How we choose to start our day says a lot about how our day (and our life) will unfold. Making the intentional change to an early-morning yoga and meditation practice in my early 30’s has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Sometimes I still have to work at it but I never regret the effort I put in to start my day in a conscious way – it gives me the strength, joy, courage and perspective I need to face life gracefully. According to ancient Yoga philosophy, the early-morning hours around sunrise is called Brahmamuhurtha. It means ‘the creator’s hour.’ This is a powerful time when our heart and our mind is naturally open, creative and the most receptive. If you listen to the birds at sunrise, they seem to know this magic! So when we use the early morning hours to be with ourselves through the body and the breath (as opposed to doing other things, as tempting as they might be) it really pays off. In our complex, fast-paced, modern lives we all need to find good ways that nurture and sustain us, or run the risk of burning out – and ultimately living an unfulfilled life.
A self-practice like yoga or meditation allows us to discover and tap into an inner source of energy that is life-giving and empowering. Over time, the regular habit of ‘turning inward’ results in a relaxed presence and more energy, with better access to our creativity, our wisdom, our capacity to love, to make wise decisions and to be the best person we can be. How do you start your day? Perhaps yoga or meditation isn’t your thing, but choose something that resonates with you and leaves you feeling relaxed, centred and energised for your day ahead. And if you’ve never given yourself early-morning time before, rather than reach for the IPhone or get busy with the kids or your to-do list, I invite you to try a new habit – first take time for yourself – and see what a difference it makes. Here are some tips to try:
?Set up your yoga mat, meditation cushion or your quiet space the night before, so you’re ready-to-go.
? Keep your IPhone out of the bedroom – use an old-fashioned alarm clock or clock radio if you need an alarm.
? Say to yourself last thing at night: when I awake, I will give time to myself first.
? Give yourself 15-45 minutes (whatever you can) to breathe, move, journal, sit quietly, meditate or practice yoga. Do it just for you!
? Commit to doing this for a whole week, or a whole month, and see what a difference it makes. If you find that this approach to your day works, then why not adopt it as ‘your way’ and notice how it sustains you over the longer-term.
Our Intentional Living Group Coaching Program will help you with the mindset, skills, approaches and inspiration to deepen your self-awareness; increase your capacity for change and to accomplish the goals and vision you set out for yourself. Wishing you focus, energy, and the fulfilment of your deepest desires in life – today and always!
Natalie Snooke is an experienced Mindful Leadership Coach, Yoga and Meditation Teacher and the founder of Momentum. She specialises in guiding men and women to develop focus, presence, creativity and compassion in their personal and professional lives. She has a background in human resource management and takes a pragmatic yet light-hearted approach to her work.