Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. Yoga embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help us deal with climate change and in bettering our well being.” – Prime Minister Modi
Each year, many events take place to mark the day, but due to the pandemic, most practitioners will celebrate at home. To help get you in the mood, we outlined a healthy morning routine below! It can feel intimidating at first, but the best way to make a morning routine is to start slow and be picky. Use a combination of any of the following to piece together your very own intentional AM routine.
1. Start your day with warm lemon water
If you do nothing else, at least drink the water! The benefits of this habit will show on your glowing skin – and go even deeper. This one habit can enhance mood, boost your immune system, detox your system, balance PH levels, promote healing, freshen breath, and energize you. Note: it’s important to boil the water then let it cool down to a warm drinking temperature.
2. Move your body
Here is where body and breath connection comes into action. It’s easy to forget that yoga doesn’t always need to look like a sweaty 90 minute power flow. I love a 10 minute stretchy flow first thing in the morning to get into my body and shimmy out the stiffness of a good night’s sleep. If you can get out of bed and roll out your mat, you’re setting yourself up for success. Bonus points if you can get outside and salute the sun in the sunshine!
Start with taking an inventory of your body. Are you stiff? Is your breath shallow? Could you sit taller and take up more space? Then begin to breathe deeply and move with intention. My go-to morning flow looks like easy seated twists, side stretches, wrists, cat/cow, and some scapula movement. This 10 minute neck and shoulders flow is the perfect way to work yoga into your wake up routine.
Mantras are words or sounds repeated to help aid meditation. Affirmations encourage positive thinking and self empowerment and start with “I am.” Focus on a positive thought and repeat it, write it down, and keep it in the forefront of our mind during your morning routine. Check out Sisters of Yoga Collective, Nicole Calhoun, and Yogi Bella from the Black yoga community for some major mantra inspiration!
Stream of consciousness journaling (simply keeping pen to paper for a *timed* 5 minutes) is my go-to these days. With the ebb and flow of the current world and so many emotions running through me, putting pen to paper feels like an exhale. It’s not always as easy as it sounds, and there are so many ways to get into journaling.
Invest in 90 days of guided morning and night journaling with this easy-to-use journal. Instead of scrolling first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, spend a few minutes reflecting.
This is a great intermediate guided journal with various activities and thought provoking prompts.
Meditating can seem really intimidating. During my Yoga Teacher Training, I learned that meditation doesn’t look the same for everyone, and a personal daily meditation can look different from day-to-day. At YTT, we meditated daily to start each morning but positioning was yogi’s choice. I suddenly didn’t have to sit straight up with double lotus legs, eyes closed, first finger and thumb connected. I could prop my hips up high, sit tall against a wall or even lay flat on my back. Meditation is about becoming still and turning inward and much like your morning routine – it is yogi’s choice.
If you ask me, International Day of Yoga is the perfect time to start journaling or getting a morning yoga routine down. A sun salutation (or 108 sun salutations) is also a common way to celebrate. How are you honoring the yoga practice today?