Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze button one too many times, roll out of bed (eventually), and immediately connect to your digital devices. You rush through your morning, barely stopping to breathe, and then head off to work.
If you can relate, you might notice that when the day starts on a hectic note, the same vibes reverberate into the rest of the day, creating multiple experiences of physical or mental unease and discomfort.
If you are not one of these people, you might recognize how important it is to start your day with ease, care, and attention in order to move a little bit more smoothly throughout the day. You may notice how reactions soften and how it feels more accessible to take clear, appropriate action in ways that are more truthful to your values and yourself.
Most of us are probably interested in having a really great day—or at least a really nice morning—as often as possible, right?
Mindful morning practices are important for everyone and anyone, not because we all need to live like or become zen masters but because it's a way to be nice to ourselves.
When we are thoughtful, it's more natural to extend that kindness to others. Especially if we rarely take time for ourselves in the morning, it can be a powerful shift to begin each day with affection and appreciation for our minds, bodies, and the day ahead.
When we do begin the day in this way, with a mindful approach to ourselves and the opportunities ahead, we learn to pay more attention to ourselves and others throughout the entire day. How we start the morning is an extension into the remainder of the day. If we want to have a smooth 24 hours, it is only natural that it starts the moment we wake up.
The first sutra in the philosophical teachings of yoga translates to "now is the practice of yoga," which goes far beyond flowing through a series of stretches, backbends, and so on. Simple enough, yet how often do we allow ourselves to be in the now, to witness and observe openly without judgment or cloudy vision? We can apply the same principles to how we wake up in the morning and begin the first few moments of being awake, aware, and alive.