The Best Way to Start Your Day: 4 Key Elements
Want to know the secret to starting your day right? The first step begins the night before. At Corc Yoga, we believe the best way to start your day is by incorporating these four key ingredients into your morning: sleep, water, meditation, and of course, yoga.
Each of these elements helps you ensure that your mind and body are running optimally from the moment you walk out the door and into your day. Let’s unpack why each of these elements is so important.
Get enough sleep
If you want to be productive with your day, then you need to lay the groundwork the night before. And that means getting the right amount of quality sleep.
The amount of sleep you need varies for each person and is affected by several factors. But, for most of us, 7 -9 hours per night is the ideal amount.
Now, you might argue that you feel just fine on 6 hours or less. But pay attention to how you feel during the day. You’d be surprised how much better you could feel with more sleep. Listening to your body allows you to determine if you're getting the right amount. If we’re to be truly honest with ourselves, most of us don’t function as well on less than 7 hours.
How to get enough sleep:
If you’re falling asleep during your quiet meditation, you most likely need more sleep. If you find it difficult to fall asleep each night or are unable to get quality sleep, then consider creating a sleep routine. This will ensure you get the best night’s rest possible each night.
Drink enough water
Too many people only drink water when they begin to feel thirsty. But by this point, your body has already reached dehydration.
Up to 60% of our body is made of water. Without sounding sensational, reaching dehydration literally means your body is wasting away. And if you’ve ever experienced difficulty thinking or concentrating while parched, it’s for good reason: your brain is made of 73% water. Impaired cognitive function is directly related to dehydration.
How to drink enough water:
You might be asking, “But, how much water is enough water?” Traditionally we’ve been told to drink 7-8 glasses of water each day. But if you want an even better way to ensure your body is properly hydrated, then divide your body weight in half and aim to drink that many ounces of water each day.
The best way to ensure you start your day off well hydrated is to sleep with a glass of water, or a bottle of water, next to your bed. Then as soon as you wake up you can start sipping on your water and make sure all your bodily functions are running properly.
As you continue into the rest of your day, bring a reusable water bottle along. It will encourage you to drink water throughout your day.
If you’ve practiced meditation for any time at all then you’re aware of the cognitive benefits the practice provides. In addition to improved awareness and less stress, beginning your day with meditation helps quiet your mind and invites a sense of peace into your day before the rest of your schedule takes over.
Often, when we push this discipline to a later part of the day it simply becomes another task we must accomplish. Before we know it, the day is nearly over and you haven’t had a chance to quiet your mind.
How to meditate each morning:
If we’re not careful, simple distractions will eat up the time you would spend in peaceful meditation. So, before you do anything else, begin meditating. Have a room or place in your home reserved for this practice. Then, as soon as your feet hit the floor walk over to that place in your home and begin quieting your mind.
After you’ve spent some time centering your mind through meditation, you’re in an ideal state to naturally move into your yoga practice. We’re familiar with the benefits of practicing yoga. But practicing yoga first thing in the morning helps you develop a consistent routine for your yoga practice.
Practicing yoga first thing in the morning prepares your body for the day. First, it helps warm up your metabolism so that your body is able to use the nutrients you consume more effectively.
Secondly, the breathing exercises associated with yoga also help to wake up your brain – you might find it’s even more effective than your cup of morning coffee! But unlike a cup of coffee, the energy boost you receive from deep pranayama breathing lasts all day.
And thirdly, the stretching will work to prevent injury and achiness throughout the day. Yoga lengthens and stretches your tight muscles, preparing your body for movement. For those of us who live a more sedentary lifestyle, such as sitting at a desk, yoga promotes a better posture by increasing spinal flexibility.
How to practice yoga each morning:
If you’re not used to practicing yoga in the morning, it may be challenging to change your routine at first. But we think you’ll be happy with the decision if you do. It might help to view it as part of the natural flow of your morning.
After a good night’s rest and you’ve spent some time in quiet meditation, move into your yoga practice. Don’t view it as something you have to hurry through before you head out the door. Practicing yoga in the morning will prepare each of the systems within your body to run effectively throughout your day and help prevent any injuries.
It’s easy to mindlessly move through our morning. The alarm clock rings, you throw on some clothes, maybe grab a bite before you run out the door, and the next thing you know, the chaos of the day has begun. Instead of this all-to-common routine, we encourage you to be more intentional with your morning. Take the time to start your day off right so that you can be more productive during the day.
The best way to start your day is to begin the night before with a good night’s rest. Then begin drinking water as soon as you wake up to keep your body hydrated. After your first glass of water begin meditating followed by your yoga practice. Adding these four elements to your morning will ensure that you’re ready for your day.