I took some time last week to share with you my top 3 reasons for starting a morning practice! This week, I want to share with you a bit of my own journey with my morning practice. The reason this topic is so important to me is because the morning is perhaps the most sacred part of my day. It is the time that I really give myself to just sit - to sit with myself, breathe deeply, meditate and bring a greater awareness and intention into the start of my day.
As I think back to when I actually started a morning practice, I realize that it actually started when I was only 12 years old and I learned it from my dad. You see, every morning for as long back as I can remember, my father woke up at 4:30 a.m. to go jogging before getting ready for work. When I was 12 years old, I started to take a greater interest in my own health and decided to join him in his morning runs. I was only in 8th grade at the time, but I was so excited to start this practice that I would set my alarm clock to wake up at 4:30 every morning!
So, that was the start of my morning practice and it stuck! I can even recall that when I was in college, I would wake up at 7 a.m., when everyone else was still sleeping, and run laps around my campus! I loved starting my day like that! I loved breathing in the fresh air and bringing some movement into my body. I always said that running was like a meditation to me. Falling into that rhythmic movement of each step brought so much clarity and peace to my mind.
Then, in 2010, I took my first yoga teacher training program. As part of the program, we were required to meditate for 15 minutes a day. So, I began a new practice! Every morning, I sat down on the floor in my bedroom and set a timer for 15 minutes to meditate. Now, let me tell you, it was so hard for me in the beginning! I would sit for about 2 minutes and then glance at my watch, realizing that I still had 13 more minutes to go! So I would just close my eyes and go at it again! But, I found a very interesting thing happened after practicing this for awhile. I found that the days that I missed my meditation I didn't feel quite as balanced, like something just felt “off.” That is how I knew that the meditation was really doing something for me. It gave me a greater sense of calm, a greater sense of peace as I moved through my day. It was pretty subtle at first, because in the beginning, I only really noticed how I felt different on the days that I skipped my meditation.
Since that time, my morning practice has evolved quite a bit. Now, I easily spend up to an hour every morning just on my practices. I do a combination of different practices that include ayurvedic self-care, meditation, breathing, and movement. I can now really tune into my body, mind, and emotions and tailor the specifics of my morning practice to fit the needs of my body on that day.
Starting a conscious, meditative morning practice has quite literally changed my life! I used to wake up with my mind racing right as I got out bed, thinking about all the things I had to do for the day. All of a sudden those thoughts started to slow down after I started my morning meditation. And now it's just automatic for me to wake up, get out of bed, and go straight to my altar to breathe, meditate, and ease my way into the day. This gives me an underlying sense of peace and calm that I carry with me through the rest of the day. That's not to say that my emotions don't get shaken up a bit during the day depending on the situation, because certainly I am still on this journey. But there's still just always this underlying current of peace and calm that I can return to.
And so, I share this with you because it can be something so simple, yet so powerful, that can quite literally shape your day. It has been life-changing for me. Next week, I will share with you some really easy tips to help get your own morning practice started.