“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.” ~ Joseph Campbell
Over the years I have realised that a good start to your morning sets the tone for the whole day. Am sure your mornings are busy, you have to rush to work, go for that 10 am meeting, get kids ready to school, pack their tiffins and so on. Calm down a second, why does it need to be such a rush? Make some time to have your own small ritual or time devoted solely for yourself to cleanse your mind, body and spirit, even if it’s for 20-30 minutes. You must remember that soul work is more important than accumulating possessions or meeting deadlines.
I have listed few morning rituals which has made a positive impact on my life. Here’s to having a productive and a mindful day –
1) Nothing like Morning Yoga
“The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” ~ BKS Iyengar
Yoga is not just an exercise or a regular workout for the body, it touches all aspects of your health – from your physical body, to the emotional, mental and spiritual well being. You take great care of how you look before leaving your house for the day, imagine doing inner cleansing as well; it comes with long lasting benefits.
Since the time I have been practicing yoga and pranayama (its been over 5 years), apart from the physical benefits, I feel more grounded, calmer, focused, have developed a higher sense of self awareness and feel a deeper sense of connection with the universe.
A 20-minute practice of Surya Namaskar or few easy asanas or working on your chakras can build your productivity for the day. To complement your practice and get the maximum benefit, its best to do some breathing exercises as well.
Of course any form of physical activity (whichever you prefer) increases endurance, dissolve fatigue and daily stress, if followed regularly.
2) Oil Pulling for Oral Hygiene
An ancient Ayurveda technique that detoxifies and cleanses our body by pulling out harmful bacteria, fungus and other organisms from the mouth, teeth and gums. According to Ayurveda, each section of the tongue connects to different organs like the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs, spleen, pancreas, small intestines, stomach, colon, and spine.
When you swish the oil around the tongue, you effectively soothe and stimulate the key meridians of the body, and their corresponding organs.
I have been swishing for nearly a year (might have missed a few days here and there), with organic coconut oil and have noticed a considerable amount of difference overall. When my wisdom tooth was coming through the gum, I was in constant pain for like a day or two, during that time I swished for a longer time (20 mins) and my pain began to subside. Its a good practice as it has kept me away from a dentist.
If you are ok with the taste of oil in your mouth (coconut oil is tastier than sesame oil), then you can do oil pulling even while preparing breakfast or performing other morning chores. Make sure you spit out the oil after cleaning your mouth as it will be full of toxins, and also swish on an empty stomach.
3) Herbal Brew to Beat the Blues
A cup of lemongrass tea keeps me charged for a long time. Its like a wake up call for the brain, apart from being a great way to fight infections or flush out toxins in the morning.
Add few lemongrass leaves or stalks (has more flavour) to a cup of boiling water, wait for 10-15 minutes until the water turns green, then add a teaspoon of honey, and you’ve made a herbal tea that all can benefit from.
I also add few cuts of ginger, 4-5 leaves of holy basil to make it a healing concoction, or in case I am feeling under the weather. My 4-year old son enjoys this in the morning. Ginger is a powerful natural medicine that it finds itself not only in Ayurveda but also in the ancient Chinese medical texts.
We have been using Ginger to treat cough and cold. It has anti-nausea properties and is a digestive aid. Tulsi or holy basil is known to treat cold, coughs and flu, cleanses the respiratory tract of toxins and relieves digestive gas and bloating.
You can also add mint or squeeze few drops of lime to get a boost of immunity; lemon is also good for weight loss.
4) Morning Affirmations to Inspire you
I have been trying my best not to put the phone on or check messages as soon as I get off the bed, but instead look outside the window, tune in to chirping of the birds (who are very active since its mating period) and take few deep breaths. I also whisper few affirmations to my self before I start the day. So after you open your eyes to greet the new day, don’t jump out of bed; lay still for few minutes.
Affirmations are a good way to begin with, since your mind is just waking up, and what you do in those 5-10 minutes after you wake up determines your mood for the rest of the morning.
Affirmations are personal, so it depends on what resonates with you. This is what I use –
- I enter this day with an attitude of appreciation
- I am feeling healthy and strong today
- I am happy and content with my life
You can create your own affirmations depending on your situation in life or search online for it. The key is to make it into a habit so you notice the change in the way you think, because affirmations when done right can bring peace and clarity in your thoughts.
5) Expressing Gratitude will Correct your Attitude
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” ~ Zig Ziglar
Have you ever noticed, a simple ‘thank you’ can bring a smile on a stranger’s face who might have helped you with some task or absolutely anything. People feel happy when they are told few words of gratitude or appreciation, and one must follow this not only in the morning, but throughout the day.
Expressing gratitude is a simple yet a difficult gesture. We tend to take people for granted, and this can lead to resentment in the future. Find small ways to incorporate gratitude in your daily life and you will realise how happy it makes you feel as well.
What is your morning ritual like? Any suggestions to get your spirits high for the day, feel free to comment below.