Six am: you elusive muse. What could you accomplish if you woke up at 6am every day? A bit of time for yourself before heading to work. Extra time to get ready so you’re not rushing to catch the train. Exercise, a hearty breakfast, shower and writing…all before noon!
Being a morning person is a lovely thing: rising and turning in with the sun does wonderful things for your body. You become in tune with the energy ebbs and flows of the day, your appetite, when you want to be active, and when you want to wind down for bed. This was made abundantly clear to me while in Arizona in February. Tony and I have drastically different schedules: my body naturally wakes up around 6am, while he gets up closer to 10. I get sleepy around 10, and he stays up til midnight or so. We stayed at his house in the desert, an hour away from the nearest town and far from city lights. By the end of our 10-day trip, we were waking up with the sunrise around 7 and falling asleep not too long after the sun set. We got hungry around the same times and craved similar foods. Synchronicity was achieved! (Of course, things went back to the way they were once we came back to Chicago. Oh, life/work/etc.)
Trips to deserted isolation aside, if you’d like to become a morning person, gradually set your alarm earlier each day in 30 minute increments, then do the following:
It’s easiest to meditate in the morning, because your mind is quiet and hasn’t quite begun to race with thought yet. So wake up, get out of bed, plop on a rolled up blanket in a comfortable seated position. (You can pee, of course. But sometimes I don’t even brush my teeth before I do this. Whatever.)
Close your eyes, place your right hand between your navel and the base of your ribcage and take 7 deep, slow breaths into this spot, feeling your hand rise and fall. Keeping with these deep, slow breaths, with each inhale, think the word “so.” With each exhale, think the word “hum.”
So hum is a mantra that translates to “I am that.” As in, you are everything and everything is you. If this is a little kooky to you, replace this mantra with “Let go.” Whichever comes more naturally. Start with five minutes a day and increase from there.
Ah, the key: moving your body before 10am is better than coffee. Not only does a bit of exercise wake you up, it gets you in the mindset to make good, healthful choices throughout your day. It could be a 10 minute walk, a half-dozen sun salutes or a quick bike ride. The important thing is to just do it, it doesn’t matter for how long. Six am to 10am is considered kapha time, when your body can go stronger for longer; what starts out as a brisk walk might turn into a quick jog, if you’re so inclined.
Drink Lemon Water
A little warm (not boiling) water with a squeeze of lemon does wonders: it’s alkalizing, it rehydrates the body after your sleep and gets your digestion going. It also clears your skin, boots your immunity with all the vitamin C, and helps you flush out toxins. If you can pour in a bit of apple cider vinegar (a tablespoon or so), all the better for you.
Not only does this little routine help get you going earlier, they’re all great practices to work into your day. What are some other things you do to get going in the morning?