Photo: Evil Saltine
Really Healthy Real Life
Get Ready, Get Set, and Start Just a Little Earlier.
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST DANNY ARGUETTY
Your body is a phenomenal instrument but it needs high quality fuel to function optimally. When your day takes off in a rush that you prop up with stimulants and poor nutrition, you begin in an energy negative state. Your body then has to borrow life force from other primary systems (thyroid, reproductive, nervous). This negative bottom-line creates long-term imbalances that may become chronic, and are often never restored.
Luckily, waking up does not have to be this way, as we can cultivate simple rituals to generate vitality and a healthy start for the day.
Seven Minute Evening Ritual
First and foremost, set yourself up for success. Put things in place the night before. (Advice for insomnia sufferers: don’t leave this to the last minute; make it part of the early evening, perhaps when you’re cleaning up after dinner, so that the time before bed is relaxing, not overstimulating.)
1 Set your alarm clock ten minutes early so you have ample time for your new morning experiments.
2 Take care of essentials before you go to bed:
– Pick out your clothes
– Prepare lunch
– Make a to-do list of daily tasks
– Organize your workbag
Breakfast Energy Buffet
Below are some quick and potent practices to begin to incorporate into your morning routine. Be wise yogi – avoid doing these all in one morning!
Enjoy the inquiry. Take your time, sample each one, and eventually bring together several practices that work for you.
Turn Upside Down One of the best ways to wake up your circulation and to welcome your lymphatic system (waste management system) into the day is to flip upside down.
In an average life most of us only experience the force of gravity one way (feet down), which can lead to stagnation. When the body is inverted, the upper digestive organs, hair follicles, and eyes get a fresh dose of nutrient rich blood. The heart slows down and receives a fresh dose of blood plasma, which keeps the tissues healthy.
More Options A quick two-minute headstand or five-minute shoulderstand/legs up the wall, can provide the cells a huge boost of energy. Avoid doing inversions right after drinking water or using the nasal wash. Menstruating women might choose to opt for legs up the wall or skip the inversion all together. Some women find inverted postures unsupportive during this time of the month.
Twist & Shout A wonderful way to warm your whole body, as well as your liver and gallbladder, is to shake about and then twist from side to side. Begin by standing in mountain pose with your feet wider then hip width distance apart. Slowly shake your fingers, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, then upper chest and torso.
The belly joins in next, then hips and legs.
Finally, disconnect your feet from the earth and jump up and down, open the mouth and make a bit of noise with your jaw and cheeks. Mindfully pause your movement and take a moment to notice, and feel any tingles or sensations moving through your body. This whole process can take about one to two minutes. Once you have absorbed the effects, continue to stand with feet hip width distance apart and start to swing your arms from side to side as if you were swinging empty coat sleeves.
More Options Lift the heels off the ground one at a time as you swing and allow the arms to be heavy and loose like pasta noodles. You can bring your hands into a fist and tap the side of your hips or the back of your shoulders with each swing. After a minute or so, take the momentum off and let your arms return to center by themselves. Pause once more and observe the effects of this exercise.
Water Please H2O is the second most important fuel for the body after breath. Most people are chronically dehydrated, which can lead to sugar cravings, mood instability, and lack of nutrient distribution.
After hours of sleep with no water, the body craves a way to juice up and remove the rubbish it has picked up during the night.
The best way to hydrate and cleanse is to drink two tall glasses of room temperature or warm water (even better with a splash of lemon or apple cider vinegar to alkalize your system). Avoid temperature extremes of overly-boiled or frigid water.
More Options Taking a morning shower can also be a wonderful way to hydrate, but it is not a replacement for ingesting water.
Nasal Cleanse The neti pot is one of the best tools to cleanse environmental pollutants, congestion from dairy, and allergy producing pollen that have lodged themselves in your sinus cavities.
Partaking in a nasal wash requires getting used to, so don’t give up if the first time feels a bit awkward; most likely it will. Follow the instructions on the pot you buy. Remember to use only lukewarm water and high quality salt.
More Options Ceramic pots instead of plastic, which can leach out chemicals and contributes to environmental impurities.
Tongue Scrape Brushing your teeth is a wonderful place to start with for oral hygiene, but since the tongue collects many of the toxins the body has picked up during the night, brushing your teeth is not enough.
Scraping the tongue removes the muck instead of having the body reabsorb it. Preferably use a metal tongue scraper, and scrape three to seven times.
More Options In addition to general cleansing benefits, a scraper helps revitalize the taste buds (particularly if you are transitioning from a meat centered to a more plant based diet) and helps mitigate bad breath.
Read Danny Arguetty on The Magazine of Yoga every Friday
Find more Danny on his websites www.nourishyourlight.com and www.nourishingtheteacher.com
We may publish any content, comments or ideas sent to us.
Name may be withheld by request.
© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.