- Practice What You Teach: Keeping Teaching Real through the Evolution of Your Personal Practice
- It's All in the Hips, Or Is It?
- Day or Night? Body and Mind Considerations for Scheduling Your Yoga Practice
- This Yoga Love Affair (Part Two): Making it Last a Lifetime
- This Yoga Love Affair: A Collage of Views on How to Keep Your Yoga Practice Sustainable Over One Year
- To Be Thankful Without Grasping and Real Without Apologizing
- When Burnout Knocks: The Struggle of Keeping Teaching Healthy, Honest, and Vibrant
- Living Yoga Off The Mat
- Tuning Up Mind and Body: How Yoga and Sound Therapy Work in Harmony
- Making It to the Mat: What Yoga Teachers Need to Know About the Most Difficult Part of the Practice
A Yogi’s Toolbox of Morning Rituals, continued.
A few weeks ago we began a blog series about a Yogi's morning rituals, this is the continuation. Go back a few blog posts to see the first 3 steps.
One of the most grounding and loving ways to treat yourself is by implementing a few sweet and juicy morning rituals into your day. It’s relaxing for the nervous system not to jump immediately out of bed and onto the computer to check your e-mails or Facebook page. Instead, treat the morning as sacred – because it is. Treat your body as sacred every morning – because it is. While you may be familiar with some of the following techniques, you may not have them already firmly established into your routine. Bring these simple and loving actions into your life for a sense of sacred, self-care.
4. Drop into Metta
Now it’s time to meditate. The classical Buddhist Lovingkindness Meditation is a profound one with which to begin your day. In the Pali language the word for lovingkindness is called “metta.” It allows you to extend your loving energy to yourself and to others – near and far. As yogis we want to be constantly opening our hearts to all the joys, pains, sorrows and beauty of living a human life. This meditation helps you do just that. It’s one of the most powerful meditations to bring us into a peaceful and loving state, connecting us to the most loving parts of ourselves.
Turn your mind inward and come into contemplation. Find your meditation seat and gently close your eyes. Allow the hands to rest on your knees with the palms facing upward. Bring your awareness and your breath to the heart center. Breathe deeply, in and out of the heart, allowing tension to melt away.
On an inhale, have the thought, “I am healed.”
On an exhale, have the thought, “I am whole.”
Inhaling, “I am healed.”
Exhaling, “I am whole.”
Repeat this as many times as you wish. From this place of wholeness, bring in the following thoughts:
On an inhale, “May I be loving.”
On an exhale, “May I be loved.”
On an inhale, “May I be peaceful.”
On an exhale, “May I give peace.”
Repeat this as many times as you wish.
On an inhale, have the thought, “May I be healed.”
On an exhale, “May I be whole.”
On the inhale, “May I be loved.”
On the exhale, “May I be loving.”
Repeat as many times as you wish.
On an inhale, have the thought, “May all beings be healed.”
On an exhale, have the thought, “May all beings be whole.”
Inhaling, “May all beings be loved.”
Exhaling, “May all beings be loving.”
Now choose someone you love very much. Bring them into your mind’s eye and send these loving thoughts to them.
On an inhale, “May this person be loving.”
On an exhale, ”May they be loved.”
Inhaling, “May they be peaceful.”
Exhaling, “May they bring peace.”
Repeat this as many times as you like.
Now think of others in your life to whom you’d like to extend this blessing. Perhaps it’s a group of friends, members of your family, or members of someone else’s family. Imagine these people are present with you as you offer them this blessing of love and kindness:
On the inhalation, “May these people be loving.”
On the exhalation, “May they be loved.”
Inhaling, “May they be peaceful.”
Exhaling, “May they give peace.”
Repeat this a few times. Notice the feelings in your heart that arise as you offer these prayers.
Now consider someone you’re not particularly fond of and offer them the same prayer.
Inhaling, “May this person be loving.”
Exhaling, “May this person be loved.”
Inhaling, “May this person be peaceful.”
Exhaling, “May this person give peace.”
Know that this person, like you, is another human on the ever-evolving path. They too, are working with their own light and darkness. Feel into your heart that you want what’s best for them. Wish them the very best.
Now return to yourself:
On an inhale, have the thought, “May I be loving.”
On an exhale, have the thought, “May I be loved.”
Inhaling, “May I be peaceful.”
Exhaling, “May I give peace.”
Allow yourself to sit restfully in this softened state of loving awareness for several moments. When you feel ready, leave your meditation seat and make your way to the kitchen.
5. A Green Breakfast
When you start your morning off with something green and nutrient-dense, it sets the tone for your entire day. Fresh green vegetable juices provide the body with all the life-giving nutrients a yogi needs. Green smoothies are another excellent way to go. With so many recipes out there, how does one choose? Here’s a nice little morning energizer that could be combined with avocado toasts for a well-rounded “green breakfast.”
In a blender, blend 1 cup almond milk, a large handful of spinach leaves, 1 large frozen banana, a tablespoon of chia seeds and 1/8 tsp. chlorella powder. Blend until creamy and sip with mindfulness and gratitude.
There you have it – one morning routing to bring more love and peace to your day. Play around with it and see if it works for you. Bring in your own meditations and green smoothie recipes to keep things fresh! This routine is simply one example to bring into your yogi’s tool box of morning rituals.