A MORNING ROUTINE TO MAKE A GREAT DAY
Some people say “have a great day.” Doesn’t this statement sounds like your day is based on luck or external factors? At Wild Grace, we believe in saying, “make it a great day.” This statement is based on internal factors—it is up to us to set our own intentions, be mindful and choose how we will think, feel and behave. This in turn means we each have the power to create not only what our day will become, but our destiny. This can be achieved through believing in ourselves, and strengthening our mind-body-soul connection. With our philosophies inspired by Ayurveda, here is a 10 minute morning routine that can help recharge your energy and your spirit, so you can make it great day every day.
Start with eye movements and chakra mantras for a few minutes
Moving your eyes from side to side can help stimulate your brain and improve your memory. Psychologists Andrew Parker and Neil Dagnall say the effect could be related to sideways eye movements increasing interactive neural activity across the front of your brain’s two hemispheres. Their research showed bilateral eye movements appear to enhance memory and decrease the extent to which subjects rely on or make use of “gist based” false memory. These findings build on earlier research showing sideways eye movements improve the accuracy of recall.
The eye movements
What to do:
Firstly, Sit upright and keep your head in a fixed position, then follow this sequence repeating each movement at least twice.
- With your eyes only, Look up and then down.
- Look to the right and then left.
- Look diagonally; upright quadrant and lower left, and then upper left quadrant and lower right.
- Circle eyes gently to the right and circle to the left.
- Fix a point straight ahead, then midway between that point and tip of nose, and end with gaze on tip of nose
Practice each movement with slow, gentle movements, carefully moving to the maximum extension of your eye muscles in each direction.
Practice “Nadhi Shodana” breath work for a few minutes
Nadi Shodhana, AKA “alternate nostril breathing,” is a technique that helps quiet your mind, body and emotions; it helps ease racing thoughts if you are experiencing anxiety. There are several different styles of Nadi Shodhana, but they all help create balance and regulate the flow of air through your nasal passages. With just a few minutes of this technique, you can help restore balance and relaxation. This practice is also believed to help improve your ability to focus, clear your energetic channels, rejuvenate your nervous system and remove toxins.
Alternate nostril breathing
What to do:
- To practice this technique, sit comfortably, ensuring your spine is straight and your heart is open.
- Relax your left palm in your lap and bring your right hand in front of your face.
- With your right hand, bring your pointer and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows. You’ll actively use your thumb and ring finger.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale slowly through your left nostril.
- Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are closed and keep your breath at the top of the inhale for a short pause.
- Open your right nostril and release your breath slowly through the right side, then pause briefly at the bottom of your exhale.
- Inhale through the right side slowly.
- Hold both nostrils closed (with your ring finger and thumb).
- Open your left nostril and release. Breathe slowly through your left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.
Repeat the steps above to complete 4-5 cycles, allowing your mind to focus on your inhales and exhales.
Practice “Breath of Fire” for a few minutes
Breath of Fire is a form of cleansing pranayama (another breathing technique) rooted in Kundalini yoga. It should be avoided if you are pregnant, have with vertigo or high blood pressure. It is helpful for those experiencing chronic pain, those trying to build inner core strength, and those with anxiety or depression. It is calming, detoxing and strengthening.
It will take time to build up your practice.
Breath of fire
What to do:
- Sit tall, lengthening the space between your navel and your heart.
- Breathe in and out through your nose, then pull your abdomen in during your exhale, and press it out during the inhale. Imagine your belly filling up with air during your inhale and use your abdominal muscles to push the air out during your exhale.
- Start to shorten each breath and pick up the pace. Your breathing should be loud and somewhat quick.
- Try to equalize your inhale and the exhale in strength and length.
- Post-pranayama, always pause and take a few smooth deep breaths as you sit and listen for the immediate effects of the practice. Tingling is completely normal (and quite wonderful!).
Start with 30 seconds and a slower rate. After a while, you can try 2-3 sets of 30 seconds.
If you have time, practice a few sun salutations here.
A chant for a peaceful ending
You can end your morning routine with this beautiful healing song:
May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on
Guide your way on
Guide your way on
Here is a link to Mike Heron, the composer, performing this beautiful song.
In the ancient Sikh language called Gurmukhi, Sat means truth. Nam means name. Together, Sat Nam essentially translates into something deeper: “I am truth,” or “Truth is my essence.”
I love ending my morning routine practice with this beautiful healing chant. It makes me feel universal love, and helps me connect deeply to myself and my surroundings.
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