Wednesday, August 27, 2008

morning ritual

what a week! do i sound like a broken record? i feel like one! gearing up to head to kripalu again but this time as a student. i leave tomorrow night and this week has been quite a whirlwind (again, broken record). i'm hoping to make some changes this fall that will alleviate these ongoing whirlwinds. one piece that i'd like to put into place is a morning ritual.

we spoke a lot about this at the retreat i lead at kripalu and i've been pondering it ever since. then, as the universe usually does it, i got an e-mail from a podcast listener in japan wanting me to do a podcast about it. thus, i gotta create one that varies from get up at 9, race to computer, and get out the door for the inevitable 10 meeting! sure, i usually add a walk with louis and cup of green tea into the picture but i want more. i want journal writing time, meditation time, a few sun salutes time. reflection and intention setting for the day.

i'm curious if you have a morning ritual. if so, what is it? i plan to ponder this over the holiday weekend and do my best to launch into one when i return from studying with dharma mittra. i promise to share the plan as i'm hopeful we can all continue supporting each other all our very hip and tranquil way.

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me said...

i can't wait to hear how this goes! i've been trying to do the same thing recently so it will be nice to hear how other people are trying to implement it.

Anonymous said...

Here is another question, Are people who follow everyday rituals, habits and schedules happier than those people who maybe live a more harried, confused, chaotic existence?
What is a happy medium between these two worlds?
(Ok, that was two questions!)
Good luck and can't wait for this podcast - kudos to the gal who suggested it!

Jessica in Louisville, KY said...


Thought this might be of interest to you and other readers... this is an article that was in the print-version of Yoga Journal about 1-2 years ago, but I continue to go back to it on their website for reference. It is an interesting take on morning rituals from the perspective of ayurvedic traditions. Enjoy!

Rachel said...

When I left our scrumptious retreat in Costa Rica last year [sigh], I promised myself that I'd make yoga a daily part of my life, and since I do my cardio/strength training after work, it had to be in the morning.

Of course, since I have to be at work at 7 am everyday, this meant getting up at [gack!] 5:00 during the week. Despite some internal resistance at the beginning, I've been able to keep it up for a whole year.

My "ritual" goes something like this:
1. Morning pages (thank you, Julia Cameron!)
2. Pranayama
3. Yoga practice
4. Meditation

Of course I try to stay flexible (pun intended) depending on my needs: if I wake up feeling desperate to move, I'll do all yoga, or if I need to get quiet and centered, I devote more time to meditation. Or sometimes I'll just read something inspirational.

The important part is that it's my special time just for me--no phone, no email, no blackberry, nobody around to distract me, because they're all asleep :-)

Wellness Journey said...

My morning ritual is wake up at 5:00 am push snooze and run to work
by 5:30 am. Yes 5:30 am six days a week. I am a personal trainer so of course this is my schedule.
However I am working on creating a morning ritual which would go something like this: Get up with the sunrise so I could watch it while drinking green tea and doing my morning pages. Set my intentions for the day. Read my favorite blogs and go for a quick run. Train a few appointments and have office time. Help can this happen!

Dana said...

Recently, in an effort to enjoy the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables this season, I have been taking time each morning to make a healthy salad for lunch. My previous routine was to throw some snacks in a bag or grab a sandwich on my way into work, but I found that salad-making not only provides me with a healthy lunch, but also gives me time to be creative in the morning. I've been experimenting a lot with different flavor combinations and colors. My co-workers have become quite jealous!

Nikki in Greenville said...

Though my body is trained to be sleepy or in bed by 10:00 every night of the week, I enjoy each morning by waking with-or before-the sun (no later than 5:00 AM), going for a workout and practicing yoga before I get ready for work and have my breakfast. How many days does it take to make a habit? 21? I used to be a night owl and slept in as late as possible. Since simply changing my daily sleeping routine, I find myself more rested and put together when I don't have to rush to get out the door and have the extra time just TO BE in the mornings. To me, setting aside time to take care of myself each morning is well worth the sacrifice of staying up, or out, late at night. My body also thanks me.

Caitlin said...

Since fall semester has started back up again at the University of Pittsburgh, I've started a morning ritual. I'm really nerdy about it too. I'll schedule it on a post-it the night before in half hour increments.

It consists of waking up and drinking coffee/tea at 8:30. At 9 there's some running or some form of free exercise program that comes with comcast, like yoga or cardio. Shower and breakfast at 9:30, the everyday argument with my closet at 10, then out the door to catch the bus at 10:30 to make it to my Chem class at 11. Wind it back two hours for days I have class at 9:30. Today is the first day all week that I skipped the exercise, due to a case of the mondays (on a thursday?! I don't know why), with a side of the mean reds, so I just relaxed. I felt the lack of energy later in the day with a nagging feeling for a nap.

Alicia said...

It takes me a while to "wake up" in the morning regardless of what time the alarm goes off, so ever since college, my morning ritual is coffee, the New York Times, and some kind of exercise. Usually this is a run or workout at the gym, but I've also done yoga tapes or kept it at a walk to work if I'm running low on energy. Does all this mean I have to get up much earlier than my neighbors? Yes. Do I go to work feeling much more energized than they do? Also yes.

