How do you start your day...do you literally jump out of bed and plunge into your daily activities, or do you take time to gradually wake up, stretch and ease the transition between sleep and wakefulness?
You might feel victorious if you can jump straight into your daily routine, but did you know this can place a great deal of pressure on your body systems and create a strain on weak artery walls? For instance, strokes and heart attacks occur most commonly in the early morning, partly due to the sudden and dramatic changes in heart rate, blood pressure and temperature in this transition phase.
Take some time to develop a gentle morning routine to start your day in a great way, incorporating stretches, self massage and soft music. You might like to try this gently stimulating morning ritual passed down by the ancient Chinese Taoists
As soon as you wake up:
1) Massage your face
Gently massage your sensory organs - eyes, ears, nose and lips
2) Massage your scalp
Gently tap and brush your scalp with your fingertips
3) Massage the front of your body
Use a stroking action to massage the rest of your body, starting from your neck down to your feet. Make sure to cover your shoulders, elbows, hands, chest, abdomen, hips and knees.
4) Massage your lower back
Stroke your palms in a downwards motion over your lower back
Finish up by taking three deep breaths. On the inhale, breathe through your nose, bringing in fresh revitalising oxygen to all of your body cells. On the exhale, breathe through your mouth and release old stale toxins.
I like to add in a moment of gratitude at the end, gratitude for another day of being alive and being able to enjoy another day. You can adapt this to incorporate any other elements that you find nourishing.
Why don't you try it for a week and see if you can notice a difference? I'd love to know how you find it.
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