Daily practice has become a non-negotiable in my life. My husband has noticed an amazing shift in my way of being since I began making sacred time for myself virtually every morning for the last 18 months. What do I mean by practice? Well, for me, it means an hour every day that I take to unroll my yoga mat, move gently, breath deliberately and meditate. But there are so many options as to what a daily practice can look like.
As a wellness coach, this is an area I focus on quite often. What do your mornings typically look like? What do you do in your evenings before going to bed? Do you see any correlation as to how your day begins and how it continues? Do you notice how you choose to spend your evening directly affects your sleep? Start to pay attention.
Ayurveda speaks a lot to the idea of routine. Most people hear this term and cringe, especially Vata’s, the airy creative ones! Routine doesn’t mean that your entire day is scheduled from sun up to sun down as most people fear.
It just means that you make a conscious choice to either begin your day or end it (or both) with a few self care habits that help you physically, emotionally and even spiritually.
I chose the picture above because it really represents what my personal daily routine is creating for me. I feel so grounded, like I can handle any detour the day may bring AND I feel light and open to possibility, less rigid and controlling.
Creating a personal practice or daily routine of some sort can look different for everyone. It’s a sacred time that’s just for you.
I hear a lot of excuses as to why people don’t do it like, “I have young children”, or “my days are too long already with my job”, “I can’t stick to anything” or “I’m too busy”.
I am going to challenge you to look at what excuses you are using that are allowing you to avoid creating time for a personal practice. What ever the reasons, are you ready to let them go and give it an honest try? If not, no worries, that’s your choice. But for those of you who are considering this, I want to give you a few ideas as to how you might create a morning or evening routine that could help your day go more smoothly, handle challenges that may come up more easily or even sleep more soundly at night. Please remember that it doesn’t have to be an hour like I do. It could just be 15 minutes.
Morning ideas: Warm lemon water, 1 cup tea/coffee sitting quietly in gratitude, journal, yoga, breath work, meditation, reading of a sacred text, morning walk, hot bath, self massage. Choose just 1-3 things that you do each day consciously and with intention that is just for you. (Please notice that no where did I mention check email or watch the news. This is a time to be with yourself and not the outside world. News and emails can wait.)
Evening ideas: Eat an early, light dinner 3-4 hours before bed time, turn electronics off 2 hours before going to bed. This includes computer, TV, I-pad and phone), write in a gratitude journal, short evening meditation or breath work to quiet the mind, enjoy a hot bubble bath or a gentle yoga practice. All of these ideas are to help you unwind from your day and quiet the mind so you can sleep more easily. Watching the news every night, movies (especially violent ones) or even reading can affect our sleep patterns because they keep our minds too active. Creating a routine in the evening has helped many of my clients get to sleep more easily and stay asleep. Are you willing to try?
If you found yourself resisting any of these things take at look at that. Those are probably exactly where you need to start.
To notice any effects from these daily practices takes consistency and persistence. Of course, anything great usually does!
Where are you willing to start?
The more I have let go of the rigidity of outer structures and learned to listen within, the healthier I have felt. I have come to trust the current of vibrancy that flows through me and informs me of the practice I need each day – always responsive to the movement of my life, and always deeply balancing. (From the book Meditation Secrets for Women by Camille Maurine)