summer morning rituals

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Morning routines used to make me feel guilty.

For about a year when I first got into yoga, I’d do my whole asana & meditation practice before breakfast, but it never felt right for me unless I was on a teacher training or retreat. As part of my normal day it felt incredibly forced and unenjoyable, but I kept at it, hoping it would click.

When I started teaching yoga my schedule was all over the place. I’d teach until 9pm one night and at 6am the next morning and then run between managing a yoga studio and social media accounts for another business. I never really struggled to make time to practice because I was in yoga studios every day, but my morning routine went from a full practice to a twenty minute meditation to an eight minute meditation and running out the door.

In October last year I made a lot of mildly terrifying changes to my schedule, the biggest of which was letting go of a lot of classes, specifically, most of my morning classes, as I knew I needed my mornings if I wanted to commit myself to writing and creating online content. And I just prefer teaching in the evenings, too.

With the majority of my mornings back, without too much thought, a small collection of rituals started to emerge. This whole list doesn’t take long at all. Thirty minutes tops. I do my longer asana and rest practices later in the day. It doesn’t feel forced. It’s all enjoyable (well except the first few seconds of the cold shower).

In preparation for Februarys Club Rest Practice and Online Workshop on living with intention, I’ve been thinking about how very simple, very small additions to your already busy morning can set you up for a calmer, more conscious day. Even if its lighting a stick of Sandalwood incense and opening the windows to cleanse the house for the day (Marie Kondo’s words, not mine!) or lighting a candle while you prepare breakfast and get ready for work, its a small action but it can carry a lot of meaning.

If you’re anything like me, starting with one small thing at a time is the best way to go, and add in as you feel you have the space for it - and if you don’t have time or forget or can’t be bothered, acknowledge your human-ness with a smile and do it again tomorrow.

And full disclosure here - if I’m covering a morning class for someone and have to get up early OR my boyfriend and I sleep in and want to go out for breakfast, most of this is straight out the window.

  • Tongue scraping (how did we ever live without this?!)

  • Dry body brushing - this video is so great for PMS and then a quick full body application of black sesame oil (going to try almond next) before showering to take away the cold water sting and so you don’t walk around slick with oil for the rest of the day.

  • Cold shower kundalini style - honestly I am the worlds biggest hot shower fan and every morning before I do this I ask myself really Emmie, why. But I always feel GREAT afterwards and my skin is much happier. I am a huge fan. Try it. Skip on the first 2-3 days of your period though.

  • Quick energising facial massage via Britta Beauty or I use a rose quartz roller (I don’t even care if it does anything it feels amazing and looks super cute in the cupboard - and I think we undervalue the idea of objects simply to add beauty to your day)

  • A short meditation or kriya and either ten breaths in downward facing dog and uttanasana (standing forward bend) or the jivamukti yoga magic ten sequence.

  • I light incense while I make my coffee; in summer I love making japanese style ice coffee with a V60 dripper - sometimes with a little soymilk too!

  • Ideally I’ve had my phone off until now - and I’ll sit with my coffee, some fruit or avocado toast and read some emails before starting work.

Please share your morning rituals below, too!

image via pintrest


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