Imagine what you could accomplish if you started your day alert, content and creative. On the other hand, imagine going out the door feeling overwhelmed, ungrounded and unhappy. If you find yourself stressed and rushed even before you get out of bed, morning meditation may be the perfect medicine for you.
You can’t control what your day will bring, but you can ground your being and body in calm, clarity and compassion with morning meditation. And you don’t need an hour or even 30 minutes to do it. Setting aside as little as ten minutes, you can bring these qualities with you into your day.
In fact, many people specifically choose mornings for their meditation practice. Why? Because mornings are special.
Firstly, you’re in a unique state when you first wake up. Your body, mind and soul are relaxed and receptive. Whatever you do first thing in the morning has a greater impact than at others time of day. Which do you think will lead you into a happier day? Listening to stressful world news and scrolling through your newsfeed or taking time to immerse yourself in self-care, quiet and acceptance?
Quiet quality: mornings are great for meditation as they're peaceful
Also, many of us seem to wake up immediately into our to-do lists and our worries. It’s stressful. A short morning meditation will create a space for you to recognize and rest in your 'being' rather than in 'doing.' You will connect with being aware, being present, with whatever is here now for you.
Finally, on the practical side of things, mornings are often quieter. It can be a wonderful time to sit and rest in the silence inside you, free from distractions.
Furthermore, a meditation routine in the morning will give you these added, special benefits:
People don’t meditate to become good meditators, they meditate to become more self-aware, compassionate and happy, and to share these gifts with the people they care about most. When you start your day with these qualities, you’ll automatically bring them into your conversations with friends and family, your responses to things not going your way, your tasks at work and how you 'talk' to yourself.
Meditation is like a massage for your nervous system. The calming and rejuvenating effects of meditation are now well proven. You can begin your day relaxed and content, focused and ready to meet whatever comes your way. Instead of your usual morning stresses, you can start your day with a positive, empowering experience.
Sounds good, right? If you’d like to give morning meditation a try, here are some tips to get started.
With a bit of thought, you can easily find 10 minutes in your morning, wither by skipping your morning social media surfing habit or setting your alarm that little bit earlier. Depending on the type of meditation you choose, you can do your morning meditation routine almost anywhere:
There are many different types of meditation you can choose from to practice first thing in the day. There are practices that use your breath, concentration, body awareness, thinking and emotions, as well as exploring your deepest sense of self.
Any practice that appeals to you can become your morning meditation. Here are a few of the most popular morning meditations.
The core practice of meditation, mindfulness, can be a wonderful way to start your day. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, as fully as you can, with kindness and curiosity. With mindfulness, you start your day with an openness and acceptance about whatever you’re experiencing: worry, happiness, planning or physical discomfort. Everything becomes part of a practice of simply being with yourself, in an accepting and caring way.
Body scan practices are a lovely practice to rise up through sleep to wakefulness. You can, of course, do a body scan while you’re still in bed. You just need a bit of extra attention not to fall back to sleep!
Body scan practices guide you through sensing each part of your body in a sequence, from your fingertips, to your stomach, to your toes. Your body is more open in the morning, so this practice can be a great way to let your awareness soak into all parts of your body to feel energized and deeply present, while your mind takes a break.
Sure start: morning meditation sets you up well for the day shutterstock/Ekaterina Iatcenko
Breath practices are another powerful choice for morning meditation. And there are a whole range of breath meditations from those that create relaxation to those that increase mental focus and energy. So, you can choose one that best fits your needs in the morning.
I’d like to show you how to do a simple breathing practice you can do at home or on your morning commute. The Equalized Breath will relax your nervous system and give you a stable “home base” to come back to when your mind wanders. Don’t worry, everyone gets distracted. It’s not ‘wrong,’ it’s a key part of meditation practice.
Morning meditation may be the most powerful place for you to start exploring meditation. With ten (or more!) minutes of meditation in the morning, you will rest in a sense of being and presence, be kind and more accepting with yourself, and connect with silence and strength.
Find a practice that appeals to you and try it for a week. Start your day with more calm, clarity and compassion and see what happens. ●
Main image: shutterstock/Pro-stock studio
Ann Vrlak is Founder of OneSelf Meditation and a meditation practitioner for over 25 years. She’s a Certified Meditation Teacher for adults and for children (the best job ever!). She loves to share how the perspective and practice of meditation can support people with their everyday stresses and on their journey of self-discovery.
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