Whoa, all this stuff made me forget about my morning routine anniversary. On March 26th, 2019 I started a yoga and meditation morning routine… and now I’ve held it up for over a year, without missing a single day. It’s so surprising, and I’m not quite sure how I did it, but I did. I meant to write a summary on the actual anniversary, but with everything else happening (including trying to make Mr. SS’s birthday special even in light of social distancing) I missed it. And as I hit the mat yesterday, I realized: “Wow- I’ve been at this for over a year.” Time to reflect!
In March of 2019 I attended a tech theatre conference, and was somewhat shocked to find both yoga and mindfulness among the session offerings. This is not typical of the tech crew. I joyfully attended both of them, and they were really great. Spending an hour around “my people” while engaging in this kind of activity was remarkable. I realized I wasn’t doing enough of it. There was no reason for me missing out. Even the world of tech theatre was into it, so I wanted to do more, and decided to embrace yoga and meditation in my life. I was out of excuses.
The Monday after the conference, I had an 8am meeting. That’s not early for everyone, but it was early for me. I hesitated, but decided I needed to jump right into it. The first step to starting is just to start. I got up at 6.45, adding extra time to my morning routine. It was tough, but I did it. And I did it the day after, and the day after that. And every day forward until today.
Every morning, I do a 3 minute meditation and 5 minutes of yoga. It’s not a crazy amount, but it’s an awesome and consistent habit. For my meditation, I started with guided youtube videos, but after about two weeks I stopped, and now it’s just me. For yoga, I typically do 3 sun salutations and whatever poses it feels like my body needs that day. Depending on my energy levels, it can be intense or very relaxed. I’ve pretty much used the same music for the entire time: Chakra Suite by Steven Halpern. Now, even the music puts me in a great frame of mind. I typically light some palo santo, or other incense to create a nice atmosphere. I put my coffee on before I begin, so the happy gurgles of the percolator add to the ambiance.
It’s a tiny amount but added up, last year I did 30 hours and 25 minutes of yoga and 18 hours and 15 minutes of meditation. That’s not nothing. Additionally, starting my day in this way gets me a lot of energy and sends me off on a good note. It makes me feel more focused and awake. Also, it sets a mindfulness in my day and makes me move through my morning tasks with more purpose. This routine gives me a sense of home, even when I’m traveling and not able to do other tasks or everyday elements. This has really been helping now in the midst of the pandemic, allowing me to keep at least a little sense of normalcy.
There is the occasional snafu. Last year over the summer I was very sick for about 2 weeks. During that time, I wasn’t able to do much, but I found great resources online. Yoga with Adriene has a great video onyoga when you’re sick. Yes, it mostly involved hugging a pillow in gentle forward folds, but it allowed me to continue my practice during that time. Since this really is about habit forming, keeping up with the habit, even in smaller ways, is incredibly beneficial. Yoga is a very flexible practice, so you can accommodate just about anything.
There is no end in sight. I fully intend to keep up this routine for the foreseeable future. It makes my mornings calmer, it makes me feel grounded, and it really helps when anything is out of the ordinary, such as travel, gigs away from home or our current situation. I’d say it’s something that I’ve come to look forward to, but I think I always did. It was a natural fit. I strongly recommend having a morning routine that extends beyond getting dressed and brushing your teeth. Adding things on in the morning is fairly easy, as you can find activities for habit-stacking. I know this little 8 minute addition changed my life for the better- and I say that from a perspective of over 2,920 minutes.
Do you have a morning routine? Share in the comments 🙂