I’m the queen of morning routines. No, really – I am! I used to be a total night owl, but once I began studying Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science, and once I became more attuned to the rhythms of nature, I realized that the way of the lark was the way to go – in terms of productivity and a real sense of connection to the natural world, which I believe is essential to living a more stress-free life.
I find that if I set into place some really good morning habits, then by the end of the day I feel good about what was accomplished.
However, I know that for many of you, taking time out for yourself in the morning is a far off fantasy. Once the alarm goes off you’re in go-mode – whether it’s with your daily commute or feeding and shoveling those little munchkins off to school.
Because reality too often dictates otherwise, we can create a short but effective morning routine by using 1Hour Break® to calm the nerves (if you’re one of those people whose stress hormones begin flowing at dawn) while also supporting one essential and sacred morning ritual.
RPM: Rise, pee, meditate
A monk friend of mine taught me: RPM. Rise, pee, meditate. His Buddhist teacher taught him that the best way to dedicate yourself to a meditation practice is to do it first thing in the morning.
So, here’s what I want all of us to try. Tomorrow morning, as soon as you get up, use the bathroom, then make yourself a large glass of warm water and your favorite cup of coffee or tea, and go straight to a place in your home where you can sit quietly for five minutes. You can set the timer on your phone for five minutes or however long you have. Even three minutes is better than nothing.
Sit down comfortably, get relaxed with 1Hour Break®
Sit cross-legged on a pillow or cushion or in a straight-back chair. With a straight spine, place your hands on your thighs.
Have your bottle of 1Hour break® nearby and mindfully spray it beneath your tongue. You can experiment with the quantity. Three sprays in the morning typically works for me but by all means take more if you need it.
Pay attention to the inhale and exhale of your breath
Now close your eyes and really feel into a sense of calm as you release any tension you may be holding in your body, and/or in your mind.
Next, begin to focus your attention on your exhale, while also remaining aware of your environment and all the sensations in your body.
As the air goes in through your mouth and out through your nose, simply be with it. Now place your attention on both the inhale and the exhale. Notice the sensation of simply breathing. Feel your body relax.
Say to yourself "thinking" when thoughts come to mind
As a thought or wave of thoughts pop into your mind, simply label them “thinking.” Then return your attention to the inhale and exhale.
Your thoughts are not good or bad, they are just thoughts. So again, when one arises, say to yourself, “thinking.” When the timer goes off, you’re ready to get on with your day.
This is a basic mindfulness meditation practice. It’s simple and a very good place to begin integrating 1Hour Break® and meditation into your morning routine.
Take this sense of calm into your day and know that you can return to it whenever and wherever you are. That’s the beauty of the practice, and the beauty of 1Hour Break®. They are with you always.