The perfect morning rituals
Saying goodbye to outdated routines and embracing new-age freshness
Aditi Raman Shridhar
Gone are the days when mornings had to be packed with an hour-long exercise or kept devoid of exercise entirely for the lack of time; a lengthy breakfast or rush-rush quick meal that gave you neither nourishment nor satisfaction, and an average, dull, dreary day as a result of the rush or lethargy you experienced in your morning. Come 2019, and there is a wave of upgraded, scientifically tested, very effective set of morning rituals available on the internet, accessible for free, that anyone can download and follow. The new-age morning routine is not about simply readying you for the day, but for bringing you to the most optimum level of your being so that you have the most perfect day and life.
“Your morning routine can set you up for massive success the whole day. You can chose to linger in bed, hitting snooze and dreading the alarm, or you can set yourself up for massive daily productivity and success with a short and effective morning routine,” says world famous personal coach Tony Robbins.
But there are still many people who just roll out of bed, scramble as fast as they can to find something to wear in an unorganised pile of unfolded laundry, make a coffee to go, feed the dog and run out of the door. And they are doing pretty well in life. So is it really worth to optimise oneself anymore?
Robbins says that in the morning our bodies get a natural cortisol and energy spike. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of vital processes throughout the body, including metabolism and immune response. Its secretion is controlled by three inter-communicating regions of the body; the hypothalamus in the brain, the pituitary gland and the adrenal gland. Cortisol gives a high energy boost in the morning and also works as a protector against stress. Therefore, it is easiest for humans to knock out all the difficult tasks in the morning as the levels of cortisol and energy go down as the day progresses. So, cooking up meals, exercising, meditating and tackling work emails are easiest to complete in the morning.
Robbins says that most people are lazy and that is why they will probably never want to change anything in their morning habit. “Not making use of your morning is like dumping all your wealth in a trash,” he says. Taking cues from the most successful people around the world, self-development gurus suggest that mornings are about more than just physical rejuvenation and work. Modern morning routines incorporate expressing gratitude, appreciating nature, slowing your breath and calming your mind, expressing love to your spouse, kids and family members and being grateful for being alive and well.
Let’s take a look at these.
“The feeling of Gratitude has a beautiful energy pattern to it. When you are grateful for something, a spiral vortex of diamond like crystals form around your energy field from head to toe,” says world famous psychic healer and intuitive coach Christie Marie Sheldon. “Mornings are perfect to be grateful for everything you have in life as the energy expands and creates more of everything during the day. It is a very cool energy to feel,” she adds.
Whether it is Reiki, energy works, meditation of any form, or any religious chanting or ritual you do every morning, gratitude is common in all. Gratitude outshines all other emotions. The joy of expressing thank you to the universe for fulfilling your life with everything you want is indescribable. Gratitude is always accompanied with humility. Arrogance and pride are impossible feelings in this state of consciousness. Gratitude is also very contagious. When you feel gratitude for one thing in your life, it tends to overflow into other parts of your life even places that you previously thought weren’t ‘good enough.’
When you wake up in the morning, take a deep breath or two, and close your eyes. And just be thankful. “I am so grateful that I am alive and well. I have a beautiful house and a family that I love and who loves me. I have a beautiful, healthy body. And I am able to eat anything that pleases me. I am so grateful for having a life that many people only dream of.”
The power of gratitude is beyond comprehension. Once you begin your day with this feeling, you set yourself up for more and more from the universe. You know why? Because the universe is always listening!
As you finish your prayer of gratitude, bring to mind everyone who has hurt you or whom you hurt. See them standing in front of you and look at them. You will notice a considerable shift in your perception and feel compassion towards them and yourself. “I forgive you and I ask you to forgive me,” are powerful lines that you can say to them and see the energy of forgiveness floating from your heart to theirs and coming back from them to you. And soon you will notice all your anger, fear and hatred melt away.
According to Hinduism and religious texts in India, forgiveness is a characteristic of the divine which not everyone gets to experience. Forgiveness makes you holier than saints because it requires one to transcend the physical realm and see oneself as connected to everyone and the universe.
