Here at The Yoga Institute, we cannot overemphasise the benefits of yoga on your health and well-being. An integrated yoga practice extends far beyond the bounds of the mat and encompasses our moment by moment choices about they ways we treat ourselves and others. How we choose to start our days can have a big impact on the quality of our experience. We were recently featured in Bupa Life Insurance’s post on healthy morning rituals entitled, ‘Lifestyle Experts Share Their Healthy Morning Habits‘.
The article offers tips from Australia’s leading wellness experts on healthy ways to start your day. Quoting Michael, The Yoga Institute’s founder, Bupa said, ‘Michael de Manincor believes that a morning ritual that’s tailored to a person’s needs, aims, challenges, and circumstances will be the most effective. For him this means mindful, breath-centred movement of an integrated yoga practice for improved wellbeing.’
There are some more things that you can try to see if they help you have a more mindful rest of your day.
Try to wake up naturally if your schedule allows. Especially in the colder, darker months see if you can let some natural light into your bedroom so that you can awaken naturally with the sun. This lets your body’s natural circadian rhythms to come into effect, giving you more restful sleep so that you can wake refreshed. If your work schedule requires you to sleep at odd hours, invest in a natural light lamp that gradually grows in brightness as your time to wake up nears, mimicking the natural effects of the sun.
Throughout the night, your body processes the fluids in your body, so you need to replenish those fluids in the morning to fuel you into the rest of the day. Start off with a cup of warm water with lemon to hydrate your body and stimulate your digestive system. If you can’t miss your caffeine fix in the morning, have some water first. Coffee is delicious but caffeine can be dehydrating, so make sure to keep your fluid intake up throughout the day to counteract this drying effect.
As you are getting ready to go out for the day, take a look at yourself in the mirror and say something positive, like ‘I feel vibrant and alive today’, or ‘I am surrounded by good in my life’. By giving yourself this positive reinforcement in the morning, you are setting yourself up to be happier and more confident throughout the rest of the day. It may feel a bit silly at first, but less so as you start to notice the benefits in your daily life. Be sure to smile too while you are doing it.
But for the biggest impact we encourage you to make the time for a personalised morning practice even if it’s just 10 minutes. Get some advice on a sequence which incorporates mindful, breath-centred asanas (postures), pranayama (mindful breath practices) and meditation. Such a practice can have incredibly positive benefits on physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
These tips are so simple, but you’ll be amazed at the large effect they’ll have on your day. Each small change you make to your morning routine will be compounded and the positive benefits will continue to grow with each new change. Try it out for yourself and see.