June 10, 2019 5 min read
Could a consistent morning meditation practice change your life? We say absolutely!
Trust us—we know how hectic mornings can be. Our founder, Jolie, is the mother of four boys, after all! While the thought of carving out extra time for a morning meditation practice might seem absolutely impossible, even a few mindful minutes have the power to change the course of your day. Change enough days, and you've changed your life!
A morning meditation practice doesn't have to be as anxiety inducing as it sounds. If you’re ready to experience the profound benefits of a morning mindfulness routine, here are our top tips to get started:
Carve out Space and Time for Stillness
We all have duties and responsibilities to attend to — things we often have to put before our own self-care. But all it takes to start a morning meditation practice is five extra minutes. If you've never meditated. worked on chakra balancing or created a mindfulness routine before, don't feel like you need to start each day cross-legged and chanting for an hour. The goal is to create space for stillness—and even five minutes daily can lead to profound changes in your mood, energy, and spirit.
Think about ways you can free up more time in your morning routine:
Can you spend five minutes less checking your email or social media in the morning?
Is it possible to wake up five minutes earlier?
How can you shorten any aspect of your morning routine? How about your shower?
How can you prepare the night before? Can you make breakfast or set out your work clothes?
Can your partner lend a hand with any aspect of your family's morning routine?
Can you make an arrangement with your boss to arrive 10 minutes late
(and stay for an extra 10)?
Evaluate not only how you can make changes but how other people in your life might be able to support your new routine. If you're more kind in how you show up to yourself and others, you'll likely find those in your life who want to help support you on your morning meditation journey.
Establish Your Intentions For A Morning Meditation Practice
Now that you've found at least five minutes each morning to commit to a meditation practice, it's crucial to establish the intentions around why you're beginning this practice. On those mornings, when you feel like hitting snooze, your 'why" will be what helps you stay consistent in your routine even when life gets stressful. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
Why are you starting this new practice?
What goals would you like to achieve by meditating?
How would you like to feel after meditating?
Write down the answers to these questions and keep them in a notebook to refer to later.
Next, set small goals for your new practice. Begin with something simple, like meditating for five minutes every morning before breakfast. Remember, it's okay—and even recommended—to start small. You can gradually lengthen your morning meditation practice over time.
Set Your Mood + Create Your Space To Look Forward To Your Morning Meditation Practice
When practicing meditation at home, it's crucial to create a space where you feel comfortable and safe. The place where you practice meditation is meant to be a force of positive, calming energy. That's why it's essential to choose a space where you can be still, quiet, and free from external distractions.
Crafting your own altar is a great way to coax yourself into a zen state. An altar is simply a designated meditation space in your home, which you can adorn with crystals, candles, photos, and other mementos that ground and inspire you. Think of it as a place to celebrate your individuality, to honor yourself.
Adorning your altar also makes your meditation space enticing — drawing you in for a few moments of silence even on the days when you're "too busy" to find your center.
If this seems too much, consider diffusing essential oils or simply lighting a candle. The simplest of rituals can set the mood for an enticing morning meditation practice.
Practice Self-Care and Compassion
A morning meditation practice is an opportunity to check in with your thoughts and emotions. In the same way you'd ask a spouse, child, or loved one how they're feeling in the morning, meditation asks that you bestow this compassion on yourself.
Mindfulness guru and author Jon Kabat-Zinn points out that this is the difference between waking up with your feet dragging and waking up with purpose and intention. He details how to conduct this type of emotional scan:
"How do you feel this morning? Are you still upset about a fight last night or worried about an upcoming meeting? What do you want to achieve today? Understanding how you feel before you embark on your day can help you go through your day more mindfully."
Taking inventory of your emotions first thing can help you assess where you could use a little love. Without judging or shaming yourself, acknowledge this need in yourself the way you would in anyone else. Using mudras is a great way to tap into this.
What if I Still Don't Have Time For A Morning Meditation Practice?
If you still can't find time to meditate in the morning, it might be time to rethink your definition of what it means to meditate.
A common misperception about meditation is that it has to be practiced in a specific way. Sitting on the floor in silence is one way to meditate, but it isn't the only way. In fact, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways to meditate.
Each can be just as effective as the next. Meditation looks and feels different for all of us — the key is finding a practice that works for you.
Create Mindful Morning Rituals
Any action performed mindfully and with intention can be considered meditation. Walking the dog, commuting to work, or making breakfast are all examples of everyday morning activities that can be transformed into meditative rituals.
Let's break down these three typical morning routines to see how they can be approached more mindfully.
Taking out the Dog: Walking Meditation
Taking Benji for his morning stroll is an excellent opportunity to practice walking meditation. Walking meditation is a form of mindfulness that asks you to focus on the present moment.
One option is to tune into a guided walking meditation specifically designed for walking. Or, you can simply practice walking meditation by listening to the sensations of your body and the elements around you. This is an easy way to take a routine task and turn it into a special, calming moment for yourself.
Going to Work: Commuting Meditation
Be it car, bike, or train, commuting to work offers a wealth of opportunities for getting still and tuning in. Listening to a guided meditation while driving or riding to work can help you find your calm before a busy day.
Feel the rush of the wheels beneath you. Take note of the trees and the houses speeding by. Turn, stop, and signal with grace. Arrive at work feeling resilient and ready to overcome anything that comes your way — even rush hour traffic.
Preparing for the Day: Mindfulness Meditation
Whether you're packing kids' lunches or whipping up a smoothie for one, assembling breakfast is the perfect time to tune into mindfulness. Besides putting on a guided meditation, you can also use this opportunity to create a more serene environment.
Can you light a candle? Put on relaxing music? Assemble each sandwich carefully and with intention? Think about each step mindfully, without rushing. How does the entire process change?
Coupled with a daily yoga practice, a morning meditation routine can create more harmony within yourself and your relationship with the world around you.
Have you started a morning meditation practice? What benefits did you experience? What tips would you share to help others?
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