January can be a tough month – it can be difficult to get going in the morning, or to find our “get up and go” in general. We asked three of our in-house therapists to share how their morning routines set them up for the day.
Anna Barry – Massage, Reflexology
Even if I only have ten minutes in the morning, I love ashtanga yoga or some form of stretching. I might have a walk through the park or do a quick burst of some other exercise. In non-Covid times I attend the studio three to four times a week for self-practice – now I do my practice at home, and it’s free!
I also love dry skin brushing. It’s invigorating, increases my blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, and exfoliates my skin – perfect for the wintertime.
Hot water and lemon is my drink of choice in the morning: it hydrates me as well as waking up the “agni” (fire) of my digestive system. Lemons contain high levels of vitamin C, which is great for immunity and may help reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Yan Chou Li – Acupuncture, Cupping, Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture
When I wake up, I like to stretch my body straight away, taking time to feel every part. This reminds me that I can use simple tools to calm my mind, which is a great way to start the day.
I drink at least 250mls of warm water – research shows that this not only hydrates us effectively, but it also stimulates the central nervous and digestive systems.
I do QiGong for 15-30 minutes, up to an hour depending on the time I have. This millennia-old system of movement, breathing and meditation is a gentle way to cultivate and balance my qi (life force – known as “prana” in yoga).
Before going out, I eat something easily digestible such as porridge. Warm, soft and comforting, oats are quick and easy to cook and provide important vitamins and minerals. I never leave the house with an empty stomach!
Felicity Bevell – Reflexology
I keep a pint of water by my bed at night so that the first thing I do after I wake up is drink it. That way I ensure that I am on a good path for keeping hydrated for the whole day – nourishing all the cells in my body and helping them function efficiently.
To keep myself as embodied as possible and help my busy mind relax a bit every morning I either do a Kundalini Yoga practice (I especially enjoy the breath of fire!), or I dance for 10 minutes to a favourite track. I shimmy and I shake, I move my hips to the beat: even just a five-minute dance lifts my spirits, relaxes my body and sets me up for the day ahead.
I invite women to try a short daily breast massage and see how it transforms your day! I do this practice in the shower. I have a lovely hemp soap infused with rose oil and I lather up and massage in circles, first one way and then the other, then massage my belly down to my womb. It only takes a few minutes but has so many benefits, improving blood flow and circulation and releasing oxytocin (the happy hormone) in my body.