August 10, 2018

This App actually turned me into a Morning Person. {Partner}


This is a post written with Yoga Wake Up—an Elephant partner. We’re honored to work with a small, caring company dedicated to giving us happier waking (and sleeping) hours by helping us wake up (and go to sleep) more mindfully. ~ ed.


I was always a night owl—never much of a morning person.

This worked fine for me when I was at college and could get away with avoiding early lectures, or just constantly hitting the snooze button ’til I could drag my bleary-eyed self outta dreamland.

But let’s face it, as an adult (or at least someone posing as an adult—am I right?!), early mornings are generally a thing now.

However, my bad evening and morning habits have been pretty consistent for as long as I can remember, and I just couldn’t seem to shift them.

Even once I’d had children, I just couldn’t find my inner morning person.

That is until I made one big change, which led to a few more small changes.

I tried the Yoga Wake Up app.

>> Try it for yourself: download the iOS* app free <<
(Elephant readers get 25% off subscription to access all classes via this article.)

This is what my evening and morning habits used to look like:

At about 9 p.m. without fail, I’d suddenly convince myself I had a million things to do were way more important than sleeping. Things like mapping out my five-year life plan in collage form, or watching just one more episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, or stalking random people from my past on social media.

So, needless to say, I was usually in bed late. And it used to seem as though I barely closed my eyes before my alarm went off and I began my daily dance with the snooze button. That, or my children made it impossible for me to snooze any longer.

Then, I would be magnetically drawn to reading messages, checking emails, scrolling social media again—that is unless the kids were up, in which case the scrollathon would take place while I waited for the coffee to brew.

Either way, once I’d snapped out of my phone coma, I usually had to scramble to get myself and two small people ready to go. So, I’d shovel down something resembling breakfast and the rest of the morning was generally a blur.

Not a good way to end, or start a day.

I never felt like I caught up with myself. Sound familiar? Well, I recently decided enough was enough. There had to be a better way.

And this is when I discovered Yoga Wake Up, literally by googling “morning habits of highly successful, productive, happy, and totally zen people”…or something like that anyway.

>> Have a mindful morning: Get Yoga Wake Up free<< 
(Elephant readers get 25% off subscription to access all classes via this article.)

This is what my evening and morning routine now looks like:

Yoga Wake Up isn’t just for waking up. It has a whole selection of awesome night-time sequences and yoga nidras, so this is where my new routine begins. They range from quick chill out routines to longer yoga nidras so you really don’t have to set aside a whole bunch of time.

I usually do my yoga nidra in bed now, because one time I ended up asleep on my yoga mat for hours! It’s that relaxing. Before I do that, I choose a morning Yoga Wake Up sequence, which works just like an alarm.

Because I’m getting into bed earlier with my new nighttime routine, and I actually look forward to my new alarm, I’m comfortably able to wake up before the kids, most days.

The wake up routines start in bed with slow, easy, delicious stretching to the dulcet tones of one of Yoga Wake Up‘s lovely yoga teachers. And there’s a great range of styles and approaches which I like to try out depending on my mood the night before. Sometimes, I follow this with a short morning meditation. One side effect of this mindful start is that I feel less drawn to scrolling social media, and more present for my children and for the millions of tiny things that need before we’ve even officially begun our day. It’s a total revelation for me. I’m able to take time to meet myself each morning, before going into work or mom mode.

I have seriously never felt so chilled and invigorated at the same time, so early in the day!

I genuinely believe the world would be a happier, more peaceful place if each of us went to bed, and woke up with yoga and meditation.

>> Wake up happier: try Yoga Wake Up free <<
(Elephant readers get 25% off subscription to access all classes via this article.)

Here are three more things which help me to have more mindful mornings and set me up for a better day and night all round:

1. I make my bed before I do anything else. Turns out, people have written whole articles about how making their bed first each day changed their life! Who woulda thunk it? It apparently signifies order and calm. A messy bed is a messy mind and all that. Well, whatever the feng shui involved, it certainly helps me feel more together each day. Try it!

2. I have a date with my coffee. In the past I survived on coffee out of necessity. Now, I slow down and savour it instead. I enjoy the first cup of only two a day now by making it into a little ritual. If kids are up, I see to them first, and then I enjoy the process of my morning coffee. I even got one of those whistling stovetop kettles ’cause I just love their old-timey sound! I use a French Press—I stir, I plunge, I take in that fresh (fairtrade) coffee smell, and I enjoy every sip. My coffee and I have a little love affair each morning, and it feels so good.

3. I eat a healthy breakfast, slowly. Full disclosure: I am freelance, so most mornings I can afford to start work a little later if I like. If we run late for any reason (kids, ya know?), I get everyone off to where they need to be and then I come home and take the time to prepare myself a balanced breakfast. Usually, it’s some combination of fruit, oatmeal, and almond butter. There are a ton of healthy (and vegan) breakfast ideas on Elephant, though. Most days now, I do actually manage to sit down and eat with the kids. Either way, I take the time to enjoy nourishing my body before I ask it to do much else.

All these changes really stemmed from the first one: leaving my alarm clock for the Yoga Wake Up app. Best break up story ever!

And, as I suspected, I’m not alone here. Danielle Radulski, fellow (former) queen of the snooze button, also tried the app, and this is what she thought:

>> Wake up with yoga: download the app for iOS*, free <<

(Elephant readers get 25% off subscription to access all classes via this article.)


*Android app coming soon! Watch this space.





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