Monday, December 22, 2014

My Morning Routine

Winter Solstice Lake
I know that it's more typical to start a new routine at the beginning of the year, especially since the beginning of a new year is so close. Why not wait, right?

But the time was right to dive in and so I did...about 4 or 5 weeks ago. The fact that I can't exactly remember makes me happy. It tells me that the habit is solid, because I'm not really counting any more.

What does my morning routine look like?

I know it's important for me to MOVE right away in the morning to get this brain working well and happily for the day, but the kind of movement is tricksy.

I am super stiff in the morning (and I've been like this since I was a teenager; it's not an age thing at all). AND? I am NOT AWAKE so doing something that takes ANY cognition at all on ANY level...just no.

Dance is out first thing in the morning. I need something less free, something more defined or I will easily skip it.

AND? I can't do ONE thing for very long. Sleepy brain just gets sleepier and then bored and then quits.

So 45 minutes of yoga...no. (This has all been discovered through trial and error.)

I finally figured out my own special formula.  I do a variation of this 6 days a week.

First, I start every day by squatting. It lengthens and strengthens and is easy. I sit in squat for a few minutes.

Then I do a series of back and psoas focused stretches. This all takes about 10 to 12 minutes, but I can shorten it to about 5 if need be.

Then something brand new for me: I jog on my rebounder, which I prefer to call my tramp. Because funny.

I have never ever never ever been a runner. Ever.

When I was about 11, I was in gym class running and everyone was laughing and making fun. Turns out my twisted tibia in my right leg made my leg fly out to the side in a very amusing manner.

This 11 year old was not amused but rather mortified and has avoided running ever since.

No more. (And through dance and biomechanic awareness, that leg is no longer being such a show off.)

I started with just 15 minutes. My cardio kinda sucks for jogging because it's a brand new thing for me. I would do about 5 minutes and then get off the rebounder and walk around the room.

I BUILT SLOWLY.

This is the key that most people don't use.

BUILDING SLOWLY builds strong.  It's builds a strong body, but even more, it builds a strong habit because you don't immediately feel overwhelmed.

Within the first week, I was doing the 15 minutes without a break of any kind. I kept it at 15 minutes for another week. (See "BUILD SLOWLY.")

Now I'm at 20 minutes with no break and I'll be adding to that after the holidays.

After the rebounder, I do some more stretching/yoga type stuff, including all my back circles.

THEN a few days a week, I do some basic arm weights. (That's pretty close to what I do.)

Then I drink a bunch of lemon water and move onto espresso.

My morning routine takes anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes, depending on how I'm feeling, which is another key to a good routine: FLEXIBILITY.

Allow your morning routine some breathing space.

Most days I do the 50 minute version, but there are plenty of mornings where I do the 25 and I see it all as GOOD.

Next year, I'll be attacking some IMPOSSIBLE THINGS and my morning routine will grow during that time. So stay tuned.



If you want to get a taste of how we create more happy, strength, and connection through the practice of Kintsugi Dance, you could join my super secret Facebook group, Inferno of Awesome. This group is invisible until you're added. FIRST, make sure you are my friend on FB, and SECOND, ask me to add you.