24 Nov How Yoga has replaced my morning cup of coffee
Sadhana is a Sanskrit word which means daily spiritual practice.
Spirituality can be interpreted in many ways. It’s up to you what you understand as your spirituality. Your understanding of spirituality is individual.
For me, a daily spiritual practice is the time I spend connecting with myself on a deeper level. It is the timeI turn inward and tune in to myself.
I choose to practice my sadhana in the early morning. I love when it is so quiet and I have the impression that everyone else is still asleep. At that time of day I can connect with myself more easily and more deeply.
Normally I wake at 5:30 and take quick shower (Cold showers are best- I will explain why I think so soon) than take my place on my yoga mat.
On most days I cannot practice for very long; normally at 6:45 I need to start preparing breakfast and managing other family activities, so I spend about 60 minutes focusing on my yoga practice. It is enough time to wake me and prepare me for the long day ahead.
I start my practice with some breathing exercise (even just concentrating on breath awareness), and then I do a few rounds of sun salutations to awaken my body physically and energetically.
As the next phase of the warm up, I normally do some standing positions – they help me to feel grounded and balanced. When I feel warmed up enough to some more advanced positions, I usualy choose some that work the hips, core, and shoulders. I love also to stretch my hamstrings with some forward bending positions.
On most days I finish my practice with some inverted positions, such as a shoulder or handstand and then some backward bending poses such as the wheel asana. Finally, I end my practice in the traditional way with a brief relaxation pose. Probably 10% of my practice time, or five minutes, is spent in the corpse pose. After the relaxation (shavasana) I always do short meditation for anywhere from 3 – 11 minutes.
Every since I started my morning yoga practice, I have given up the habit of drinking a cup of coffee. Morning coffee is so routine for so many people, it can be described as an addiction. How do you feel if you do not get your morning coffee? How do you feel for the rest of your day without it? If I miss my morning yoga for any reason, I feel low on energy and less patient.
I would like to encourage you to make some time to have a daily yoga practice. Even just 15 minutes for your everyday practice will have a positive effect on you. You will immediately realise how much it improves your day.
You do not have to commit to a long and complicated practice on a daily basis. Even if you can regularly practice 4-5 positions it would be a great beginning.
I suggest starting with a few sun salutations – maybe just 3 rounds. Then pick some of your favorite standing positions and when you are warmed up, some more challenging ones. Please finish your practice with even a very short relaxation. The benefits of your practice work best when you allow your body to “digest” the energy that has been moving throughout your system. Keep it simple and realistic in the start so you can commit to practicing everyday and see the progress.
To help inspire you I have prepared some alternative sequences that are a little longer but not more than 30 minutes for your morning practice:
Sun Salutation – 3 rounds
Standing yoga positions
– Triangle pose (trikonasana) – 5 breaths on each side
– Chair pose (utkatasana) – 5 breaths
– Warrior Pose II (virabhadrasana II) – 5 breaths on each side
Balance yoga poses
– Tree Pose (vrksasana) – 5 breaths on each side
Forwards Bends poses
– Head to knee pose – (janusirsasana) – 5 breath on each side
Yoga for Hips
– Butterfly (baddha konasana) – 5 breaths
– Boat Pose (navasana) – 5 breaths
Twist yoga poses
– Half Twist Pose (ardha matsyendrasana) – 5 breaths on each side
– Bow Pose (dhanurasana) – 5 breaths
– Wheel Pose (urdhva dhanurasana) – 5 breaths
Restoratives yoga poses
– Seated Forward Bend (paschimottanasana) – 5 breaths
– Corpe Pose (Shavasana) – 3-5 min
– 3 minute meditation – sitting with your legs in a crossed position and observe the rhythm of your breath.
My day yoga practice has changed my life for the better. I feel stronger not only in my body but also mentally.
Remember, if you have time for to check Facebook in the morning, then you can surely find time to practice yoga for 10 minutes. And if you compare those two activities, which one brings out the best in you?