When it’s time to wake up in the morning, are you catapulted out of bed by the sound of your alarm clock and your mission to hit the snooze button? Waking up isn’t always easy (especially for us night owls), but with a few tweaks, anyone can make the first few waking moments of their day a pleasant and positive experience.
Firstly, ditch the screeching alarm clock and get one that can be programmed to play nature sounds like crickets, birds, or ocean waves. There are lots of inexpensive ones that come pre-loaded with sounds like these that sound off softly and gradually get louder to gently bring you out of sleep.
Breathe into Wakefulness
Before you even open your eyes, bring your awareness to your breath. Breathe out and then take a deep inhale, filling your lungs up and feeling your abdomen expand. Hold it at the top for a second or two and then slowly exhale for 7 to 8 seconds. Do a few more deep breaths like this to help cleanse yourself of yesterday’s worrisome thoughts and prime both your mind and body for the new day ahead.
Energize Your Body
Bring your hands together and start rubbing your palms to stimulate warmth, visualizing the energy coursing through them with white light. Now you can use your charged palms to heal and energize other parts of your body by placing them on different areas. Start with placing your palms on your eyes, moving along to place them on your forehead, ears, shoulders, arms, heart, navel, and legs. Feel every part you touch awaken with energy.
Sit with Gratitude
Now you can sit up in bed and spend a few moments practicing gratitude. You can do this with your eyes open or closed, and you can even optionally shift to a kneeling position while placing your hands over one another on your heart. This is thunderbolt pose (“Virasana” in Sanskrit), which helps keep the mind calm. Whether you choose to simply sit upright or kneel, take some time to breathe while you paint the imagery of at least three things you’re most grateful for today.
Stretch with Gratitude
Sitting upright in your bed with legs stretched out or on the edge with your legs bent, you can finish with a modified (seated) sun salutation to complete your morning gratitude practice. Begin by folding forward with your arms stretched outward across or down toward your feet, then lifting up and bringing your arms above your head. Bring your palms together to touch and then bring your arms down toward your heart as you exhale. Repeat this five times while keeping your focus on gratitude.
When transitioning through each seated sun salutation, you can optionally twist your upper body from left to right when you’re sitting upright with your arms down by your sides to work some extra stretching into the sequence. You can even round your back while sitting up fir a modified cat stretch. Lifestyle blogger Meghan Kerr has a great video demonstration of this:
There are lots more bed-friendly asanas that you can incorporate into your yogi morning wake-up routine if you like, such as happy baby, spinal stretch, and child’s pose. If you just take an extra 10 or 15 minutes to wake up like this every morning, you’ll be on your way to a happier and much more intentional day.