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As some of you may have seen, I recently completed my yoga teacher training (that’s right, I am officially a yoga teacher – eeek!).
Yoga has been a part of my life since I was 16, but taking this step to deepen my yoga practice and train as a teacher has completely reignited a spark of passion for yoga, moving my body, and treating myself kindly that I hadn’t even realised was missing.
One of my favourite things about yoga is that it’s not just about what you do on the mat: yoga has principles that can shape your entire life for the better. Things like practising no harm, to yourself or to others, maintaining cleanliness of the body and the mind, and being truthful, both in your actions and your intentions.
Living with these principles in mind has helped me to create a routine that has 100% improved my well-being.
As a disclaimer, my healthy morning routine below is my ideal morning routine. The things I do when I’m really nailing life and looking after myself in the best way possible.
However, I’m human – sometimes I wake up, grab my phone, scroll through social media, and mindfulness goes out the window. It’s a practice, not perfection. That’s what counts.
What is healthy?
Fitness and diet culture can be extremely uplifting, transformative, and help you live your best life – but it can also be detrimental, leading people into disordered eating habits, extreme work out routines, low self-esteem, and more.
So, how do we define what healthy actually is, when the same regime can have wildly different effects for different people?
I don’t have the answer – but what I do know is that when I stopped trying to follow one strict diet, workout routine, ‘lifestyle’ tip or whatever else was being sold to me, and started listening to what worked for me, everything started coming together.
My healthy morning routine
I put a lot of weight into the school of thought that a good morning routine will really set you up for the day.
I’m self-employed, and in the past, this could really mess up my days because there was no huge motivation to get me up at a certain time. However, I quickly realised that a morning routine is essential, whether you work from home, or need to commute into an office.
On my best days, this is my healthy morning routine:
I wake up, roll out of bed and into the bathroom. Wash my hands, then wash my face (full skincare routine), and brush my teeth. Then, I’ll make my bed, throw on some gym clothes, and head downstairs.
We have a little cabin at the end of our garden, so I’ll grab the keys and go down there for a yoga session. I like to start my morning yoga slow and gentle, really taking the time to let my body warm-up before moving into more advanced practice. If I feel super stiff, I’ll jog for 5 – 10 minutes first.
I’ll chug a glass of water, then hop in the shower. Getting dressed takes me minimal time because I basically just change into more yoga clothes!
I brew a cup of coffee in my cafeteria (last year I decided taking my time to make good coffee is always worth it!), have another glass of water, and then open up my laptop to start my working day.
I’ll typically just fast until lunchtime as I don’t really get hungry in the mornings, but if I’ve had a particularly sweaty yoga practise that morning, I’ll have something like a yoghurt pot (I love the Alpro Greek Style soya pots) with some berries and a sprinkle of granola.
That’s it! My healthy morning routine.
In an ideal world, I think I’d like to wake up earlier (I used to wake up at 6 am and go to the gym before my 9 am office job – but returning to that habit is providing difficult!) to give myself a litle more ‘me time’ before starting work – maybe reading a book or just taking my time getting ready, but for now, this routine is what suits me best.
I’ve found that for me, a healthy morning routine always involves moving my body, just giving myself the time to be present and listen to how my body is feeling each day feels like I’m ticking a box for me, allowing me to focus on other things.
5 ‘healthy’ things I do every day:
Make my bed: I make my bed every morning, almost as soon as I get out of bed. The thought of just leaving my bed un-made feels so wrong – making your bed just starts the day off on the right track.
Drink water: After waking up, you’ve just fasted for somewhere between 6 – 10 hours (depending on your sleep/eating habits) so your body is going to be dehydrated and your stomach empty. Think about it: do you really want the first thing you put back into your body to be putting sugary foods and caffeine? I always drink a glass of water before drinking or eating anything else, and dry to stay hydrated throughout the day too.
Move my body: I love being active, so I’ll typically do my yoga session in the morning, and then maybe climb, train inversions, or hit the gym later in the day. I think even just stretching for 10 minutes every day can transform your life though.
Eat when I’m hungry: There was a time, a few years ago, when I would track every single calorie and macro, plan each and every meal and feel a huge amount of anxiety surrounding ‘unplanned’ meals and snacks. Thankfully, I’m well out of the other side and now, I eat good food when I’m hungry. Creating the habit of loving healthy, whole foods is the accumulation of years of changing my mindset about fitness and health, but now, I love nothing more than eating good food that makes me feel good, too.
Get upside down: Haha this is definitely just my own thing, not something everyone should do! I have a goal to really improve my handstands lately, and making sure I get upside down every single day is all a part of the process.
Do you have a morning routine? What does your ‘healthiest’ morning tend to look like?