Morning Routines

Over the past year or so I've been experimenting with different morning routines, finding what works for me and especially what doesn't work for me.  I tend to be a bit of an over thinker, so even something as simple as a "standardized" morning routine is helpful. This is especially important as I head into a crucial writing month.

Though it may seem impossibly early - and there was a time when it was - my ideal waking time is somewhere around 3-3:30am. I love waking up before everyone else in the house (maybe even on our street).  There's a quiet solitude that I've found I need before the hustle and bustle of the day that is never quite the same as if/when I get a moment alone in the afternoon.

After I've find my way from the bedroom to the bathroom for a quick pee and a tongue scrape ("pee and a tongue scrape, two bits"), I head to the kitchen to turn on the hot water pot, then to the living room to light some candles and meditate.  Generally I'll sit for about 20 minutes or so, but I don't set a timer or anything; whatever feels right that day. However, since my Reiki attunement, meditation has also involved a variety of hand placements, again depending on how I'm feeling. Once done, I'll slowly drink about 16oz of hot water with lemon and then start about 30-60 minutes of movement, which could mean sun salutations, running on the treadmill, body weight stuff...again whatever feels right.

So far so good. Nothing crazy right? Well...

The night before I'll have prepped a small ramekin with coconut oil and turmeric.  This goes into a small pan filled with water (also prepped the night before) to melt as I drink another 16oz of hot water (or tea at this point). Once the oil is melted with the turmeric I start swishing it around my mouth (more on oil pulling here) and head to the bathroom for a 10 minute sesame oil abhyangam followed by a 5-10 minute hot shower. Wait wait wait...you do what with oil for 20 minutes??? Well, in addition to the link above I'll give you my take on it.  Swishing a tablespoon or two or coconut oil feels REALLY weird at first. And over the course of 10-20 minutes, the amount of liquid almost doubles in your mouth from the addition of saliva.  There's definitely debate in the scientific community of its efficacy. But...it's worked great for me both hygienically and mentally.  And as far as the massage...come on...who doesn't like a good massage. It's also nice to force myself to slow down and have yet another form of meditation before the sun rises. In general, when I can remember/have time to add this Ayurvedic "module" to my morning, I tend to have the most balanced energy throughout the day.  But of course there are days when I don't really have the extra 20 minutes for the pulling/abhyangam (or I forget to prep the coconut oil). On these days I'll do a couple rounds of approx. 3 minute/30 second alternating hot/cold shower. I'm sure I'll write about this another day as these are a recent addition.

By now it's around 5am (give or take).  Time to start the day! :)

Of course, this is kind of "perfect morning" is rarer than I'd like.  Sometimes I "oversleep". Sometimes I just meditate and do some self Reiki for an hour or so. Sometimes I'm so energized to start writing that I jump into it around 4am and save the shower for later. But it helps tremendously to have some kind of starting template.

What's your morning routine?