Yogadiva said...

This month I began a gratitude and affirmation journal. Every night before bed I list 5 things throughout my day that I was thankful for. In the morning when I wake up, I choose an affirmation card from about 75 affirmations (which I created over the summer)and write it 5 times. This has been a very simple way to help me start my day in a serene and positive way and end it with a spirit of gratitude. Namaste'

Yogadiva said...

This month I began a gratitude & affirmation journal. Every night before bed, I list 5 people/things/experiences I was grateful for that day. In the morning when I wake up, I randomly choose an affirmation card from a stack of 75 affirmations (I created these this summer) and write it out 5 times. This has been a really simple way to start my day in a serene and positive way and end it with a spirit of gratitude. Namaste'

Yogadiva said...

I just recently started a gratitude & affirmation journal. (I am just a bit journal obsessed--as I now have 3 different types of journals: a regular journal for writing whatever I feel like writing about, a personal growth journal where I respond to any type of personal growth book I'm reading, and now, my gratitude & affirmation journal). Every night before bed, I write 5 reasons I'm thankful. Every morning when I wake up, I choose an affirmation card (I created these this summer), and I write the affirmation 5 times. I have been using this journal for almost a month now, and I really appreciate how it is such a simple way to help me start my day off with a serene and positive attitude and end my day in gratitude.

Lisa B said...

I have an ideal morning ritual which I achieve about 78% of the time. First is a cup of decaf coffee and doing the puzzles in the paper while my head is still a little fuzzy. Then after about 20 minutes I'm awake. I start with morning pages. I next do a short worship/prayer to the universe/god to remember how special the world is and everyone in it. Then I meditate for 20 minutes. If I have time I do a few minutes of chanting because I like to practice using my "voice" in all ways being a writer.
I do think it makes a difference in my day. I find as a highstrung type that I'm much calmer and more patient when I do my routine. It also reminds me of WHO I want to be at the start of each day, so it is then easier to be that person.

Like Yogadiva I end each day with a gratitude list. I don't know if it makes any difference in me, but I enjoy doing it.

Pink Heels said...

My morning is spent surrounded by moments of zen! Despite having a crazy hectic schedule, I ALWAYS carve out 20 minutes every morning to meditate and 30 minutes every morning to take a walk. I need this time for myself especially since the rest of day is spent giving to others.

Amy said...

Great post, Kimberly!

And so timely for me... This is just what I've been thinking about lately.

I usually wake up around 6:30, sip coffee/green tea for a half hour or so while I catch up on blog posts and do a sudoku. At 7, I take my puppy on a long walk. At 7:30, I do some breathing exercises before it's off to class at 8:30.

Several people have mentioned writing pages... What're you guys referring to? I'm interested...

Amanda said...

So, I admit, I came back to read the comments after seeing that Kimberly chose not to post the negative comment by the woman with kids. I have no idea what she wrote, but I must say, reading these does make me envious of the free time time you have before you have the joy of children!

Before my baby, and when I worked in corporate America, my morning ritual used to be: Up at 5, off to the Y for an hour of exercise, home for shower, make lunch, and leisurely breakfast and out the door by about 7:45 for work. I never realized how nice that was!

Now, I have a 10 month old and I am a Pilates instructor so my new "ritual" is: Up whenever the baby wakes up, anytime between 5 and 6:30. Nurse her, play for about an hour, then she goes back to sleep. Then I write my morning pages, grab a quick breakfast and clean up the house. When she wakes up she gets her "real food breakfast" and then we both head to the Y or the park where I train for the triathlon I will complete in October. Back home usually around 11ish when I start planning lunch and dinner.
(This also allows hubby to get to work early so that he can leave early so I can teach at night.)

So, mornings are much different with kids, and maybe not my total ideal (I loved getting up and exercising early) but it works for us and we are very happy!

Daija said...

It seems that quite a few people experience that they cannot make time for a morning ritual.
A more challenging obstacle for me was allowing myself to take this "me-time" in the first place. Another issue was that ever-changing schedules and life situations as a graduate student working part-time made it difficult for me to keep even small healthy routines through times of transition (e.g. when I lacked my tea pot while temporarily living with my boyfriend or some space for meditation in a tiny appartment shared with a roommate).
I am curious to know how others deal and overcome the obstacles of a tight schedule, small kids or inner barriers while establishing and keeping up rituals.

msdeem9 said...

My morning ritual varies according to whether it's a 'wash hair' morning or not. When I wash my hair my morning is devoted to that, makeup and dressing and urging my 16 year old son to get moving. I will add some clearing exercies; scripts/visualizations to help me release thoughts that I'm not good enough, smart enough, etc. to achieve my dreams.

On non-hair washing days, I do an abbreviated exercise regimen including warrior pose (I'm just a baby yogini), I then do morning devotions and my scripts with affirmations...then it's on w/ hair, etc.

So, if your child is older you can certainly carve out some time; and I get up at 4:00 AM to make it happen.