There's nothing like joining a yoga class. It is so delightful to be inspired and guided through a soothing practice by a great yoga teacher. It is heartwarming to be practising along with other yoga practitioners.
At the same time, there's nothing more powerful than a steady self-practice. It is in the self-practice that we get to develop a strong self-discipline, our ability to listen to our own body and an ability to regulate, adjust and enhance our emotional response. I know, because I have lived it, that a morning routine will change your life by optimising your productivity, developing a strong self-confidence and a loving heart for life and all its beings. just to mention a few benefits of having a morning routine.
There's a lot ot be said about a morning routine, but to make it short let your morning routine include three things.
3 Elements to a Perfect Morning Routine:
✅ YOGA - Read along to get the tools to create your own perfect yoga class every time. 👇
✅ Growth - Learning from books, podcasts or self-growth activities.
A morning routine doesn't need to be hours long, it can be. But 15 minutes to 1 hour is a good aim! It is better to begin than feeling overwhelmed and staying in bed 🙃
Why a morning routine?
When we are in a hurry or stressed we are filling our body with the hormone cortisol and shifting to our fight-flight mode also called the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Cortisol and SNS are not bad or evil parts of ourselves. In a matter of fact, we don't have a dark side or a monster inside of us, we can simply put be in balance or out of balance. But too much time spent in the SNS and overdosing on cortisol isn't a great combo. It leaves us unable to connect to ourself, regulate our emotional response and without clarity of our goals in life.
When we begin the morning in this way, stressed and in a hurry, we are likely to continue the day like this and show up at work, in our breaks and when we come home, feeling unbalanced and unable to express the best version of ourselves.
SO! A morning routine is the first step to take if you are ready to take your life to the next level.
The most successful people in this world ALL have a steady morning routine!
It gives you time to show up in life feeling balanced.
AND! If you are a parent, I KNOW! it isn't always possible to have a morning routine. If you have older children, see if you can fit it in by waking up 30 minutes before the rest in your house.
If you have small children a morning routine is first and foremost a state of mind in the morning, and take your little ones with you on the yoga mat, meditate together. Some days it works, and some days it doesn't, Hari Om, Oh well, pyt. It is not a big deal :) One of the most important elements in conscious parenting is to always leave time for transitions. When we are stressed and rushing the cortisol level rise in our children and getting out of the door becomes a lot harder. As often as possible create time to get dressed and ready for transitions. Give your child opportunities to participate and chaos will turn into play.
Thinking about becoming a parent? The best preparation is to begin and live a morning routine now, before becoming a parent. Then you create a mindset that is loving, powerful and expansive for when your little new love pops out (love using the phrase "pops out", makes it sound so light and easy, we all know it is a bit of a different experience, none the less a very spiritual one!)
SO! Okay! Mega sidetrack here! I want to share with you the best way to ensure your yoga practice is just perfect every time. It doesn't matter if you practice for five minutes of five hours. If you follow these simple steps, you are bound to feel thriving afterwards:
How to Practice Yoga Efficiently
The Most Important Knowledge to Ensure Your Yoga Practice is Perfect
E V E R Y T I M E
It is very simple, I will explain more details below. Basically to ensure that your yoga practice is successful every day you need to make sure that you:
- Use all spine directional movement
- Move in each station
Directional Movement of Your Spine:
Yoga is first and foremost a practice to keep a good spinal health. We are only as young as our spine is flexible. Of course, we bring all limbs into account when doing yoga, though most of the yoga poses we practice are centred around the spine.
Why the spine?
- The spine is what keeps us upright.
- The spine provides the ribs with a place to fasten. The ribs come together to form our ribcage which is what protects our vital organs like the heart and lungs.
- The spine provides protection and space for our nervous systems, the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and the central nervous system (CNS).
- The spinal cord serves as an attachment point for our limbs.
- The spine plays a major role in all of our movements.
- The main muscle involved in breathing, the diaphragm, connect to the spine.
- The spine holds your head, a very important part of the experience of being you. :)
- Movement is what keeps the vertebral disks to soak up fluid leaving them plump and healthy.
- The spine is where our Kundalini energy is situated.
Basically, the spinal cord is the centre of our physical body.
Further in philosophical context, the spine is where the spiritual energy Kundalini is situated. The wakening of kundalini happens when the energy travel from the bottom of the spine to the crown of the head. When this happens a person is considered to have experienced a state of enlightenment.
The 5 Directional Movement of the Spine:
Check in with your trusted health care provider to get an understanding of how is best for you to move. As an example, people suffering from impingement or a spinal nerve should not practice forward folds and twist that compresses the spine. People suffering from slipped disc also need to know what the best ways for them to move are. SO! With that said, let's look at the 5 ways we can move our spine:
1# Forward Fold - Spinal Flexion:
Stretches the back of the body. Forward folds are calming on our nervous system. Forward folds help us to feel our body and notice our breath. They slow us down and helps us to recenter ourselves.
2# Side Stretch - Spinal Lateral Flexion:
Stenches and strengthens side structures of our body. Often these are combined with hip-openers. Great way to restore circulation. Positivity impacts the lymph system.
3# Twisting - Spinal Rotation:
Twists are important to rotate the spine and help to increase circulation to the intervertebral discs. Twisting poses are also a great way to aid digestion and maintain body temperature.
4# Extension - Spinal Axial Extension:
Extensions are when we stand taller than we think we can. In a standing pose lift your head towards the sky. Creates length in the spine. Extension is often happening in standing balancing poses. These are great ways to improve concentration.
5# Backbend - Spinal Extension:
Stretches the front of the body. Focus on length in backbends rather than depth of backbends. Backbends are up-lifting, anti-depressive and heart-opening.
The 6 Different Stations:
2# Crouching (in-between seated and standing)
5# Inverted (poses where the head is below heart count as inversions)
The Circle Of Life:
These are the 6 stations we move in during a yoga practice. To create an outstanding, perfect yoga sequence, move in these stations in the following order:
Seated, Crouching, Standing, Balancing, Crouching, Laying, Seated, Inverted, Shavasana.
This is what we call The Circle of Life. It is up to you how many poses you would like in each station. You can shorten your practice by removing some of the repeated stations.
The balancing station can be practised in both standing and crouching. It can differ from practice to practice.
There you go, this is the recipe for creating a preferred yoga practice every time. Simply follow these two steps and you are bound to feel the positive effects shortly.
The sun salutation practice works brilliantly as a morning routine. You can do one, two or many. Finish it with a Shavasana and you have activated all stations.
As a little bonus info: Now you understand the depth of the sun salutation practice, as we touch upon each station. But something is missing in a sun salutation for it to be complete.
What is missing?
YES! We are missing twists and side stretch. Include one of each and sun salutation becomes a wonderful, simple practice to begin with at home.