How to start your morning practice

Every morning I dedicate at least half an hour to my practice. This has been going on for more than 10 years. I complete same stretching and movement every morning starting from the head, continuing to the shoulders and going to the feet. Followed by the round of Syria Namaskar (Sun Salutation) and chanting.

You don’t have to spend half an hour. Dedicate 15 minutes every other morning.

How to start? Meditate.

  1. Take your mat. It can be any mat: super cheap one from the local supermarket or fancy one by “Manduka” or “Lululemon”. You choose. I don’t think this choice will influence your practice that much.
  2. Take your mat outside. Yes. The best yoga practice in my life happened outside.  Find a calm place in the park or anywhere in nature. I practice on the back garden of the house where I live.
  3. Sit in the easy pose. This pose also called “cross legged pose” or “lotus pose”. Keep your hands on the knees, palms facing the sky to be ready to receive. Slightly tack your chin to the chest. Shoulders relaxed down. Check that your back is straight and makes one line from the pelvis to the top of the head.
  4. Put your stop watch for fifteen minutes.
  5. Start your meditation from long breath in and strong breath out with open mouth. Repeat three times. At the last exhale close your eyes and keep attention on your breath.
  6. Few seconds after the start your mind will start wandering around. Your leg will start itching, your thought will go to what you need to do after you are done with meditation. Once you are done with planning, your thoughts will bring you to what you did before starting. Then you will remember about an email you promised to answer and so on, and so on. Stay there and hold the space. Don’t become your thoughts, allow them to pass. This is a great exercise to start controlling your mind and be able to stay still even when the big challenges are coming.
  7. Once your stop clock signalized the end of the meditation, take a deep breath in. Hold the breath for 5 seconds and exhale. Take another breath in, hold for 5 seconds and exhale actively through the mouth.
  8. Without opening your eyes bring both hands to the heart in Namaskara mudra.

What is “Namaskara Mudra”? It is also called Anjali mudra and is the gesture of greeting, prayer and adoration. Both palms are brought together in front of the heart, chin is gently tacked to chest. 

9. Keeping your hands next to your heart, eyes closed, inhale and find a deep sound coming from the area of your stomach: “A–aaaa—uuuu–ooo–mmmm”. Keep it sounding until your breath is out. Chant “OM” three times.

What is “OM”? OM means peaceful, calm mind, not identified with everything that we are not (thoughts, body, plans, etc.).

10. In the end, gently bow your head to hands as a gesture of mind and heart connected in gratitude to the practice, teachers and to yourself.




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