I haven’t always been a morning person. In fact, back in the day when I was working a nine to five job hiring senior executives for Fortune 500 companies, my work day didn’t normally end until after 6pm. I would arrive home exhausted, go to bed, and wake up the next day to do it all again.
In those days, getting out of bed was a chore.
While my work was mostly fulfilling during that time in my life, I certainly didn’t carve out much time for myself, and this led me to often feel ungrounded and restless come the end of the day.
Once I realized the power of morning rituals, my days truly changed for the better.
I felt calmer, more productive and positive; more grounded and with a sense of clarity.
I realized that by beginning the day immediately with my to-do list racing through my head – and no time to pause, welcome the day, or set intentions – I was setting myself up for increased stress and irritability.
Until recently, I (like so many of us in this modern day world) reached for my phone first thing in the morning. And don’t get me wrong, I still do sometimes. Like all of us, I am a work in progress.
I came to realize that by starting off my day on Facebook I was feeding myself with energy from what was going on in everyone else’s world instead of taking some deep breaths and tuning into my soul’s intentions.
In order to connect with my own intentions for the day, I made a conscious effort to undo this ritual.
Now, my mornings look quite different because I incorporate these 6 vibration-raising rituals:
1. Deep Breathing/Meditation
Meditation has been proven to decrease anxiety, help us manage stress, feel happier and even prevent disease. One of the most important rituals of my morning is deep breathing or meditation (depending on how much time I have).
Even allowing 5 minutes to take 10-20 deep belly diaphragmatic breaths (belly raising on the inhale, lowering on the exhale) can work wonders in centering you for the day.
On days that I can, I take 20 or more minutes to practice meditation – recognizing thoughts as they occur and letting them go; focusing only on the here and now. I am inspired greatly by Tara Brach, and use her guided meditations in my practice.
The morning ritual of journaling has made a profound difference in how I experience my day.
The goal is to write two or three intentions for that day. Some mornings might be rushed (we’re only human), but even if I can only get down one intention, I consider that a success.
It has made such a positive difference in my life that I’ve actually extended my commitment to 365 days. And like everything in life, this doesn’t require perfection. If you end up skipping a day – it’s ok. Offer some compassion and loving kindness to yourself. Simply go back the next day and resume, until it becomes a habit.
After only one month of consistent writing, I already feel that I am manifesting many of the intentions I set each morning. And the beauty of writing is that anything goes.
I also find huge benefit in journaling about what I need to let go of, which is a refreshing and necessary release.
3. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic cleansing ritual that is best practiced first thing in the morning. I use coconut oil due to its powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial benefits, and it is an excellent choice for cleansing toxins from the body.
It’s best to begin with the mouth, as this is the entrance for everything coming into our body. Oils attract fat-soluble toxins, so an extra-added benefit is that oil pulling reduces plaque and gum sensitivity. All diseases begin in the mouth, which is why maintaining good oral health is paramount.
Oil pulling also has been shown to boost our immune system. Here’s how to do it:
- One tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil. I use coconut oil. Add turmeric for more detoxification.
- Swish it in your mouth for several minutes and spit it in a trash bin.
- Rinse your mouth with salt water and brush your teeth.
4. Tongue Scraping
Tongue scraping works to rid the body of bacteria and toxins that accumulate on the tongue. Together with oil pulling, this is a winning oral hygiene combination and an incredibly beneficial morning ritual.
Similar to oil pulling, this is an important immune-boosting ritual.
5. Water Therapy
Typically, I drink anywhere between 2-3 glasses of water for this practice, and alternate between them:
- Warm water with a food based vitamin C powder + 1 teaspoon of pink salt.
- Warm water with turmeric, lemon juice, ginger and black pepper.
- Warm water with apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.
Each combination is great for firing the digestive system, immune support, liver detox and supporting the adrenal glands.
After breakfast, I alternate my morning exercise ritual between Crossfit (2-3 times per week) and yoga. Balancing the yin and yang.
Then, it’s time for post-workout nourishment, and work!