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*Today’s article was co-written by yogi and writer, Sara Popovic.
Your alarm goes off and you hit the ground running.
The dog threw up in her kennel overnight, you’re wearing damp-ish pants because the dryer didn’t dry your work clothes all of the way, and you can’t find your keys.
How many hours until you can crawl back in bed??
Here’s the bad news and the good news:
Bad news: this very well may be what happens most mornings, even if you do your best to prepare.
Good news: it doesn’t have to ruin your entire day, in fact, there is something you can do that can help keep your blood pressure down and happy vibes up all day, NO MATTER what your broken dishwasher or your boss throw at you!
Morning Meditation is a wonderful way to set a mood for your day and take back control of your emotions and stress response.
In this article, we’ll go through perks of morning meditation, methods you can try and ways to make meditation a habit that will stick with you for life.
Why Is Morning A Good Time To Meditate?…
Imagine how stressful life could have been before modern technology in regard to securing food, health, surviving through weather events, and so many uncontrollables.
Ancient healers and yogis were able to navigate their less controllable lives with a calm, steady mindset, and taught others to do the same.
I’m thinking if they could do that, following their wisdom has to help me withstand the “stress” of realizing there isn’t enough milk for my cereal!
Ancient healers and yogis believed the period before the sunset is the perfect time to meditate.
A lot has changed since then, and most of us aren’t able to wake up at 3 in the morning in this modern setting.
However, practicing first thing when you wake up – whenever that is for you – still has just as powerful benefits.
Many studies show that meditation stimulates endorphin release, and has the potential to boost your energy and mood as much as coffee and running.
Morning meditation helps release negativity and brings you to the present moment as soon as you wake up, so you’re more likely to start your day off on the right foot.
Today, we spend hours every day on our phone.
Morning meditation keeps you from scrolling through social media or checking your email as soon as you wake up (do NOT start your day by reading that politically charged Facebook post from that guy you knew in high school-horrible, horrible idea).
Instead, it allows your body and mind to fully wake up and prepares it for the day ahead.
It sets up the tone by shoving you into our oftentimes frantic-paced world with a calmer mind and enhanced awareness and confidence.
Plus, mornings are also usually quieter than the rest of the day, you are less likely to be distracted, AND by meditating in the morning, it’s easier to make it your everyday habit.
There are SO many reasons why morning meditation is great for you, but if you are just starting, you might wonder how to do it – and what method to choose.
We’ve got you back, sister, so keep reading!
*Actually, before bed is ALSO a good time to meditate. Read how to get to sleep faster here.
How can I meditate in the morning?…
Meditation is an ancient practice of releasing tension, getting back to the present moment and reaching higher awareness.
Being a part of our culture for so long, we have developed many methods of meditation you can choose from.
Yes, there are a lot of choices, but remember that not everything is for everyone.
There’s no single best way to meditate, and you have to try out a few to see which one is YOUR flavor.
Here are some meditation techniques to get you started:
Guided meditation refers to all types of meditation that involve a teacher who guides you through the practice.
Some guided meditations focus on your breath, some on full-body awareness and some on visualization.
Technology gives you a beautiful opportunity to enjoy guided meditations from the comfort of your own home (thank you, internet!!).
You can find countless resources online, including individual websites from meditation educators, YouTube videos and mobile apps.
This type of meditation is perfect for beginners because they follow an experienced teacher, if you can follow directions, you can do this!!!
With time, you are able to learn their techniques and meditate without guidance, but don’t fret if that takes awhile, I am definitely not there yet!
Guided Meditation Resources…
The Honest Guys YouTube channel has an extensive list of guided meditations and is my go-to channel for this purpose.
Here is a 20-minute guided meditation that will pump your morning full of some serious zen.
If Soundcloud is your platform for choice, here is a 25-minute guided meditation from my go-to Soundcloud guru, davidji.
His channel is also full of high-quality meditations on a wide variety of topics from fear and regret to self-love and embracing change.
Find many more guided meditations and learn more about the benefits in this ultimate guide article!
This meditation technique is a great choice to do along with your morning yoga practice or while you’re still in bed (yes, please).
The method simply invites you to move your attention to your breath.
Focus on your breath, an still allow it to flow naturally.
The more you observe it, the deeper it will become.
To maintain focus, some people count their breaths or visualize a positive energy filling up their body with every inhale, and all the stress, fatigue or anxiety releasing from their body when they exhale.
