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5 Steps To Starting Your Day Right. Begin Your Day with Bliss.

8 Jun

Editor’s Note – What can a simple 30-day program of health and beauty practices do for you? In her new book book, Gorgeous for Good, Sophie Uliano helps you establish your own lifetime wellness regime for mind, body, and spirit.

One very important aspect of my program for lasting beauty, inside and out, is a morning ritual that helps you always begin your day with peace and purpose. I call it “Morning ME Time.” For the next 30 days, you will do a morning “me time” ritual that will help set the tone for each day. Throughout the routine, the goal is to be mindful and fully aware of what’s happening in the present moment—not running through a to-do list in your head. The routine takes about 20 minutes in all, so just set your alarm clock a tiny bit earlier. The routine is:

1. Brush your teeth.
2. Prepare and mindfully sip warm lemon or ginger water.
3. Practice your five-minute mini yoga routine.
4. Meditate while focusing on your breath, body, and/or a specific topic for five to ten minutes.
5. Conclude with an intention.

I’ll teach you about each aspect of the routine, and then we’ll put it all together. Today, you are simply going to do a couple of things to prep yourself. First, find a quiet space that you can go to every morning for your “me time” ritual. This doesn’t mean you have to build an altar (although great if you do!); it’s just a space where you can sit with your water, move through your yoga routine, and meditate without disturbance.

Next, you should choose how you will sit to do your breathing and meditation—on a yoga mat, a meditation cushion, or a chair. This morning, try out your seating options. See where you can sit comfortably for a few minutes without being disturbed.

Morning ME Time Routine

1. Brush your teeth.
I know it sounds silly, but this step is essential to do before you consume anything. After a night’s sleep, your mouth is full of bacteria, and anything you put in your mouth—even the lemon or ginger in your water—will attract it. It also feels great to have a clean, fresh mouth before your yoga or meditation.

2. Prepare and mindfully sip warm lemon or ginger water.
After you’ve brushed your teeth, add a couple of slices of lemon or raw ginger root to a mug of boiling water. Let it steep for a minute before adding some cool water to make it drinkable. If you dislike lemon or ginger, just drink the hot water. If you take a daily probiotic or any supplements that are best taken on an empty stomach, take them with this drink. Remember to be mindful of what you are doing, which means slow down. Enjoy the process of warming the water, slicing the lemon or ginger, and sipping. Notice the subtle taste, sounds, and colors.

3. Practice your five-minute mini yoga routine.
After you brush your teeth and drink your water, it’s time to gently get your body in motion. This is not a workout; rather, it’s a simple practice to wake up your body that over time will create tremendous flexibility. These three yoga poses (the Cat or Cow, Downward-Facing Dog, and Standing Forward Bend) will open and stretch out your spine and your hamstrings before you sit down to meditate. As you practice them, be mindful of your breath.

4. Meditate while focusing on your breath for five minutes.
After you’ve finished your yoga routine, move gently into the sitting space that you identified on the first day of the program. Now spend a few moments getting into the optimum posture for meditation. If you are on a cushion or mat, you will sit cross-legged. In a chair, firmly plant both feet on the floor. Then, no matter where you are sitting, press your sitz bones firmly down into the chair or cushion or floor and feel your spine extending upward toward the sky.
Follow the natural curves of your spine as you extend. Soften your shoulders away from your ears, and release your facial muscles. If you are in a chair, you may need a large cushion behind you to assist you in not slumping. Rest your palms gently on your thighs. Once you’re in the right position, set your timer for three minutes, close your eyes, and simply watch your breath. You don’t need to control it, deepen it, or force it. Just notice it. Is it smooth or ragged? Does it make a sound? Is it deep or shallow? Is there a tiny pause between your inhale and your exhale?
Your mind will wander off; this is normal—all you need to do is observe it wandering off and then gently bring your attention back to observing your breath. Focusing on your breath and expanding your awareness is the key to meditation.

5. Conclude with an intention.
The final step of your morning routine is to create an intention for the day. When I do this, I feel as if I am sealing in the benefits of my meditation and giving my mind a clear direction for the day. Plus, it gives me something to come back to if at any point I feel overwhelmed by the events of the day. Feel free to create your own intentions, or use the ones I offer in my book Gorgeous For Good that have been the most powerful in my life. Here are a few samples:

Today’s Intention: Today I will be guided by love, not fear.
Today I will align myself with Divine Creative Intelligence to create my dream life.
Today I will surrender my little self and open up to the vast power and infinite possibilities of the Universe.
Today I will take a pause before reacting to any person or situation that bothers me. I will breathe slowly and ask the Divine for guidance.

Gorgeous for Good by Sophie Uliano

 

New York Times best-selling author Sophie Uliano is a leading expert in the field of natural health and beauty, who takes a down-to-earth approach to beauty focusing on what’s truly healthy. Her popular website—sophieuliano.com—brings together a community of like-minded women and provides in-depth articles, reviews, beauty picks, recipes, and more covering the latest beauty trends. She has written three books, Gorgeously Green, Do It Gorgeously, and The Gorgeously Green Diet. Follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/gorgeouslygreen or on Twitter at twitter.com/sophieuliano

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