You are your morning. The way we choose to start our day sets the tone for the rest of it — and we’re endlessly fascinated by how pros in our wellness community embrace the art of a morning routine.
Lately, we’re loving the new app, Yoga Wake Up, which provides guided meditations and yoga sequences from yogis around the world that we can do from the delicious comfort of our pillows and sheets.
We asked seven yogis from Yoga Wake Up’s programming to walk us through their own morning routines and love what they’ve shared…
Missy Kai: My morning self-care rituals, also called dinacharya in Sanskrit, are heavily influenced by principles of yoga and ayurveda (its sister science). Dinacharya is both a necessary and sacred component of a personal, holistic yoga therapy practice. When done properly, a morning routine can effectively reduce any pain or stiffness in the body, cleanse the digestion of toxins or ‘ama,’ and prepare the mind for focus and concentration or ‘dharana.’
My own personal routine consists of (at a minimum) eliminating, tongue-scraping, drinking either warm lemon water or a digestive tea and then beginning my yoga practice, which usually consists of no more than about 30 minutes of asana, breath work and pranayama. In creating your own dinacharya, consistency and simplicity are more important than the level of technique you’re practicing.
Tamal Dodge: Morning routines are essential for me to set the day straight from the beginning.
I like to wake up and drink one large glass of water then another glass with a half a lemon squeezed into it to help alkalize my body. I will then do a some breath work and sun salutations for 10-15 minutes just to loosen my stiff body and open my mind before tackling the day. These simple steps help me stay calm and present though my daily tasks.
Jen Smith: What I do when I wake up in the morning is very important to me and sets the foundation for my entire day. I always wake up 20 minutes early (time varies depending on schedule): five minutes for tea, five minutes meditation, five minutes writing a quick journal entry of the first thing on my mind and five minute left for my neti pot. The rest of my morning is business as usual (shower, dress, gather day supplies, and out the door), which always runs smoothly due to those first 20 minutes.
Miki Ash: Morning is my favorite time of the day. It’s when I set the tone for how the rest of the day will unfold, and I get myself in the best headspace possible. The first thing I do is go to my meditation space, write in my Five Minute Journal about what I’m grateful for, and meditate. Then I usually eat a Perfect Bar while I walk my dog Bodhi around the block. It’s such a nice time to just be outside. I always leave my phone at home when I walk him. If I’m not rushing out of the house to teach or do a photoshoot, I like to make a superfood matcha latte or some avocado toast! It’s the small things that make me the happiest!
Sarah Ezrin: I like to wake up at dawn, when the sun is barely up and the rest of the world is still sleeping. I’m most creative at this special time of day, so I often write and create while drinking my tea. After that it’s time to move my body and I unroll my mat and do a long, soulful practice.
Laurel Erilane: My body clock is pretty spot on so I almost always wake up before my alarm, however I often find it hard to get out of bed without a little movement. Since my mind is more awake than my body, my sadhana is simple: I visualize my day in stillness, setting positive intentions and hold universal twist to the left and right for a few minutes.
Angela Jean Weber: My early mornings are almost always spent teaching my yoga clients, so I make it a part of my practice to get up at least 30 minutes before I absolutely have to so I have some time to myself before the forces of life, work and mommyhood start tugging at me.
From the moment I wake up, I begin my day with a simple gratitude practice right from the comfort of my own bed. I find that starting my day by naming something I’m grateful for not only sets the overall tone for the day but also helps dissolve any negativity or resistance I might be feeling towards having to get up that early. Next, I take a moment to connect to my breath, which helps me to feel present and gets oxygen flowing to my brain, helping me to better wake up. I then integrate some simple stretches with my breathing to get me feeling grounded in my body and warmed up for the day ahead. After that I head downstairs and put the coffee on (yes coffee! I’m not a monk… just a normal human being who likes coffee in the mornings). I then spend the next 20 minutes or so in my backyard while the sun is waking up, just being quiet, reflecting and taking in the beautiful trees and sounds of nature. Most often I don’t use any particular meditation technique other than simple breath awareness and taking in the beautiful surroundings of my backyard. Sometimes this is the only time I get to myself, so my morning ritual is an essential ingredient to the overall wellbeing of myself and my family and students. When my cup is full, I can fully show up for the people and things I care most about in life.
What’s your go-to morning routine? Share a few of your favorite habits below!