“How you start your morning is how you sequence your day and how you sequence your day is how you sequence your life.” -Kevin Courtney
I remember exactly where I was when I heard one of my yoga teachers, Kevin Courtney, speak these words.
I was sitting in one of his workshops at South Boston Yoga a few years ago. I don’t recall the topic of the workshop but this one sentence has stuck with me.
How we start our day impacts how we live our life and as we move toward the autumn equinox, we can use the energy and the natural current of hope that comes with a new season to begin or refresh a morning routine.
As you rise to greet the day, there are two options. You can reach for your phone, scroll through email and Instagram and launch yourself into your day hurried, anxious and processing from a reactive and chaotic state or you can take time to ground yourself, release anxious thoughts and start the day from a place of love on your own terms.
The power of routine can both comfort you and elevate your life.
One of the most effective ways to change our belief patterns is through practicing and maintaining daily routines. Creating a morning routine is a way to catch anxious thought patterns and feelings of overwhelm as soon as you wake up and a way to prevent episodes of anxiety later on in your day.
It’s a way to slow down and recognize we create our own reality through how we think and what we believe.
Four Morning Routines for Fall
According to the Ayurveda tradition, fall and early winter are vata season. If vata is out of balance, we can feel spacey, scattered, and unstable.
Here are four ways to start a morning routine to balance vata, ground yourself, decrease anxiety and get clear on what you most desire in life.
If you do not have a morning routine and steps seem extensive rather than feeding into the feeling of overwhelm, take a deep breath and start with one step below.
- Essential Oils: Upon waking, I have a combination of essential oils, herbal and Ayurvedic remedies that I leave next to my night stand and apply usually within the first 10 minutes for waking up. Two of the remedies that I apply are doTERRA Peace Touch Blend and Farm to Gold Clarity Nasya. I use both of these products to ground myself and get mentally clear.
- Meditation: After getting out of bed and before doing anything else, I sit in meditation for at least twenty minutes. I do my best to sit every day for at least twenty minutes because research from Harvard University’s Benson-Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital where I completed a mediation training, found that sitting in meditation for twenty minutes a day was the time required to see measurable changes in the brain that help us become more focused, creative, productive and less anxious.
- Morning Tea: After meditation, I boil water and make myself a green tea or a matcha. Lately I’ve been using PANATEA matcha and blend it with hot water and 1-2 adaptogens such as chaga and maca powder. Matcha contains a wealth of antioxidants, amino acids and chlorophyll that boost memory, increase energy levels and detoxify the body. One serving of PANATEA is nutritionally equivalent to ten cups of green tea. It’s a nutritional powerhouse for your brain without the side effects of coffee.
You can try PANATEA with the code “KERRI15” for fifteen percent off your purchase.
- Journal: Once I make my tea, I sit on my mediation cushion and journal for as long as I have time. This is my favorite part of the morning. Sometimes it’s 5 minutes and sometimes it’s for 30 minutes. The one rule I have about journaling is there are no rules. It’s my time to write down a complete stream of consciousness. I write down whatever comes to mind and don’t care if it makes sense or topics are linked together. I empty out everything that’s worrying me and eventually I get to a place where I can sort out my most important tasks for the day while also envisioning the proactive steps I can take to creating the future I want.
In creating your own ritual, determine how you want to feel in the morning. Energized, grounded, etc.? Think realistically about how much time you have. Do you need to rise earlier for quiet time before your partner or children or can you think of ways to incorporate them into your routine?