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What happened when I stopped scrolling Facebook at sunrise

Most of us are extremely familiar with the daily routine of waking up and automatically reaching for our phones whether it be to check emails or to scroll through social media, all before we have given our minds the time to wake itself up and prepare for the day ahead. I can raise my hand to being a culprit of this.

By Lizzie Liu

Two months ago, I decided to make a change in my morning routine and began setting my alarm an hour earlier every morning so that I could get up and spend 30 minutes practicing yoga and doing breathing exercises first thing before even glancing at my phone. Within a week, I saw immediate changes to both my mood and my body. I found that I was now able to start my day with a clearer mind overall. It was not cluttered with thoughts of what I had seen on my Instagram feed or how many emails I had to reply to that day!

I now begin each morning with a positive mindset which carries on throughout the day. And I also feel I have used my time in a super productive way as opposed to just lazing around in bed. Also, regular yoga exercise even for a short time is extremely beneficial to the body. I can feel myself gradually becoming stronger and more flexible.

The movements themselves do not have to be complicated at all. It is amazing what a difference such a small change in routine can make to your overall well-being. As I mentioned above, sometimes I will just sit cross-legged and concentrate on my breathing for a few minutes. I spend this time to reflect on what I wish to achieve that day. I find this personally to be extremely helpful in clearing my mind and directing my focus to setting daily goals.

It is important to start the day with a purpose. So the next time you are feeling unmotivated, try this out for a few days. I guarantee you will feel more positive overall.

Morning Yoga and Meditation

30 Minute Morning Yoga Routine

This is a simple routine that I like to do every morning as soon as I wake up! It helps to relax my body and mind so that I am ready for the day ahead.

  • Start in child’s pose. Rest your head gently on the mat. Concentrate on breathing slowly in and out as you feel your hips open up.
  • Once you feel relaxed, move into a downwards facing dog. I like to start with a wide stance – feet on either side of the mat. It allows me to get more length down the spine.
  • I then like to “walk the dog” pressing one heel down into the ground and then the other to get the body moving. All the while take deep breaths in and out.
  • From here, I bend the knees slightly, shifting my weight forward into a plank position as I inhale. And then as I exhale I take the hips high again back into downward dog. I repeat this 3-4 times.
  • On the last plank, I drop the knees and move into cat cow which warms up the whole spine. Repeat this 3-4 times.
    I go back to a downward dog by curling the toes under and walk the feet towards the hands into a standing forward pose. I like to clasp both my elbows and let my head hang as I rock from side to side with my knees bent.
  • Slowly, I will drop my hands to the ground and slowly roll up one vertebrae at a time to standing position. I then reach the palms up extending all ten fingers as I inhale and then drop the hands as I exhale. I repeat this 3 times.
  • On the last inhale, I clasp the left wrist with the right hand and lean my body into a deep side-stretch. Repeat on the other side.
  • Exhale and reach forwards into a swan dive and fold the body, inhale half-way into a flat back and then exhale and fold again. Repeat 3 times.
  • Inhale and press the left leg behind, knee to the ground, pressing the hips forward as you reach the arms above your head. Switch the leg and repeat on other side.
  • Then move into a warrior two pose on either leg really concentrating on getting deep into the squat.
  • I like to finish by sitting cross-legged on the mat, eyes closed. Concentrate on inhaling and exhaling for a few minutes. This peace and quiet really helps to clear my mind and ready myself for the day ahead. I find that after completing this routine I feel both relaxed and energized for the day!

If you feel limitations in your yoga poses, follow our video-instructions on how to free your hamstrings.

Lizzie Liu about Morning YogaI am currently living in Auckland, New Zealand in my final year studying a conjoint degree of Law and Arts at the University of Auckland.

In my downtime, I love to stay fit and healthy by exercising and going to yoga classes regularly.

I love yoga. It provide you with an all-over body workout. It is also relaxing and peaceful for the mind which is so important in today’s fast-paced world. A great form of exercise for anyone regardless of their athletic ability! And you get to wear cool active wear so you can look good while doing it, which is just a bonus!

Lizzie Liu

I am currently living in Auckland, New Zealand in my final year studying a conjoint degree of Law and Arts at the University of Auckland.

In my downtime, I love to stay fit and healthy by exercising and going to yoga classes regularly.

I love yoga. It provide you with an all-over body workout. It is also relaxing and peaceful for the mind which is so important in today’s fast-paced world. A great form of exercise for anyone regardless of their athletic ability! And you get to wear cool active wear so you can look good while doing it, which is just a bonus!
Lizzie Liu

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