How I managed to wake up early and start my day effectively, although I’m not an early mornings fan!
I bet you’ve heard the endless advises that encourage individuals who aspire to be highly productive and more efficient, to beat the sun and wake up early. Further more, I once read that if you meditate daily upon sunrise and sunset, you’ll become enlightened. So, I committed to that practice for more than two years. I would wake up before sunrise and enjoy gazing upon the horizon and the rising sun. To tell you the truth, apart from the amazing sunrise views and the peaceful mornings’ breeze, I never really liked waking up early. I never felt energized, even if I slept enough hours. I tried my best to make it a productive time but honestly it always took me hours after opening my eyes to feel really awake and become a functional person. So, when I left the house with the sunrise view, I got distracted and that habit was also forgotten!
After becoming a mother, I had to get back to waking up early and adapting to an effective morning routine. This time I came back armored with the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, a whole new understanding of my mind-body nature and the natural daily rhythms. I understood that when I wake up I actually needed time or the right techniques to warm me up and allow my body to cultivate enough heat so I kick start my day early. Failing to warm up the body fast is actually what used to cost me hours before becoming functional.
According to Ayurveda morning hours between 6 and 10 are the heavy earth element hours, and the energy during this time of the day is usually stagnant, static, and downward which will not help you to get up in an easy way. You might feel blocked, uneasy and heavy. This might apply in particular over the weekends when you may go to bed later than your normal hours and stay in bed a bit longer in the morning. People with a dominant earth element in their mind-body constitution or what we call Kapha dosha might be experiencing this on a more consistent basis.
So if you’re like me, you’re not born as a natural morning person, yet you know the benefits of waking up early and starting your day with a fresh and focused mind, here are seven practices that allowed me to benefit most of my morning hours and not only wake up early, but also start my days effectively with full power:
1 – Sleep early to wake up early.
It’s definitely a struggle to wake up early if you don’t get enough restful sleeping hours. Aiming to sleep 8 hours a night, I try to be in bed around 10 pm and wake up around 6 am in the morning.
2- Morning breath and meditation.
Since the struggle is to get going and awaken the body and mind, what’s better than few invigorating breaths to pump up life, power and announce the beginning of a new day? I start with some deep belly breathing before I move to a more invigorating techniques like rhythmic or fire breath. After few minutes and when I’m sure I have inhaled enough oxygen to awaken me, I move into my meditation practice — or else my meditation time will turn into a snoozing back to sleep time.
3- From meditation to visualization and intention setting.
With eyes still closed, I connect with my purpose and intentions for the day as I visualize my day unfolding. This allows me to focus my mind and charge it with excitement for the new day’s plans ahead.
After getting up, I drink a big glass of water to signal my physiology to eliminate toxins. Sometimes I add lemon or ginger to my water for extra heat, specially on cold days.
5- My Ayurvedic morning routine.
It’s now time to liquefy and remove old stagnant energy from the body by emptying the bladder and the bowels, brushing the teeth, cleaning the mouth with oil pulling and scrapping the tongue. Rinsing the nasal passages by a neti pot is a potent remover to any blockages, as prana (life-force) is carried on the breath, so when the breath is more free, the mind is more free.
6- Get moving to create some heat.
Moderate morning exercise to further help digest and move old energy from the systems, also to charging the body with fresh fuel for the new day.
7- Breaking the fast and a morning dose of nootropics
At this point, normally, you have enough heat and digestive fire to take in new nutrition. Only then, you could have a mindful morning meal, with coffee and/or green tea, few supplements of multiple vitamins, fish oil, Ginko Biloba, ginseng, etc .. to start your day well-nourished and highly supported.