LOVE AND COMPASSION
After forgiveness, it is time to express your energy of love and compassion to your surroundings and everyone in it. When you begin to expand your energy of love around you, you will notice your energy free flowing past your room, your home, the neighbourhood, country and the globe. Being essentially energy beings, we are all capable of feeling love and compassion in infinite amounts just by sitting in the comfort of our bedroom and yet being connected to the infiniteness of the space and universe.
Once you have expressed your gratitude, forgiveness and love and compassion to the universe and every life form in it, you become a different energetic vibration instantly. You are bound to feel bubbly and happy, buoyant and full of freshness. It is now time to do some beautiful visualisations.
VISUALISE YOUR PERFECT DAY
“Seventeen seconds of focused, pleasurable visualization is stronger than 2000 hours of working to obtain a goal,” says spiritual teacher Esther Hicks.
Our mind is a powerful tool. “If you can see it, you can achieve it,” is a popular adage that sums up the power of mental visualisation quite succinctly. The mind is only looking for ways to help you and cater to your needs. Visualising anything sets up the mind on a task to achieve it.
Vishen Lakhiani, founder of world’s biggest spiritual and self-development platform Mindvalley, says, “There’s a creative force inside every human being that can make any vision, dream or desire a reality. And it is the force of the subconscious mind.” He adds that the world is fixated on only taking action to achieve results and nothing can take people further away from having fulfilled lives. “Taking action is often counterproductive. A whole lot of inner work needs to be done before you start taking action. Otherwise you’ll automatically experience negative states like procrastination, anxiety, stress and even self-sabotage each time you try to make positive changes,” he says.
It is your subconscious mind that ultimately casts the deciding vote on how much success, abundance, happiness, health and freedom you experience in your life. “Most people don’t even acknowledge that their subconscious mind is at play, when the fact is it is a million times more powerful that the conscious mind and we operate 95 to 99 percent of our lives from subconscious programs,” Lakhiani adds.
So, how do you visualise your day when you wake up in the morning? After expressing your gratitude, forgiveness and compassion to the universe, mentally visualise what all you want to have and achieve in your day. See the perfect day unfold in front of you right from you getting out of bed, drinking water and feeling hydrated. Then see you doing your exercise and breakfast. See yourself hugging and expressing love to your family members and then having a nice shower and going to work. See the projects you will be undertaking during the day, the compliments you want to receive, the successes you want to have and then the evening time and finally when you get back into bed.
TABATA TRAINING or HIIT
Your excuse of not having enough time to exercise will now run dry, thanks to the modern exercise workout concept of HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. Tabata Training is a form of HIIT workout that lasts four minutes. When the duration is so short, the exercise is obviously not sweet. The exercises are finely timed and they alternate between 20-second intervals performed at maximum effort and 10-second stages of rest, repeated eight times for the ultimate exhaustive four-minute workout.
Tabata was developed by Izumi Tabata, Ph.D, at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. Similar to AMRAP (as many reps as possible) or EMOM (every minute on the minute), the common thread between all HIIT workouts is an all-out effort followed by periods of rest and recovery. Tabata exercises are for all levels from beginner to Olympic athlete and the results of the four minute long workout is said to be equal to an hour-long gym workout or a run.
Tabata can be performed at the comfort of your home. After you finish your morning meditation, you can easily finish your Tabata exercises in four minutes and then hit the shower. The biggest benefit of Tabata is that with just being four minutes long, it increases the level of commitment to work out every single day.
The final stage in your morning routine is your breakfast. Massive research has gone into creating the most nutritious and filling breakfast that takes less time to cook and is easy to manage every day. Rather than indulging in five or six items of food to get all the nutrients, such as fruits, dry fruits, eggs, milk and some additional breakfast dish, high-nutrition breakfast now involves the concept of shakes or porridges that incorporate all the fruits, milk, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, plant proteins, nut butters etc into one. They consume less time to prepare and give you a holistic nutrition in a tasty form. The joy of eating a long breakfast can then be relegated only to weekends.
What are your mornings like? Do you see the sunrise or you are a late riser? Do you rush to work or you are able to get ready and start your day at a pace that you love? Try these new morning rituals this week and see how they help you. May be you get that newness and spark you were looking for from a simple change in your morning. Until next week.
Aditi Raman Shridhar is an Indian journalist, therapist and health instructor.