Striving for a mindful morning? Waking up is the easy part. But what comes next? Coffee and straight to the office? Early work-out and nourishing breakfast? Meditate and journal? Our morning sets the tone for the next 24 hours, so let’s prepare.

Today, our very own community ambassador, Molly Hentz, shares her favorite morning rituals to keep her grounded and energized, no matter what the day throws at her.

I just moved from LA to NYC, which has been a steep learning curve. Upon moving here I held the idea that I could (and would and should) do it all. This was short-lived. I was soon exhausted, sleep-deprived, and drained. To do as much as I want to, I need to come home each night and recharge. I need grounding rituals, and I need them to work.

My morning rituals remind me to move slowly and with intention. They give me strength and support, and help me release what no longer serves me. Rituals can be anything, from watering plants, to stretching, to journaling. Mine are three supportive practices which renew my senses and restore my energy: meditation, tongue scraping, and dry brushing.

Morning meditation

I always thought meditation was super serious: you had to be out of bed, sitting up straight (without support), and it had to be perfect. I was so intimidated by the idea of creating a successful meditation practice that I didn’t even begin.

How to Do It

Step one: accept the fact that a meditation practice is exactly that — a practice. There’s no good or bad meditation, only meditation. It doesn’t matter how you do it, just that you do. Start with 3–5 minutes of mantra meditation. A mantra is a word, or sequence of words, repeated throughout your practice to steady the mind. Mantras could be anything, from the Sanskrit “OM” to “I am safe, and supported.” Stay with your mantra and return to it when the mind wanders. When your time’s up (set a timer on your phone) seal your practice with an intention. Notice the effects these few minutes have on your day.

Tongue scraping

This ancient Ayurvedic morning ritual has many benefits and is a satisfying — if not just a bit disgusting — ritual. It’s quick, effective, and easy to incorporate (just do it after your brush your teeth). First thing, get a tongue scraper. They’re cheap and a worthy investment.

How to Do It

Stick out your tongue and gently, but thoroughly, run the scraper from the back to the tip. Do this 2–3 times and rinse the scraper in the sink. As you sleep, your body detoxifies itself and some of the leftover toxins remain on your tongue. It’s important to remove these leftover toxins so they aren’t reabsorbed back into the body.

Here are the benefits of tongue scraping:

  • Clears toxins and bacteria
  • Helps remove tongue coating that can lead to illness and bad breath
  • Enhances sense of taste
  • Promotes overall oral and digestive health
  • Gently stimulates internal organs

Dry brushing

With or without the numerous health benefits, dry brushing feels so good! I like to do it both in the morning and at night — and always before I shower.

How to Do It

Start at the top of your feet and brush up towards the heart and armpits (where your lymphatic system drains) in smooth, firm strokes. Then begin at the hands and work up the arms towards the heart. For the belly and chest, brush in a circular counterclockwise motion. Spend 3–5 minutes total, each day, so you stroke each area for a minute or longer. I like to do this while listening to a music or podcast.

Here are the benefits of dry brushing:

  • Stimulates circulation
  • Helps with lymphatic drainage
  • Detoxifies and exfoliates
  • Feels really good :)

Just like good habits and supportive routines, rituals keep us organized and focused. Use your rituals, whatever they may be, as an extra layer of strength and support, so you can handle those unexpected moments.