I am a creature of habit
for over 3 decades, I would get up, do some yoga: chants, asanas, pranayama, meditation. A basic routine which I formulated myself, then was 'given' almost the same routine by a teacher.
Then a generic identical routine was handed out to all in the organisation I used to be involved with........
After a few years, I was given a coffee, just one, just once, prior to morning yoga. After that I had to have one...then two.... first thing.
But as part of my fine-tuning of habits, the delicious aroma of coffee will have to wait. Because I am changing the order of the yoga. This is Big!!
It is traditional in yoga to get up & meditate about 3am. Well, I spent years getting up between 3.30am to 4.30am, & doing lots of yoga, first thing, ending with meditation which may, just may, have actually been sneaky - seated - dozing, most of the time.
A change to reduce stress
However, in society, getting up this early this is not feasible for most of us. Society has many stresses & it's more practical in our life, to minimise them. It seems that cortisol, the stress hormone, is at it's highest, when we first awake.
To start meditation within 12 minutes can reduce cortisol, so, sadly, no coffee, but now meditation first thing. Some postures etc after. Then....coffee!!
I will manage it (even though morning coffee is one of my favourite habits). But, I will have a glass of water first instead....& I think that 6am is a nice time to get up, not quite so yogic, but not stressful, so this is the new/old time.
I'm a fresh air fiend
My other early morning habit, after meditation, of course, is to open curtains & windows....get some light & fresh air in!!
I always did this....but then one day, I didn't... I did it later.....& kept on doing it later... Mistake!!
For, when light hits our eyes, melatonin production is halted. Melatonin is a sleep hormone, it's active during darkness & sleep. When we stagger around in the darkness in the morning, melatonin is still active & we feel dozy.
If we want to wake up, we need light.
A food change
I've also just been having a couple of pieces of fruit for breakfast most days, as one of my new/old habits.
My new mentor, Elizabeth Hurley
And, after wasting a whole evening internet stalking Elizabeth Hurley, amongst others, I decided to steal a couple of Elizabeth's habits.
- dry brushing before a shower
- a 5 minute quick make-up each morning.
To quote Elizabeth:
"I always wear make-up as I don't see the point of looking less than your best - I'm a huge make-up fan. I can be fully made up in five minutes flat, with a light foundation, blusher, eye pencil, eyelash curler, mascara and a slick of lip gloss. It makes me feel a million times better."
And I thought: I can do that!!