Health News

'I'm A Yoga Instructor, And I Never Start My Day Without Doing This'

There’s no getting around it: Mornings can be rough.That’s why we reached out to Boston-based yoga instructor Rebecca Pacheco, to find out how she kicks off her days on a positive note.

“I became a first-time mother in April, so my morning routine has shifted dramatically since then. For starters, it’s less ‘routine.’ Some key healthy elements remain and I’ve acquired a couple new ones. My day now begins when my daughter wakes up, which is usually between 5 and 6 a.m. She’s so smiley and adorable first thing in the morning that I don’t mind being up before sunrise. I try to keep our first hour as quiet and mindful as possible. A soothing start is ideal for her, but it’s become important for me, too. We keep the lights low and I try not to look at my phone/Internet first thing. I drink a huge glass of water and let myself wake up gradually.

“I usually work out or do yoga later in the day, but when I do practice in the morning, I love the ritual quality of sun salutations to warm up and wake up with intention. I also love inversions to start the day—they give me such a lift (literally, ha!). You can stand on your head or simply lie down in bed and put your legs up the wall for a few minutes.

“On mornings when I run, I always do a yoga cool down with some standing forward bends, toes pose (which is an amazing foot stretch), and hip openers. A forward bend, in particular, is great if you’re feeling anxious about everything you need to accomplish in the day ahead. Take a moment, put your head below your heart, send fresh blood to your brain, and focus on a few deep, slow, calming breaths. Works every time.”

For some tips on how to meditate, check out her step-by-step guide below:

  • Find a comfortable seat. Make sure your spine is tall, your posture alert but not rigid. You may lie down if you like, as long as you don’t fall back asleep.
  • Remain still. As often as you itch or twitch or lose focus, try to still your body. With practice, your thoughts will follow.
  • Set a timer. Watching the clock never made anyone feel more relaxed. Set your smartphone (make sure it’s on airplane mode), an alarm, or the timer on the oven (whatever works!) and try to stay with your breath for that period. Choose a reasonable commitment to start. A sweet spot for my meditation students is between 10 to 12 minutes, but you can do less if you have less time (even one to three minutes is incredibly valuable) or more as you get more comfortable with practice.

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health

Source: Read Full Article