I’ve noticed that most people I’ve gotten to know well have a specific routine first thing out of bed. In my experience it is a crucial time of the day to set the intention, mood, and direction of my day. I see a clear correlation between what I do the first hour out of bed and how my day unfolds. I’ve experimented with a handful of morning routines/practices, and recently I’ve hit a nice stride in my mornings.
I’ll start slightly before my morning.. about a year ago a friend introduced me to Sleep Cycle. The alarm clock app analyzes your sleep patterns, using the phone mic, and wakes you up in a 30 minute window when your sleep is at its lightest. Using Sleep Cycle has almost completely eliminate those groggy wake ups, where I feel ripped out of a deep sleep. I haven’t switched back to a regular alarm clock since, and I don’t think I ever will. It’s a game changer.
Clay & Salt
First thing out of bed I prep 1/2 tablespoon of Bentonite clay in a glass of warm water. Bentonite clay has a list of benefits, including pulling heavy metals out of your body. Here’s a full list if you want to dig deeper. And then comes Jala Neti, a Sanskrit word meaning “water cleansing.” Jala Neti is one of the six cleansing techniques, or Shatkarmas, laid out in the Hatha Yoga tradition. Running saline water in one nostril and out the other leaves me feeling clear, and surprisingly, slightly energized.
This feels like a separate post to come.. the one thing I will say is that one hour of practice - asana, pranayama, mediation - ALWAYS feels better than one extra hour of sleep. I consistently thank my past-self for not snoozing my alarm and getting on my mat.
This is a bonus - not an every morning ritual, but it’s a great coffee replacement if you’re wanting to cut down on morning caffeine. Cacao (the uncooked & unrefined sibling of Cacoa) is rich is calcium, iron, magnesium, and antioxidants. Cacao is also used in ceremony to active & open the heart - make your cacao with love and it will nourish you on a deeper than physical level. Here’s my recipe, it makes two cups so you can share with a friend:
16 oz hot water or plant-based milk
4 tbsp Raw Organic Cacao Powder
1 tsp Raw Organic Maca Powder
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of Himalayan salt
1 tbsp coconut
Put it all in a blender, blitz the love into it, and enjoy the frothy goodness.
Treating my morning as sacred personal time has empowered me to start my day with purpose and passion. Too often in the past I found myself at work within 30 mins of my alarm going off - no time to allow my body to wake up slow and naturally, no time for movement, breath, and meditation - just go go go into the day. This short intentional morning routine has created a tangible shift in myself that rolls into my day. Treat yourself, love on yourself, nourish yourself - and do it right when you wake up!