RYAN ALTMAN

🌅 My Enlightening Morning Routine For An Awesome Day

I was watching a YouTube video the other day, and a suggestion popped up for a video on the morning routine of an ultra marathon runner.

As a yogi, I’ve often felt like my lifestyle has similarities to an athlete like a marathon runner, so I was curious how this guy went about starting his day.

Both require complete dedication–a life-practice–aimed towards achieving one’s primary goal.

While the ultra marathon runner pushes his body and mind to its limits, yogis do the same in their own way.

Watching his routine got me wondering about my own morning practices.

People love morning routines too, especially people who are interested in performance and self-development.

So, I’m going to share mine with you today, including the basics of the meditation practice I do.

My morning routine is focused on calming my nervous system, clearing my mind, centering my intelligence and connecting to my soul.

It’s got two parts: waking up and meditating.

Without further ado, here’s my enlightening morning routine for an awesome day:

Waking up (20-35 minutes)

  • ⏰ Wake up: I usually get up at 6:30-7AM depending on when I went to bed. Sleep is very important and I always try to get at least 7-8 hours. How you get up is so important. A lot of people talk about when you get up, but not how you get up. Always get up with a feeling of gratitude, and like you’re going to own your day–no matter what.

  • 👅 Scrape tongue and use the bathroom: the tongue holds a lot of gross undigested food and toxins that can build up over night. I also used to have bad breath and scrapping my tongue mostly solved it. If I’m still feeling a little tired, I’ll splash cold water on my face.

  • 🙆‍♂️ Stretch & move: Most of us know some movements or stretches that make our body feel good in the morning. I do this for about 15 minutes on average. If I’m feeling limber and alert, I’ll do less. Other days, if I’m feeling sore or stiff, I’ll go for about 30 minutes.

Thoughts: For me, the purpose of waking up is to prepare for a good meditation practice. I don’t drink tea or coffee before I sit. I also do vigorous exercise later in the day. I try to keep mental activity to a minimum. I also never check my phone until after I’ve finished breakfast. The worst thing you could probably do as you wake up is check your phone. Don’t do that and your day will already be 10x better.

Meditation (30-60 minutes)

  • 🙏 Pray: This is the first step as I move to my cushion for meditation practice. I give gratitude for my life, send love to people and the beings of the world, and then ask for support in areas where I am struggling.

  • 🦵 Body Scan: As I take my meditation posture, I do a brief body scan to relax my body and settle into my sitting. Usually just a minute or two.

  • 🔎 Observe the mind: This is done briefly to assess the state of the mind. Is it agitated? Dull? Active? What are the thoughts focused on? Helps me assess where I’m at as I start the session.

  • 🕉️ Mantras: These are devotional mantras done as a way to honor the cosmic forces of the universe–the universal mother, father and creator. They also help to center the mind.

  • 🫁 Diaphragmatic breathing and/or Heart-rate variability breathing: Breathing practices settle the nervous system, slow the breath and heart rate, and ground me into the dorsal vagus nerve (freeze response).

  • 🔥 Nabhi Kriya: The first Kriya yoga practice I do. This practice stimulates and purifies the energy in the body.

  • ⚡️ Kriya pranayama: The second and most important Kriya yoga practice. It involves activating, purifying and raising the energy in the body. It’s done by connecting to the chakras while moving the breath up and down the spine and medulla.

  • 🌌 Yoni mudra: Mudras are special postures. This one covers the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth and creates an inner light by gently pressing on the eyes. Activates and stimulates the third eye and energy of certain physical centers in the brain.

  • 🧘‍♂️ Meditation: Just being. Non-doing. No practices. Resting in the peace, joy, and contentment that arises from a stilled mind and purified consciousness. I stay here for at least 5 minutes or longer depending on my state and time. If there’s a lot going on in my life, it may mean processing emotions and giving space for whatever is coming up to clear out.

  • 🙏 Closing prayer: Express gratitude for god, my teachers, my practice, and for the day that’s about to begin.

Thoughts: Doing meditation in the morning prepares my nervous system, energy, mind, intelligence and soul for the day. I’m less reactive, feel happier, am more present and carry gratitude and connection to the divine throughout the day. Some days I don’t have as much time to sit and have to cut out or shorten practices. Regardless, I sit in the morning vigilantly with few exceptions and have done so for nearly 15 years.

How you start your day sets the tone for how you live your life.

I prefer to start mine in an open, expansive and joyous state of consciousness, so I focus on meditation.

Your focus may be more on general well-being, creativity or even parenting depending on where you’re at in your life.

Regardless, I suggest to always carve out some time for a meditation practice in your morning routine.

You don’t need to sit for as long as I do, but sitting for morning meditation is a life-changing practice that can positively affect every area of your life.

A final note before I leave you, my workshop ‘A Journey to Wholeness’ is happening this weekend.

If you’re in Hobart and want to learn more about creating a life-practice for self-transformation and living a life of purpose, you should definitely come check it out.

You can find the details here.

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