Summer is a time for adventure and exploration but getting grounded is also an essential part of staying mindful. From waking to working, here’s what I’ve been doing these summer mornings to get present and stay grounded.
First thing in the morning after brushing my teeth, I sit down to meditate. I find that starting my day this way helps reorient and fully wake me. I’ve been using the app Headspace. Just 10-20 minutes a day of sitting with myself helps to clear my mind and re-focus on what’s important to me. Research has shown that meditation improves cognition, decreases distraction and can even help reduce anxiety and depression. If it’s something you’ve always wanted to try but just don’t think you can sit in silence for 10 minutes, try using an app like Headspace to help ease you into it with guided meditation from a former Buddhist monk.
After meditation, I roll out my mat. I either put on a guided video or flow through what feels good for my body that day. I love cultivating my home practice because it allows me to focus on what works for me and experiment with moves that I might not try in a class. It also wakes up my body, starts up my circulation and stretches out whatever knots may be leftover from the day/night before. For an easy home practice, try a sun or moon salutation.
Since the heat in New England this time of year makes every yoga session a hot yoga session, I hit the shower immediately after Savasana. First, I’ll dry brush my entire body. Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic technique that promotes lymphatic cleansing and supports the elimination of waste from the body. It also removes dead skin cells for a healthy glow and longer lasting tan. Then I hop in the shower. When I’ve finished my body care, I’ll turn the tap to cold and stand under that until I’m not cold anymore. It’s a great way to wake up, de-puff and boost circulation.
In the summer, I use fewer products. The sun has a way of magically smoothing out most unevenness and blemishes. But what I do use are the essentials – a good exfoliant to keep my tan fresh and not peeling, a light moisturizer to lock in hydration and an occasional splash of facial oil to replenish and rejuvenate. I’ll also moisturize my body, splash on a few drops of essential oil on, throw some tinted chapstick on my lips and cheeks and fill in my brows. Then I slip into whatever I’m wearing that day and head to the kitchen.
Mindfully making breakfast each morning has become an essential part of my routine. It connects me to how I nourish my body and slows down my morning when I feel like rushing to work. This summer I’ve been loving steel cut oatmeal with chia and hemp seeds, strawberries and maple syrup. And no breakfast is complete without a huge cup of coffee. I use a French Press so I have some for later and whatever fair-trade or local coffee I can get my hands on that week. While I’m cooking I’ll throw on whatever I’ve been listening to on Spotify – lately, I’ve been loving Don Ross and Andy McKee, Nahko and Medicine for the People and Explosions in the Sun in the morning. When breakfast is ready and if it’s sunny, I’ll eat on my back porch before heading to work.
What’s an essential part of your summer morning routine? Tag us in your morning routine Instagram @poethique.