We have all been told starting the morning with exercise or eating right will benefit your health and increase your energy levels throughout your day. Yet, for many of us, getting out of bed is hard and getting out of bed to exercise, do yoga, or meditate is even harder. Before I was a mother, I was able to do two things without much thought: 1) wake-up early and be active and 2) go workout later in the day (if necessary). In the last year, getting up early is painfully difficult due to erratic sleep patterns and frequent midnight and early morning feedings. And there is little to no time in the day to honor my body or my health. As a result, something else has begun happen: my back hurts, my nerves are frazzles, my shoulders are tense, and I am in a constant pissy mood. I have discovered the only remedy to this very unpleasant state is to stretch, move, and honor myself.
A sadhana is a regular routine, or ritual, consciously and diligently performed to achieve a particular goal. A morning sadhana is like setting an intention for your day Staying in bed and sleeping late, may be wonderful at the moment but feeling like crap all morning creates a tension in my body that seems to double exponentially throughout the day. The only remedy is creating a morning sadhana of self-care; An act that will carry into my day.
Recently, I began a sadhana that helps me take charge of my health, my body, and my mood...and my family is reveling in the difference. Because getting up and running 4 miles or an hour yoga practice is not realistic for me, I have begun to start small. Through the consistency of small steps, great strides are being made. I have made waking up a bit early part of my morning ritual. In the beginning this was a drag but now I go to bed excited about the possibilities of my morning. This is the time of the day that belongs solely to me.
The Morning Sadhana
My morning sadhana looks something like this: I wake up and stretch energizing my body by activating the dormant energy that has pooled up my body during sleep. I take time to meditate before reflecting in my journal. This is the best self-care I can do. I always feel more centered, relaxed, and kinder after writing in my journal. If my son still has not woke up (I consider this almost equivalent to winning the lottery), then I read. When my son does wake up, we take the dog for a walk, and return for breakfast (I am a huge fan of these smoothie recipes and Aloha's other healthy recipes). At this point, I open the floodgates to a series of unpredictable events that I attempt to embrace with flexibility and a sense of calmness.
Although I do not jump out of bed and embrace the morning with a metaphoric roar, get on my mat or run laps, my morning sadhana is a practice of health. I find the small acts compound to create a feeling of rest and relaxation that centers me and helps me be a kinder human being. Whether you leap or shuffle, the secret to health is to find the pace that works for you and consistently do it.