I haven't always been much of a morning person, and some days I'm still not! Most weekends you can find me sleeping in, cuddling with the kiddos in bed and not sticking to a routine whatsoever. However, I have found that having a consistent morning routine for most days of the week helps my life to run MUCH more smoothly, which as a Momma and an entrepreneur is VITAL. If I'm not functioning properly, the whole ship will sink...so it's of the utmost importance to take care of myself starting FIRST thing in the morning...it sets the tone for the whole day.
Most weekday mornings I'm out the door by 6:30 am to teach my yoga clients. Since I'm a BIG believer in the importance of getting a good nights sleep (8 HOURS is a MUST for optimal health!) and I'm usually unable to be in bed before 9pm (asleep by 10) due to a crazy work load and taking care of my family, this doesn't give me much time in the mornings for a large or lengthy production. Even on mornings that I have off, my daughter is usually up by 6:30 anyway, so I really only get about 30 minutes to myself before the craziness begins...but that's plenty of time to start the day off mindfully. So don't fret...even if you don't have a lot of time to spare in the mornings, you can still establish a regular routine...there is hope!
My Bedroom Sanctuary
Sheets by Linens and Hutch
To make things run smoothly I always pick out my outfit the night before and lay it out so that I don't have to spend any time sorting through clothes. This is a HUGE time saver! On mornings I teach super early (before the sun even gets up) I save my yoga practice for the afternoon, but on days I'm home or teaching a little later I like to begin the day with a little light stretching, breath connection and a short intention setting meditation... about 10 minutes total. In the afternoon I do a longer, 20 minute meditation, but having a short one in the morning helps me to get in a good space mentally and emotionally for the day. This practice of starting the day with mindfulness and light movement has single handedly changed my life! I actually practiced yoga for a LONG time (YEARS!) before I made daily, morning meditation and intention setting a part of my routine. Now I can't imagine my life without it. I am more joyful, productive, and abundant than I've ever been and I attribute it to this.
If you're someone who is interested in beginning a yoga and mindfulness practice but doesn't know where to start and/or doesn't want to spend a lot of money and time doing so, there is an amazing app designed for iPhone called Yoga Wake Up that's designed to wake you up peacefully with short, audio-guided yoga and meditation straight from your bed. And if mornings don't work for you? No problem! You can do these short practices at any time of the day. Either way they're fabulous and the perfect way to sneak in a little movement and mindfulness without making a big production out of it or needing to even leave the comfort of your own bed. You can click on this link "Yoga Wake Up" and use my special code AJW that will get you a FREE 7 day trial (say whaaaaat??!?) AND a whole YEAR subscription for only $34.99!!!! (Normally $46.99) That's only $2.92/month! Crazy huh?! Less than most of us spend on coffee at Starbucks per DAY! But unlike coffee, this will nourish your body, mind and soul every day in the most positive and healing way. If you don't feel like trying one whole year right away, you can get a 1 month subscription for only $4.99 or a 6 month subscription for just $4.16/month. Literally the BEST deal for high quality online yoga there is. I have 3 different classes you can take on the app (YAY!) and I'll be recording more later this month. All of my classes are short, gentle, and designed to get you grounded, aligned and feeling incredible for the day ahead. Also, some of my all time favorite teachers are on the app as well, so if you dig my style and want similar practices or practices that I personally love, you have plenty to choose from beyond my classes. I'm a huge fan of Ali Owens' Chakra Meditations and practice them regularly...they are seriously DIVINE! I also LOVE Jeanne Heileman and Michelle Goldstein... both such amazing teachers. Those are just a few of the many incredible instructors you can practice with on this stellar yoga app. I'm a huge fan and use it regularly myself and am so happy to be able to offer this fantastic deal to you guys, so go check it out!
My morning routine doesn't end with yoga though, a big part of my practice is what I'm nourishing my body with first thing in the AM. What we feed ourselves, be it thoughts, movement or food, creates our reality...so it's important to nourish yourself well if you want to thrive. I start my days with warm lemon water made with one freshly squeezed lemon, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, one scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Powder and 8 oz of warm (not hot) water. I was RELIGIOUS about drinking coffee first thing in the morning until about a year ago. I had been hearing about the benefits of warm lemon water for digestion and preventing diseases like cancer and reducing inflammation, but had poo-pood it due to the fact that it just didn't sound good! Warm lemon water??!? ICK! I'll admit it took a little getting used to once I gave it a go, but now I find it FAR more palatable than coffee. Hard to believe huh? It goes right down the hatch and is the perfect concoction to warm up the body with. The addition of apple cider vinegar helps to kill off harmful bacteria and collagen powder improves hair, skin, bone and joint health. I never thought I'd be the kind of person who would start my day off with anything other than coffee, but I must say I feel the best I've ever felt! In fact, I've given up coffee all together (whaaaaat??!?) due to it's harsh acidic nature, crash inducing caffeine rush and dehydrating effect on the body. And the weirdest thing about it is that I literally don't miss it one bit! In lieu of my morning cup of Joe, which would normally follow my lemon water, I sip on a superfood latte instead which is comprised of matcha (for antioxidants and a slow release of caffeine unlike the jolt that coffee gives which results in a mid day crash) coconut butter (for healthy fats which aid in nutrient absorption, balancing hormones and maintaining satiety) and mushroom adaptogens, like reishi and cordyceps, which help to improve focus and stamina as well as a million other health benefits (check out my superfood pink smoothie recipe to learn more about adaptogens and their incredible health boosting superpowers) . I don't like to eat first thing in the morning as I find it makes me sluggish, but this superfood latte gives me the boost I need to feel amazing and energized until I eat a healthy breakfast around 2 hours after waking.
After I sip on my superfood latte and set my intentions for the day, I get dressed, put on my face cream and sunscreen and head out the door to teach, or if it's a day where I'm at home for the morning, I do all those things and then get the pleasure of being with the kiddos when they wake up which nothing else in the entire world can compare to (even though it can be crazy sometimes! Thank God for my yoga and meditation practice that gets me though the madness!).
Whether you're a parent or not, having a little bit of time to yourself in the morning before getting going is incredibly valuable. Just waking 30 minutes earlier than normal can change the course of your day and ultimately your life. Before I had a regular morning mindfulness routine, I always felt like I was rushing around and falling behind. I never felt like there was enough time. Setting aside that time for myself has helped me to put everything into perspective. In fact, it's been SO valuable that I set aside time in the afternoons and evenings as well now for mindfulness. I always think I don't have enough time to meditate, but as soon as I take the time to do it, everything falls into place, time seems plentiful and I am reminded that there's nothing to stress about. TRULY! Nothing is more valuable than time spent on self care...it is never time wasted.
Multiple meditations a day are certainly not necessary (though definitely recommended), but if you can start your day with a little mindfulness, breath connection and movement, it might just be the missing piece you've been searching for that will help you to feel your best and live your most productive, fulfilled and joyful life. It's incredible how one little shift in how you live your day to day life can make that big of a difference. It really can though, and I encourage you to give it a try...
Thank you so much for tuning in this week! I love you all and want to hear from you on how this practice goes for you after you give it a try for a while! Or if you already have an established routine...please feel free to comment below and let me and the other readers know what works well for you. Perhaps it's something we could all benefit from, so any pointers are much appreciated! We're all in this together and we can learn so much from one another when we put ourselves out there, speak our truth and let ourselves be heard.
From my heart to yours...