Breathing Meditation Resources…
If you are a beginner and prefer to listen to directions for breathing meditations, here is a 10-minute mindful breathing practice, perfect to start your morning with.
Mindful.org has provided this 15-minute breathing meditation on Soundcloud which has great instructions and is a perfect first step into the practice.
Candle staring is an example of focused meditation.
It is a great choice for beginners and anyone else who struggles to concentrate during meditation, and it’s a fantastic choice for your morning meditation!
Boost your mood with a scented candle that energizes you.
Light it up and simply stare at the flame.
When new thoughts arrive, let them go and get back to the candle.
You can also try out some other types of focused meditation, like counting mala beads.
The drool-worthy and fragrant one below is handmade from Palo Santo.
Focus Meditation Resources…
Another way to practice focused meditation is listening to binaural music.
You do need to listen with headphones to get the most our of it.
Wake up, pop in your earbuds, and focus on the music in the 30-minute video from atheathorium for an incredible morning meditation!
Here is a 10-minute “Mind Energizer” from Zen Melodies on Soundcloud.
Mantra meditation was first developed by Buddhist and Hindu monks and involves repeating words or sounds in your head or out loud.
A common example of mantra is “Om”.
Eastern spiritual teachers believe that each mantra has its own meanings and effects, and some can support specific energy centers in your body, or chakras.
The repetitive nature of mantras clears your thoughts, helps you become more alert, and is a wonderful method to enter deeper states of consciousness.
Mantra meditation is a suitable choice for anyone who wants to focus their morning practice on spiritual growth.
Another type of mantra meditation is repeating positive affirmations.
Affirmations are a good choice for your morning meditation as they help set an intention for the day and may offer up some very needed self-love.
Find your own affirmation, based on what you want from your day, for example “I’m excited to start my day” or “I’m enthusiastic and inspired”, or what you need to hear RIGHT NOW, such as “I am powerful,” or “I am loved”.
Mantra Meditation Resources…
Start a powerful morning habit by using this 21-minute chakra mantra meditation from Meditative Mind.
After a couple of days, you will understand what order your RAMs and YAMs go in and you can chant along with the video to create those meditative vibrations from the inside out.
It’s early so go for it, no one else is awake to hear you!
This nearly 12-minute chakra mantra meditation from Bright Yoga Space is VERY informative and explains not only HOW to chant each mantra, but WHY.
If affirmations are something you would like to try, my favorite headquarters for fresh affirmations is ALWAYS Louise Hay.
She’s got the goods with new, free affirmations daily.
If you’re a morning bird, you might feel a burst of energy when you wake up and you struggle to stay focused when seated.
It’s also possible you have to quickly get ready for work as soon as you wake up (ummm…yeah).
In this case, try out movement meditation.
Walking meditation is a WONDERFUL way to start your day and you can do it while going to work, walking your dog, or simply when you want to begin your morning with some time in nature!
It just involves paying attention to your feelings and your surroundings.
Start by focusing on only one of your senses as you walk – for example on what you can hear or what you can see.
One variation is a color walk where you focus on picking out things along your path of a certain color, and then move on down the rainbow.
For example, your mind may think “red tulip, red sign, red car,” then “orange mailbox, orange street cone, orange spray paint,” and so on.
Tuning in to any scents you smell along your walk is another way to bring mindfulness to your morning.
That may not always be pleasant, but it will focus your mind!
Walking Meditation Resources…
One more variation on walking meditation involves focusing intently on each step you take.
Or, practice a mash-up of 2 types of practices with this 15-minute guided walking meditation from 5 Minute Meditation channel!
Mindfulness meditation is all about returning to the present moment.
Although it is usually referred to as a specific method, many other techniques we mentioned can also be considered mindful meditation.
Mindfulness means you are observing everything what’s happening right now.
This includes sounds you hear, feelings in your body, thoughts you have, and things you see.
Simply be aware and take on a passive role of an observer and note everything without analyzing or judgement.
What are the sounds I hear outside my window? Mindful meditation.
What does my rear feel like sitting on this chair and how do my feet feel touching the floor? Mindful meditation.
It’s an incredibly simple practice, but it is so powerful in its ability to lasso your wandering mind that wants to revisit the past or ponder the future and makes it stay put, right here in the present.
