What’s your first thought when the sound of your alarm goes off in the morning? Mine is “not already!” During my college years, I’d drowsily hit the snooze button desperately hoping for a few more moments of blissful slumber, only to repeat this unpleasant process until I HAD to get up.
I’d fumble through a semblance of a morning routine: throw on whatever clothes were tossed on “the chair” (the chair= home of the clothes that aren’t dirty enough for the hamper but aren’t clean enough for the closet), brush my teeth & hair, etc. I’d grab my bag, maybe a granola bar, and rush off to class or work. I’d arrive still half asleep, looking and feeling disheveled.
If I had a superpower, it’d be the ability to pause time- I’d get enough sleep to wake up feeling refreshed and ready for a new day. Alas, no such power exists (thus far). A few months ago I became a “nine to fiver” and dreaded that AM alarm more each day. No matter how early I hit the sheets at night, I’d still arrive at the office every morning feeling like a zombified version of myself.
After some soul-searching (and some chats with my wonderful therapist), I realized it was time to hold myself accountable for shifting my morning mindset. Superpowers may not be real, but willpower is. Corny, but true. I simply decided: I want to start my day; I don’t want to feel like my day started me.
First I needed to think about how I’d manifest this mantra into behavior. While in college, I also studied yoga and meditation, so (re)building a morning ritual felt like an attainable goal. But remember- I’m lazy! The 20th century version of “yoga” we’re familiar with (think heated studios with uber flexible yogis doing handstands) is an extremely new, Westernized version of an ancient, traditional practice dating back to 1900BCE. In my studies I learned that the first physical Asana (Sanskrit for ‘pose’), wasn’t introduced until 100BCE. The first documented Asana: a meditative seat.
I decided I’d start there, and the “Lazy Yogini’s Guide to Morning Meditation” was born. I find that these steps help me wake up slowly and purposefully, and enable me to begin each day feeling rooted in mindfulness.
I’m by no means thrilled when my alarm goes off every day, but I do believe this routine makes mornings more bearable. I encourage you to join me- to break free from the snooze spiral and take back your mornings. Start with one breath, one stretch, one smile. Your day is yours- choose to begin.
- When your alarm goes off, don’t hit snooze!
- After turning off your alarm ~right away~ (woo hoo, progress!) sit up in your bed. This small shift prevents you from falling back asleep, and sets you up for your practice- all while staying in bed (under the covers, even, if you’re always cold like I am)!
- Light a candle to ~gently~ introduce your senses to light and smell.
- Play some soft music. I use this instrumental playlist by Spotifty.
Please remember: The practices of yoga and meditation are subjective and are meant to be personal experiences- please don’t feel the need to rigidly follow these steps. Experiment a little and find your sweet spots- you’ll know what feels right.
Ready? Press play below to listen via Acacia’s Podcast, “Sincerely Not Okay!”
Author, Danielle Sharkey