I like knowing that I did something good for my body/mind before chaos can creep into the day. Try incorporating a few into your morning when you have some quiet time, even if that means waking up 20 minutes earlier.
1.) Sun Salutations - Even performing just a few rounds of Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) will warm up the body and focus on expanding and smoothing out the breath. It's a great way to stretch out and move the body after lying still for (hopefully) 8 hours. The sequence of poses is a complete practice in itself and can be a time to set a strong intention for your day. It also prepares the body for our second ritual....
2.) Meditation - I still struggle with a consistent practice, but have full faith and belief in it's benefits. With meditation I breathe more freely and my mind doesn't become as easily attached to whatever comes up throughout the day. I never regret waking up early to sit and meditate, sometimes my mind just needs a little convincing to accomplish it before I go straight for the coffee... and before coffee..
3.) Oil Pulling - Oil pulling is a simple Ayurvedic method that involves swishing your choice of unrefined, high quality oil in your mouth to help pull toxins and improve oral and overall health. The reported benefits include whiter teeth, cavity and gingivitis prevention, alleviation of headaches and skin issues, and better breath. Coconut oil has the strongest antibacterial properties (and is the only oil I've tied) but you can use any other vegetable- based oil. Take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around for 20 mins. When finished, spit the oil in the trash and brush and floss as you normally would. Do this on an empty stomach and make sure not to swallow the oil. Not only will it taste like junk but you're ingesting the toxins that have been pulled out. Ick.
4.) Morning Pages - Morning pages is something I started doing whenI bought the book, The Artist's Way. They are three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream- of- consciousness. One of the main functions of this is to drain the brain and write down anything and everything that comes to mind. There is no wrong way to write morning pages, just keep writing them. My morning pages range from angry, repetitive, silly, negative, positive or grateful. Writing them regardless if I want to or what mood I am in helps me get beyond my Censor (that annoying babbling perfectionist and internal critic that whispers subversive remarks.) Logic brain quiets, creative brain emerges.
Do you have any daily rituals? I would love to hear how kick start your morning. Health, happiness & aloha!