What if being happy could be like building muscles at the gym while doing sit-ups, or running on the treadmill or perhaps lifting weights? What if we could train ourselves to stay happy throughout the day? And what if this constant source of happiness could be achieved with closed eyes? Meditation, the art of diving deep inside the self, is also a source of undying zest and happiness. Adding meditation to the mornings can recharge us with a boost of joy and peace to keep us smiling through each day.
Since a lot happens through the day, mornings are naturally the best time to meditate. Komal Kapur is a young female entrepreneur and owner of a bakery called Sweet Musings and Little Bites in Bangalore, India. She says, “When I meditate in the morning, I am able to achieve more work in much less time. I am more relaxed and calm during the day.” With many reporting the same benefits of a clearer mind, inner calm and a happier feeling through the day, meditating in the morning can be the key for making the most out of your day.
Here are some easy tips for practicing meditation in the morning:
1. Create a special space in your home for meditation
Clear out a special corner of your home that you will use especially for meditation. Hang up decorations or beautiful pictures there. Place your favorite flowers or fragrant plants on a nearby table. Decorate with peaceful colors such as light yellow, light blues or greens. Adorn a comfortable chair or sofa with pillows, and add a light blanket to place around your shoulders.
2. Wait to have breakfast only after your morning meditation
Avoiding food until after your morning meditation will prevent feeling bogged down by a full stomach.
3. Start the day with a morning walk
Being with nature reconnects us to the source of life. Taking a walk in the morning before meditation lets us breathe in the fresh air and feel the dewdrops on the grass. It gives us time to experience the peace and stillness of the morning.
4. Do your morning workout before meditating
If you enjoy going for a jog or doing a workout routine in the morning, do your vigorous exercises first and then sit for meditation. Your meditation will act as both a cool-down relaxation for the body and a chance to soothe your mind at the same time.
5. Warm up with a round of relaxing yoga postures before meditating
After a morning walk or workout, practicing yoga postures relaxes the body and also tones the muscles. Here are a series of relaxing yoga postures you can try:
Sun Salutation sequence
The Sun Salutation series of yoga poses is a flowing sequence of postures that express gratitude to the sun, which sustains life on our planet. What better way to energize the force of gratitude in our lives while getting fit and calming the mind at the same time? The Sun Salutation sequence is a great opener to a morning yoga routine.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Let your arms hang down at your sides. While breathing slowly and deeply in, twist your arms to the left side. As you breathe out with a loud “Hah”, let your arms fling out to the right. Follow these instructions while changing the direction to do the Hah Breath on the left side.
Breath of life
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Breathing in, open your arms out to the sides with your palms facing up. Breathe out. Tilt your head and arms back, raising your head to look up as you breathe deeply in. As you breathe out, lower your head down to your chest and place your arms over yourself to give yourself a big hug. Breathe in and repeat the Breath of Life two to three more times.
This yoga pose improves balance in the body and also increases stamina. It also brings auspiciousness, courage, grace and peace.
This yoga pose increases mental and physical equilibrium. It improves digestion and reduces anxiety.
This pose stretches all the muscles of the back and invigorates the nervous system by increasing the blood supply.
This pose stretches lower back, hamstrings and hips. It also massages and tones the abdominal and pelvic organs.
This pose makes the spine supple. It also opens the chest and increases the oxygen supply to the lungs.
To experience “Yogi-sleep”, lay down on your back. Allow yourself to relax and close your eyes for a relaxation after practicing these yoga postures. You may even find yourself drifting off into a deep sleep for a few minutes.
6. Do pranayama before sitting for meditation to invigorate your body and mind
“Pranayama” in Sanskrit means, “extension of the life force”. Doing a couple of pranayama breathing exercises before a meditation is a wonderful way to help refresh and settle down both the body and the mind as a preparation for meditation.
7. When you are ready to meditate, sit comfortably in your special meditation space
Click here to experience a guided meditation.
8. After a meditation, allow yourself a few minutes of quiet time before getting up to start the day’s activities.
Smile throughout your day knowing that you have taken a step toward building a stronger sense of inner peace and happiness.
A regular practice of meditation calms the mind, enhances productivity and boosts confidece. So, indulge yourself in a daily dose of spending some quiet time with yourself to sieze the day.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Art of Living Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Art of Living Yoga teacher. Find a Art of Living Yoga program at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on programs or share feedback? Write to us [email protected]