We’re all feeling it – there’s a heaviness in the air all around us, one that has seemed to linger for far too long this year. The weight of it all is intense. There is so much unknown, so many things shifting on what seems like a daily basis. It feels impossible to keep up, nevermind to actually process everything.
So the heaviness lingers, manifesting itself as severe anxiety, chronic stress, and even physical pain for many of us. Feeling unsettled has become a standard way of being lately – keeping ourselves grounded amidst all the chaos and disruption has become what feels like an impossible task.
In a world with no intention of shifting on its own, how do we place our focus on the shifts we want to create in our own lives? How do we distill from the surrounding heaviness a level of inner calm and peace? How do we take care of ourselves and our bodies amid the feelings of doubt, uncertainty, and lack swirling all around us?
Starting A Morning Yoga Routine
The good news is, we don’t need to radically change how we live our lives or how we view the world to move closer toward answering these questions – rather, we need only shift our perception. This can all begin with a morning yoga routine.
For tens of thousands of years, the ancient practice of yoga – the Sanskrit word for “union” or “unity” – has served as a pathway to bliss for humanity. Despite the myriad of distractions we face in the modern world today, yoga has the remarkable power to bring us back into present moment awareness. Yoga is the act of returning home to ourselves; through it, we can transcend our current reality and connect directly with the divine. We can clearly see that everything already is, all is complete in the here and now.
So, what if instead of getting caught up in fears about what has happened, or what will happen, we choose to drop fearlessly into the here and now? By choosing to move our bodies and breath through something as simple as a 15-minute yoga sequence, we have the power to dramatically shift how we feel and how we identify with our outer world. By combining the elements of breath, posture, and movement, practicing yoga allows us to connect with ourselves as a whole. We get to experience ourselves as we are in the here and now, without judgment.
Finding the mind-body connection in this way is how we shift ourselves from a state of passivity into total awareness. We are able to see ourselves and our life with a fresh pair of eyes. Through yoga, we can alter our perception – we can shift our mindset from a place of lack and scarcity into one of abundance and optimism.
Where To Begin
While there are many different ways to practice yoga, the power of a morning yoga practice to prepare the body and mind for the day ahead has immense benefits. Even a quick morning yoga routine at home has the capacity to create a major shift in your mood and overall vitality – starting the day this way is a profound act of self-love that will spill over into all areas of your life.
Just like the world around us is constantly shifting we, too, have the ability to create shifts in our own inner world – shifts that we consciously create through intentional movement and awareness. We become active participants in our own stories. Through yoga, we rewrite the tired old narratives that brought us to fear and overwhelm and we replace them with ones of peace, stability, and joy. In this way, we quite literally embody the change we want to see in the world.
Instead of giving in to fear, we acknowledge it, and let it flow through us. By practicing a morning yoga routine, we signal to the Universe that we are ready to face the coming day with strength and resolve instead of giving in to fear. We show that we care about ourselves and we are willing to receive the true benefit of yoga – finding wholeness, becoming one with ourselves and everything around us.
However, abandoning fear is easier said than done. Fear is a natural response of the human body, a mechanism meant to protect us from present danger. However, in the contemporary world, it seems like our body’s natural stress response is alerting us all the time. We find ourselves in constant fight or flight mode over perceived threats that our bodies think are real.
Creating a Conscious Morning Routine
The mainstream integration of smartphones and social media is undoubtedly a major culprit in creating this chronically stressed world we live in – they are our constant companions, allowing us to constantly engage with sometimes triggering and potentially harmful content. Fight or flight mode starts to feel almost normal in our bodies. We don’t even have to leave the safety of our homes to find ourselves grappling with intense feelings of fear and lack – we have it right in our fingertips.
This obsession with our smartphones is slowly taking control of our lives and our ability to regulate our own emotions. They seem to follow us everywhere – even into our beds. A study performed by AdWeek found that 80% of smartphone owners look at their phones first thing in the morning – before we even get out of bed, we are thrusting ourselves into a chaotic ether of opinions, images, and clickbaity headlines written to intentionally unsettle us.
Over time, this can wreak havoc on our nervous systems which in turn diminishes our ability and willingness to confront the unknown or face new challenges. When we start our days in this way, we invite stress directly into our fields. When we do this day in and day out, we might even find ourselves experiencing unexplainable anxiety and general uneasiness which stifles our productivity and receptivity to new ideas and opportunities.
How To Create a Routine
While technology has undoubtedly made our lives better, it does not come without a cost. The yogic teachings tell us that our internal world creates our external environment. When we are completely absorbed in the frenzy and unrest, it only perpetuates. So, how do we cultivate an internal world of wholeness and bliss? How do we tune out the external madness exacerbated by social media and a 24-hour news cycle and sink into the depth and beauty of going inward?
It starts with setting aside time for just yourself, free from phones and distractions. The mornings are the most sacred time of the day. If we treat ourselves well in the morning, we signal to the Universe that we care about ourselves, that we are taking responsibility for our own well-being, and that we want to be active participants in our own lives and in the lives of others. We have a choice to make: we can start the day by mindlessly scrolling, or we can mindfully choose to take a break from it all and instead care for ourselves.
Creating space for ourselves in the morning is a tiny step toward a better world – something as simple as a quick morning yoga routine can improve your mood, reduce your stress levels, and even boost your energy and focus. When we feel good, we put out more of that goodness into the world. It may be a small step toward collective healing, but it is a profound step toward self-love and acceptance.
Your Morning Yoga Routine
To experience the bliss of yoga, we must consciously choose to separate ourselves from the obstacles we perceive to hold us back, the self-destructive stories that burden our hearts, and the traumas – both personal and collective – that threaten or impede our ability to experience it. Even with a 20-minute yoga practice, we are able to come closer to ourselves and everything around us. We have the capacity to transform our entire being.
Before you begin the morning yoga routine, take a moment to set an intention for your practice that you want to carry with you throughout your day. Think about the intention you set as you invite in the flow of breath. Start to bring your awareness to how your body feels today – simply observe, without judgment.
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