Mindfulness Meditation Resources…
There are guided and mindfulness meditation combos, like this 10-minute one from Calm:
When practicing a morning mindfulness meditation on your own without the aid of a recording, you will want to set a timer as to not be late for work!
One of the best meditation timers, hands down, is the FREE Insight Timer app that features a variety of sounds to pull you gently from your meditation and won’t momentarily stop your heart like your oven timer would.
Another form of mindfulness meditation that is really intriguing and that I have been seeing everywhere lately is mindful eating.
In this practice you focus on the action of eating, the ingredients, every detail of taste and smell.
Start your morning with mindful eating of your breakfast!
There is actually a non-profit organization, The Center for Mindful Eating, that is dedicated completely to mindful eating and there are many free guided mindful eating recordings on their website you can listen to for free!
One more excellent resource for morning mindfulness meditation is a book I own called Unlearning Meditation: What to Do When the Instructions Get In the Way.
Author Jason Siff peels back any frustration we may feel with all of the meditation instructions we may have been taught, and have struggled with, over the years, and offers us an uncomplicated view of meditation, which in essence is mindful meditation.
Click here to get a sneak peek inside the book on Amazon.
Progressive relaxation is a wonderful morning meditation method and is perfect for before or after your workouts.
Also called body scan meditation, this method involves scanning your body and finding areas of tension (I know for me, that isn’t hard to find).
Once you find a tension, you try to relax and release it.
As the name implies, progressive relaxation usually starts at one part of your body then moves to all others.
For example, you begin by increasing awareness to your toes.
You relax them, then move the attention to your feet, your shins, your thighs, belly and in the same manner, move all the way up to your head.
If you’re not sure how to perform this meditation, look for yoga Nidra classes as they are based on this method.
Progressive Meditation Resources…
This 22-minute guided Yoga nidra from Yoga International is a beautiful way to practice progressive meditation and ease any tension you carry in the morning.
This nearly 13-minute progressive meditation from Carl Bryce focuses on the relaxation of each muscle and would help begin your day in an uber-relaxed state (deadline stress? What deadline stress?!?).
Loving Kindness Meditation…
Whether you had a bad week, had some conflict recently, or slept horribly, it’s possible to feel grumpy in the morning (for me, very possible).
For those tough mornings, try out loving kindness meditation, also known as metta meditation.
This type of meditation will help you build a sense of love and compassion towards everyone you encounter (even those you wish you hadn’t encountered).
It starts by sending love to ourselves, then moving to those who we love, strangers, and finally, our enemies or those who we’re in conflict with.
I KNOW that last part sounds difficult, but harboring hard feelings toward others (even when they completely deserve it) does absolutely nothing good for you, and can actually be quite detrimental to your health and mental state.
As my very wise yoga teacher, Alanna Kaivalya, always instructs, you don’t have to invite them over to hang out, you just have to try and resolve things with them within your own mind.
Metta Meditation Resources…
You can use affirmations for this type of meditation.
A common way to do this is to bring to mind yourself, then a person you love, a stranger or acquaintance you feel neutral about, then someone you struggle to love, and as you do, think “May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you be truly happy.”
There are also many guided metta meditations available, including this 10-minute version from the happy way that talks you through this practice.
This nearly 12-minute metta meditation from Ashtanga Dispatch offers fantastic insight into the practice, followed by a guided loving kindness meditation.
Common Questions About Morning Meditation…
By now, you already know why and how you’ll meditate in the morning, but you still might have questions.
Although the answers change with every individual, here are some guidelines that can help you:
Should I Meditate Before Or After Exercise Or Yoga?…
If you are building a habit of exercising or practicing yoga in the morning, you might wonder what you should do first – your meditation or your workout.
It’s important to say that these two activities complement each other wonderfully.
They help to energize you, boost your mood, and set both your mind and body for the day.
You can meditate both before and after your exercise, there’s no “one-size-fits all” rule.
Exercise and yoga are often used to prepare you for meditation.
They release pent-up emotions and bring your awareness to your body.
Your mind is less distracted and you’re not as prone to overthinking after your workout so, you will be able to focus better during your meditation.
Meditation works as a cool down and to slow down your breathing.
Also, your body is stretched and relaxed, so it will be much easier to sit still in a single position.
Some people prefer meditating before the workout to set their intention and tune into their breath and body.
Some even say that helps them perform better.
Meditation encourages you to let go of thoughts before the workout which can increase your control and focus.
