The morning is a critical time to replenish and hydrate our bodies with the necessary nutrients, so that we can tap into our creative energy and feel invigorated to take on daily stressors and protect ourselves from harsh environmental factors.
One of the most important habits to adopt is sipping a glass of warm lemon water before taking any food. As a rule of thumb, use organic lemons and squeeze the juice from half of the fruit (1 whole lemon for adults over 150 lbs.) into a small strainer placed over your cup to catch the seeds. Lemons are loaded with vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. They also cleanse your system of toxins and reduce inflammation.
Once finished drinking your lemon water, you can try completing as many aspects of this routine as possible before heading to work.
**Fifteen minutes of gentle stretching (incorporate one, three-set exercise that focuses on one part of the body: abs, biceps, chest, etc.) You can drink lemon water while exercising if you are pressed for time in the morning.
**Mediate during the last three minutes of stretching. You can use a guided mediation to help you stay focused.
**Shower using essential oils or an organic bath bomb. Oils such as eucalyptus, melaleuca, bay laurel leaf, peppermint and lemon open the lungs and help ward off asthma, bronchitis and viral infections. Drizzle some on the floor of the shower where water will hit the least.
** Apply a moisturizing oil that works with your dosha.
** Drink a glass of green juice. Prepare this over the weekend and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
** Time for breakfast. Your first meal of the day should be light, but packed with nutrients. If you are not vegan, one small pasture raised organic egg with flourless nut bread and a side of spinach is perfect. If you are vegan, try this avocado mousse, but eliminate one of the oils if it is still early morning.
**If you travel by train or bus to work, use this time to jot down three things you are grateful for. Studies have shown that this practice increases happiness and retrains your brain to receive information positively.
You now should be balanced, calm, restored and well nourished. It is important to practice this routine every day (or at least during the work week) as we all know how one stressful day can put us way out of balance. The beauty of life is change, so listen to your body each morning and give it what it needs by tweaking this routine as you see fit.
Healing morning routine photo: Jellaluna