Spring Awakening

As the days are slowly warming up, it’s time to leave winter sluggishness behind and to revamp our energies. Spring is a great time to focus on our vibrance, health and happiness! Below are 5 practices to incorporate into your morning routine that will help you stay alert this spring.

1. Meditation

Get up 15 minutes earlier and make it to your meditation cushion or a comfortable spot where you can sit undisturbed for a little while. If you like, light a candle, play some relaxing music, and set your meditation timer. Now close your eyes, and focus your awareness on your breath.

Begin to count your breaths. Start by inhaling and exhaling, one. Inhale and exhale, two. Take a breathe in, three, breathe out, three. Continue counting to ten and then start again from the beginning. When thoughts come in and distract you from counting, just bring your awareness back on your breath and start from the beginning again.

2. Pranayama

Practicing Nadi Shodana Pranayama helps to balance and energize both sides of the body and brain. To begin, sit comfortably. Curl the index and middle finger of your right hand in towards your palm. Exhale completely.

Now close your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through your left nostril. Close your left nostril with your right ring finger and lift your thumb to exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right, close the nostril, and exhale through the left. Inhale left, close, exhale right, inhale right, close and exhale left.

Continue in your own rhythm for a few minutes, and if you like, close your eyes. When ready, exhale through the left, lower your right hand on to your thigh and just breathe normally, taking deep and steady inhales and exhales through your nose. Notice how you feel.

3. Yoga

If you are already practicing yoga, find some time in the morning to move through a few sun salutations or poses that you enjoy. If you are new to yoga, you may consider the following routine in the morning:

Come onto your hands and knees (pad your knees if needed) to Table Top. On your inhale, lift your chest and tailbone, arch your back, exhale draw chin to chest, and curl the tailbone as you round your back. Continue in your own pace for about 5 rounds of breaths.

On your next inhale, stretch your arms forward as you sink your hips down towards your heels into Child’s Pose. Rest here for a moment, then inhale and walk your hands away from you so the elbows lift of the floor. Exhale here.

Inhale and walk both hands to the right as you gently shift your hips to the left. Stay for a few breaths and then walk your hands back to center, and on your next inhale over to the left as you shift your hips gently to the right. Breathe and enjoy the side-stretch. Come back to Child’s Pose and rest until you feel ready to come back to Table Top.

From Table Top, inhale and lift up on your knees and stretch your arms up to the sky. On the exhale find your way back to Child’s Pose. Repeat as often as you like and then rest in Child’s Pose for a few breaths to complete your practice.

4. Aromatherapy

Begin your spring mornings refreshed, awake and alert by using essential oils in your aromatherapy burner or diffuser. Start it up when you rise in the morning and let the stimulating fragrances stimulate and energize you for the day.

Spring Awakening Mix: 4 drops of Peppermint essential oil, 4 drops of Rosemary essential oil, and 3 drops Lemon essential oil.

5. Juicing

A wonderful way to boost your digestive system (which helps boost energy) is to start your morning off with fresh juice. This juice recipe for one is filled with healthy vitamins, gently detoxes the liver and offers anti-inflammatory benefits if you choose to add turmeric:

Ingredients: 2 apples, small piece of ginger, 1/2 Lemon or 1 small lemon, small piece of turmeric (optional)

Directions: Juice all ingredients. Add some water and a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional). Enjoy!