As a result, you are able to activate proper muscles and make the most out of your workouts.
What About Before Or After Journaling?…
Many people have accepted a morning routine of journaling.
Journaling and meditation are a perfect combination because meditation allows you to let go of thoughts and build awareness, and journaling helps you to express freely and spontaneously.
Some people journal before their morning meditation, writing down their thoughts helps to release all negativity, so they can maintain more focus for their meditation.
Others meditate first, and journal after as meditation boosts their creativity, inspiration and empowers them to write intuitively and understand their messages better.
There are also methods that break up the meditation in two parts.
They involve meditating for a couple of minutes, then expressing spontaneous and freestyle thoughts in your journal.
The routine ends with another meditation to see what new findings and emotions arose from journaling.
Just like with meditation, try out different methods and find what works for you.
Can I Meditate Before I Even Get Out Of Bed?…
Yes, you can definitely meditate in your bed!
This is a good way to build a habit, as you start your session as soon as you wake up.
However, if you’re not a morning person, meditating while lying in bed could make you fall asleep again.
If you have responsibilities right away in the morning, that’s likely not something you want!
It might be better to sit up on your bed before you begin your meditation in that case.
Is It Okay To Fall Asleep During Morning Meditation?
It is actually common to fall asleep during meditation.
Many people find it hard to reach a relaxed stage of meditation while remaining focused.
And as normal as it is to fall asleep, it is also not considered meditation anymore, as concentration is a major factor of meditation and its benefits, both on your mind and spirit.
Don’t feel guilty if you fall asleep, though, especially if it’s not a workday.
Just get back to your meditation when you wake up and appreciate that your body probably needed more rest and your practice earned you some!
However, if you want to avoid falling asleep, always sit up straight and try drinking a glass of water or washing your face prior to meditation.
If it’s really hard for you to stay awake, try doing a short workout session prior.
How To Make Morning Meditation A Habit?…
Don’t let morning meditation to be one and done, turn it into a lifelong habit!
- Choose A Trigger Or Time
The most effective way to build a habit is to always do it at the same time. For example, you could meditate first thing in the morning. That allows you to start your day at the right foot and to spend some time in mindfulness before getting caught in the busyness of the day.
Another technique involves connecting your meditation to a trigger. The trigger is something else you do every morning, at approximately the same time. For example, you could do it after you brush your teeth or before breakfast.
Scheduling your meditation and tying it to other routines makes it much more likely to stick with your new habit.
- Do It Every Day
Once you’ve designated a time for your meditation, commit to doing it every day. Doing something on a daily base is one of the most effective ways to make it a habit.
When you decide to meditate every morning, you’ll avoid an inner debate of not having enough time or moving it to another day.
Although this can be challenging when you just start, it will make meditation something you naturally do every day and not something you need to force yourself to do.
- Start With Short Sessions
Begin building your habit by sitting only two minutes for morning meditation. Of course, you can do it for longer when it feels good, but don’t commit to a 15 or 30-minute session when you’re just starting out. That may work for a while, but it will make you skip your routine on the days when you’re busy or don’t feel like meditating.
You are much more likely to succeed by starting small and slowly building your habit. For example, after succeeding to meditate two minutes for a week, raise it to 5 minutes for two weeks, and then to 10 minutes for the next month. Slow progress is what builds long-lasting habits.
- Choose Your Method
Remove the guesswork by planning out your routine beforehand.
If you’re still not sure what type of meditation works for you, plan it the day before. Take a bit of time to learn about the type of meditation you want to try out or save a video that you want to follow in the morning.
This step will become much easier when you find a technique that you love doing.
- Designate a meditating spot
As people, we are naturally attracted to routines and rituals. By designating a spot for meditation, just seeing that spot will trigger your motivation to meditate.
You can lay down a mat or put a pillow in a corner of your home. During good weather, you can also set up a spot in your backyard, or find your favorite place outdoors such as a bench in the park or a beach.
Morning meditation is a powerful way to start your day on the right foot.
It releases negative emotions, boosts your mood, and brings you back to the present moment.
There’s no shortage of methods you can try out, and you’ll certainly find something that works for you.
Once you find a technique you can connect to, work on making meditation your daily habit to reap its long term benefits, like lower anxiety and depression, increased mood, and an enhanced awareness of yourself and your surroundings.
Thank you for reading, and take care!
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