Your day can be lost or won within the first hour of waking. If you send your mind and body the right signals first thing in the morning, it can have a tremendous impact on the rest of your day.
My morning ritual might seem a little tedious or lengthy, but I must admit my life has improved dramatically with this practice. When I lost focus and dropped the routine, I definitely noticed the difference. Excluding all of the data collection I’m doing for the Combine journey, every day will start almost exactly like this:
Facial Ice Bath
The benefits of thermogenesis are profound, and nothing kills off your sleep pressure/snooze alarm like dunking your face into a bowl of 45 degree water. I’ll try to spend about thirty seconds straight with my face submerged, depending on how long I can hold my breath that morning, surface, and then swish around a little bit until it just about hurts. This gives my body the signal that it needs to get rolling and attack the day.
Next, I will pull out the yoga mat and do a few stretches from Kokoro Yoga. The sun salutation, a downward dog or two, and my favorite being the child’s pose. There are a few more in here I don’t know the names of, but I’ll taking this time to wring out the toxins from my organs, and also do an exercise from The Way Of The Seal called Clearing The Fish Bowl. Treat your head like a dirty fish tank, and use your breath to filter it out. No thoughts, no stress, nothing allowed in. Certainly none of yesterday’s garbage.
When my body is stretched and more loose and my head is clear, I’ll lay down on my back on the mat and hook up to an app called Brain Waves, which plays sine waves in each of my ears that my brain hears and reduces to the slow frequencies that make up the difference between them. This app is a great meditation assistant as it steers the brain toward whatever state of mind you have it set for – relaxation, meditation, focus, sleep, and many more. I like to leverage this science to help steer my mind where I want it to go, whether it be a visualization of a paintball match, or mental rehearsal of snap shooting.