Short and fiery yoga practices to kick-start your day.
Take a 20-minute yoga class to invigorate your body and clear your mind before work or on your break.
When we ritualize our day-to-day activities, we have the opportunity to bring more awareness and self-control to the tasks we perform. A routine also acts as an anchor when we feel tired, angry, sad, stressed, anxious, and the many other uncomfortable states we experience outside of our control.
We cannot control all of the events that occur or how we feel all of the time; however, a morning routine reminds us of the things we can control.
To create a morning routine, you may want to choose activities with a grounding effect, meaning actions that lower stress levels, release feel-good hormones, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. We spend a lot of our time in the sympathetic nervous system, aka fight or flight mode, which activates the body’s stress response. The parasympathetic nervous system, aka rest and digest mode, is the state where we feel clear, connected, and grounded.
Awareness of breath, breathwork exercises, stretching, and activities such as yoga, meditation, and martial arts, directly influence the nervous system, hormones, and brainwaves. We can shift how we feel and transform our perception of self and how we interact with our environment when engaging in yoga activities.
Set aside 15-30 minutes for your morning routine; the more time you give yourself, the less rushed you’ll feel.
For those who are busy, allocating a shorter amount of time is more feasible; it means we don’t feel overwhelmed by the commitment on days when we already feel tight on time. Even 5-10 minutes is more than enough time to set aside a simple ritual that helps us ground and anchor in a positive mindset.
Tight on time?
Check out these playlists to take a yoga class before work or on your lunch break:
Invigorating activities to start your day:
A breathing exercise, such as inhaling and exhaling for the count of four; this style breathing has a calming effect on the nervous system. In 2-3 minutes, a breathing practice may help you feel calmer and is a great way to hit reset if you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed.
Simple stretches, such as child’s pose, forward fold, hip opener, or other simple poses, release tension in the body. Stretching and physical activity releases hormones serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones, which help us shift how we feel.
Journaling. Writing down our observations and how we feel is a practice of awareness; writing has a therapeutic effect and calms the nervous system.
Meditation or mindfulness practice. Sitting or laying down for a visualization, body scan, yoga nidra, or meditation activates theta brainwaves. Theta brainwaves are connected to creativity, intuition, daydreaming and act as a repository for memories, emotions, and sensations.