How can we transform our typically frantic mornings into peaceful ones? To find out the secret to a more mindful AM, we asked our Spoon Squad for their hacks to find space and calm in the first few hours of the day.
Today we speak with vegan yoga teacher and fitness fanatic Shayla Quinn about her mindful morning routine.
Splendid Spoon: Do you follow a sleep ritual to set you up for a productive morning?
Shayla Quinn: Yes! I do a few things. I have a warm bath or shower to relax, and then take a vegan magnesium supplement, which is a great natural muscle relaxer, before climbing into bed. [Increasing magnesium intake has been shown to help muscles and improve sleep quality! — Ed.] I put my phone on silent, place it face down, and turn on my white noise machine. This background noise helps me sleep through the night. I also like to play Deepak Chopra’s Soul of Healing CD (also available in new-fangled streaming format here, here, and here — Ed.) which is full of positive affirmations :).
Before I close my eyes I think about my schedule for the next day and visualize everything going smoothly! This helps me wake up in a calm and happy mood. If I’m feeling restless, I do some simple pranayama (breathwork): inhale for 5 and exhale for 5. I’m usually asleep before the third round!
SS: How do you start your morning?
SQ: I wake up early and (I’m not proud of this habit!) I usually reach for my phone straight away! I scroll through my notifications to see if there’s anything pressing before I get up. Then I make my bed, meditate for at least 5 minutes, and take my dog Penny for a walk. Both my meditation and walk are key mindfulness practices for me. I always take time to breathe deeply and simply be present.
SS: What does your typical breakfast look like?
SQ: I’m not normally super hungry in the morning. I tend to have a banana and a green juice.
SS: Do you caffeinate?
SQ: I do, but not first thing in the morning. It’s a mid-morning thing for me!
SS: How do your mindful moments impact the rest of your day?
SQ: Having a morning mindful practice allows me to get grounded and present. This enables me to move through the rest of the day with ease and direction. When I don’t take time for my morning ritual, (or I don’t leave myself enough time, so my morning is rushed) my day feels unproductive and frazzled.
SS: What’s next in your day?
SQ: Depending on the day, either teaching yoga, a workout, a hike, or practicing yoga!
SS: What’s your top tip for a mindful morning?
SQ: Make your morning ritual a priority! Schedule in time before your day starts for a morning routine. [Make it a real calendar event to maximize your chances of doing it! — Ed.] I always try to give myself at least 30 minutes for my morning ritual.