Some years back I lived in a log cabin in the bush. One of my ‘big city’ friends decided to pay me a visit. My chum was an avid follower of a particularly assertive style of yoga, and he set himself to do his morning ‘ritual’, while I scurried around and did mine.

I noticed hearing rhythmical ‘hfwumps’ and ‘snorts’ in the background, but other than that, I wasn’t paying much attention.

I did my usual morning stretches, and then made my morning soy-latte. I plunked myself down cross-legged in my favourite hammock chair just as he was finishing his grueling routine.

We both exhaled loudly and deeply just at the same moment. He asked me “how did you get here”?

How Did You Get Here?

By this he meant the ‘bliss zone’

It got me thinking about my ‘Coffee Yoga’

[Tweet “The word Yoga means ‘Union’. Yoga comes in all forms”]

Morning Wake-up

Don’t Think:

The first and most important thing about any meditation, is to stop thinking. To be honest, in the mornings I really don’t think at all. I kind of warm my mind up to the process by degrees as the morning goes on.

Center Your Awareness on Your Breath:

I don’t jump out of bed. Once awake, I breathe deeply and suspend the breath for a moment and then exhale and suspend the breath again.

Do Some Gentle Warm Up Exercises:

I start with a few pelvic tilts while I lie on my back, then turn on my side and stretch like a cat, on each side of my body independently.

Don’t Hurt Yourself:

I gently sit up and do some shoulder shrugs and circles. I do ankle circles both ways and some calf stretches and flexes. This warns my feet and legs that I am about to expect something heroic from them.

Once vertical, I am off the washroom. The wonderful thing about sitting is that it isolates the hips from the upper body. This is a great moment for a few upper body ‘cat/cow’ stretches, and to start to bend and stretch the body into a curve, first on one side and then on the other. Be aware of any tightness or limited range of motion.

I follow this with a series of neck rolls and stretches. Once upright, I let myself ‘roll down’ to touch my palms to the floor, staring by curling my head and neck down and continuing the up and over pattern. I then carefully roll back up, a vertebrae at a time, ending by bringing my head up.

Stretch the Life Nerve:

I always love to hear the sciatic nerve called the ‘life nerve’. I have a great old claw style bathtub, I like to reach out and hold onto the edge while bending over to allow a really gentle but good stretch of my hamstring muscles. By moving my butt back further, I can really get a good upper body- torso stretch as well. If you have ever watched a dog do his front end/ back end stretching routine, you will get the idea.

Stretch the Neck Gently

I get a chance to really relax my neck muscles, while I wash my hair. I turn my head from side to side while dangling my head down into the tub. Again, awareness is the key; what feels tight, or limited in range of motion?

Once the turban is in place (ha), use the extra weight to get a little extra on the side to side neck stretches. Be gentle and enjoy the stretch.

The face cleansing routine is a really great way to stretch and warm up the TMJ and throat area. Lift your chin up and let your head fall back. Gently bring your jaw forward a little to work your jaw muscles. Relax and massage your neck flexors a bit.

Body Curls

When I am ready to undo the turban, I bend over at the waist by using the ‘curl method’, and let the towel fall off. I take the opportunity to stretch down again, and by clasping my hands behind my back, try to raise them up behind me. This is a great stretch for the spine, upper back, chest and arms.

Again I uncurl myself up to standing. Again, no forcing. Your muscles will let you know when they are ready to stretch.

I meander into the kitchen to start the coffee machine. While it is warming up, I fling my leg up and rest my heel on the counter. I stretch my spine up tall and gently lower my nose to my knee. I come up tall again and then turn slightly to the side and lower my self again. I repeat on the other side.

Meditate:

After I have dispensed, foamed and sprinkled like a pro, I’m off to sit in my favourite seating viewpoint, to enjoy the day.

Once clients are coming through the door, I need to be aware of what tension is me and what tension is them. I tend to ‘sense’ these tense areas in other people intuitively.

As much as possible, I start my day slow. I need time to check myself out by doing my internal ‘scan’. I plan my day so that I don’t have to force my thoughts to ‘hit the ground running’. My mind is a muscle too.

Set Your Prayers and Intentions for the Day:

Every day is a valuable gift. I always pray and ask for wisdom. I think about who I will greet during the day, and ask for guidance for these people. I pay attention to what thoughts or images come into my mind at this time.The word Yoga means ‘Union’. Yoga comes in all forms. Usually, the more personalized a program is, the better it works.

Enjoy Your Bliss!

Do you have a ritual that gets you ‘straight’ for the day? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about it.

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Bio PicNelda McEwen has been practicing as a Medical Intuitive in SW Ontario for over 25 years; counselling individuals and families, as well as offering her signature ICH training to other Medical Intuitives in the health field. Nelda’s professional research has been acknowledged and published in the Professional Kinesiology Practitioners Manual. The PKP program is recognized through the International Kinesiology College of Zurich Switzerland.