Do you drag yourself out of bed each morning stiff and grumpy and head straight for the coffee? Yep that used to be me. I was a complete and utter coffee addict, I couldn’t get through the day without a zillion cups of caffeine to keep me going. Then one day, on my usual caffeine high, I discovered yoga and meditation, right in the middle of James St, Burleigh Heads, yes it was that easy. I stumbled upon a sign that said, “Free Meditation Classes”. I’d always been interested in meditation, but never actually got around to doing it. I registered for a class and here I am, 24 years later, a seasoned meditation and yoga teacher MINUS the caffeine. It took me a while to withdraw from my habit. I tried going cold turkey, but found that I had a headache 24/7, so I had to go back to one cup a day and withdrawer gradually. It worked, I’ve been coffee free for well over 20 years now and much happier and healthier without it. For me yoga is the new caffeine!
Now instead of heading straight for the kitchen for my morning fix, I start the day with a few simple yoga asanas. My favourite morning sequence is sun salutations aka Suria Namaskar. This is an energising routine that will wake you up and have you feeling amazing in no time. Remember that the body is still waking up and usually, most of us will agree that our bodies are a little on the stiff side, especially if it is on the mature side of 50, so be gentle on yourself.
Start the sequence by moving slow and rhythmical if you can, synchronise the movements with your breath and keep your knees soft or even bent. Nice deep inhales and exhales. Try to get the breath down into the lower lungs. Listen to your body. If you are really tired don’t do so many and if you are full of energy, do more. Some days you may do only one on each side and other days you may do five or more. It is not the quantity but the quality that really counts, so it’s best to do fewer sequences and keep your focus and awareness throughout, work with your breath and gradually build up over time.
After you’ve finished your morning sequence, you’ll feel amazing. The feel good hormones will be racing around your body, the stiffness will be gone, you’ll feel calm and relaxed, and yet at the same time, completely energised. Forget the coffee, yoga asanas do a much better job at waking you up. You’ll still feel stiff after a cup of coffee!!!
Namaste – Gayatri