Do you have a morning practice?
Why? Why not?
I’ve always been a big fan of mornings. They seem to have a clear and majestic feel to them. And, over the years, I have found that having a morning practice sets the “tone” for the day ahead.
Now, before I explain the details of my morning practice, I want to say 99.999% of humans are morning people, or “diurnal”, which is the fancy biological name for daylight creatures.
We are biologically wired to be daytime creatures – it has little to do with personality or psychology. It has everything to do with biology.
As soon as the sunlight hits our eyes and bounces around our brains, it triggers one of the most powerful glands in our system, the pineal gland, which floods our system with chemistry for awake, conscious, activated living.
These chemical systems trigger rhythms in our physiology. Our brain waves, our heart rate, and our breath respond to daylight and the lack thereof.
If you were to dig into the health of any long-term shift worker and people who stubbornly work against daylight living, I bet they have a smorgasbord of complicated health related conditions from anxiety, to insomnia to blood pressure issues and everything in-between. And most, if not all, of these health related conditions are largely contributed by their going “against the grain” of their natural biological systems.
It is ok to have a late night every now and then or have a phase when you go out of sync for a while; however, I would never advise living a night focused lifestyle for longer than a few months at a time, because after just a few months, things will usually go out of sync.
If one comes to be naturally waking early in the mornings, it is usually a sign of good health, good internal chemistry, and good internal biorhythms.
What happens to us when we sleep is another, somewhat complicated story. However, I will just summarise a few main points here. Each night when we sleep, we leave the body and enter the energetic realms. In these energetic realms, we can travel and receive insights and vast amounts of information. Many sources say we receive a “download” from our soul each night we successfully enter these energy realms.
So, when we come to wake into conscious awareness each morning, we are in a state of transferring the information and insights from the energy world into the physical world and throughout all the cells in our bodies.
Each morning when we wake, we move through an “afterglow” state as we transition from the energetic realms to the physical realms. This “afterglow” is a similar state that every newborn baby experiences.
And, like a newborn baby, how would we treat it and nurture it as it enters this world?
With news reports of terrorism and homicides? With alcohol and drug use? With loud noises and arguments? Would we thrust a newborn baby into the rush hour of an urban environment first thing out of the womb?
Of course not.
Any sane person would provide a gentle, nurturing and quiet space for a newborn baby to feel safe and at ease. A safe, nurturing and quiet environment allows a new born baby to relax, play, grow and develop at their own pace.
This is the same approach we should take with ourselves each morning when we wake. Be gentle with yourself. Slowly and caringly welcome yourself into your body and into the new day.
Listen to gentle, loving music. Take your time. Meditate, do yoga stretches, read some inspirational works, use affirmation, and even say a prayer. Treat yourself to a healthy and nutritious breakfast. When eating, eat mindfully. Minimise talking for the first hour and avoid the news or anything that may generate stress or unnecessary tension.
There is plenty of time left in the day for stress if you still crave it, so why burden your mornings with it?
Over the years, I have always had a morning practice that usually involves meditation and listening to music.
This is my current morning practice, which take around 10 minutes:
Current music choice: Snatnum Kaur channel on Pandora.
1. Nadi Shodhana Breathing for 5 minutes (single nostril breathing)
Breathing is, by far, the fastest way to adjust your chemistry and balance the nervous system. Learning to work with breath is essential for anyone interested in enhanced health and wellbeing.
2. Sound work – Chanting “A-O-M” at least 7 times.
Sound is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. A-O-M touches each of the fundamental tones that the universe resonates at. Activating these tones, helps to bring your own vibration into alignment, relaxes tissues in the body, warms up the vocal chords, and enhances the depth of breath. It is also amazing at “nulling” the mind into pure vibration.
3. Hands into prayer – 3 x Thank You
This sets up the energy field of gratitude, which is another powerful vibration to set yourself on.
- The first thank you is for something very simple – like, thank you for the bed I slept in last night, the shelter over my head, the wind on my face, the warm clothes I have on.
- The second thank you is for the life force that courses its way through my body and being. I become aware of the blood and energy flowing through my body and system, and I give tanks for such a gift of life.
- The third thank you is for having such an awesome day. With this thank you, I get into the feeling of having a great day, making new friends, having a good flow of events, and being productive. I give thanks in a way that allows me to feel like it is inevitable.
After that, I bow and relax my posture and practice.
This 3-stage morning practice takes around 10 minutes. I seem to adjust my practice a little every few months as things shift, yet I rarely miss a day, and the average time for this practice can be anywhere from 10-30 minutes.
What does your morning practice look like?