A Morning Routine to Start Your Day Right

As a busy mom, yoga teacher, and Ayurvedic lifestyle mentor, I have FINALLY realized that if I don't have my morning routine crafted, intentional, and automated, I will not experience the ease, flow, and productivity I desire.

I've always loved the mornings but never had a structure around them. They were usually dictated by my work schedule in TV. production was about "burning the candle on both ends". I then moved to New York City and fell right into the flow and pulse of New York, perpetuating the same less-than-life-affirming habits that contradicted the daily rhythms. Again, I stayed up late, eating late, waking up early to teach yoga classes, and running around the city chasing auditions. Next up, I moved to LA and had kids. Kids can put a severe wrench in any parent's routine (good and bad) and often create chaos on many fronts.

So, if you are a busy, productive person juggling a career, family, personal life, and all that it entails, you must have a morning routine that grounds you, energizes you, and sets you up for an intentionally AWESOME day. If we only have approx. 25,0000 adult mornings (another blog post), then how will we spend them?

Jumping out of bed to the sound of an alarm clock, hitting the ground running, depending on caffeine to wake you up, and feeling behind the eight ball all day, is, over time, going to take a toll on your health. I don't mean just physically, but emotionally and mentally, too.

Imagine waking up early, greeting a new day, feeling naturally energized, and having time to take care of YOU before the kids wake up; the emails start, and your day shifts into GO MODE. Imagine having time to meditate, hydrate, and eliminate before your day transitions into caring for duties, responsibilities, and others.

My lovely morning routine has saved my life, enhanced my creativity, and made me a better mom and spouse. It has empowered me to become the best version of myself on so many levels. 

I guarantee that a regular, intentional morning routine will change your life.

A productive and glorious morning routine HAS to start the night before. If you want to get up early and experience the best part of your day, you must set it up the night before. Get to bed early so you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. If you do this, you will wake up with the sun, feeling light, energized, and ready for action.

I've trained my body to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning - it took a while and required an alarm clock, but now the birds are my cue. It's such a great reminder to expand my awareness outside the four walls of my room and into the bigger picture- nature. Do you think the birds think, "Oh shit, another day, here we go," or snuggle back into their nests and pull the twigs over their heads, feeling resentful that they have to wake up- NO!!! They wake up and see the morning as an opportunity to feed themselves, nurture their families, and take the opportunity to continue their lifeline. We have to learn to take our cues from nature because there's no denying it; we are a part of nature.

One last thing - I realize sometimes it's impossible to have my routine precisely as I like it. Life happens with travel, illness, and other unexpected events that sometimes interfere. Starting my day right is my KEYSTONE habit (the one habit that, if I don't do, everything else falls apart). I will do whatever I need to do to set myself up, even if it's a 5-minute practice.

It's all about establishing this self-care habit in your day at this time in your life. Once you begin to feel the effects of a positive morning routine, you will eventually do whatever it takes to make it happen, even when life throws you a curveball. It's just one more powerful tool in your wellness/ happiness tool belt and an even better one to teach your kids early in life.


Wake up before sunrise to experience this magical time of the day. Energy moves DOWN after 6am.

Wake up before sunrise to experience this magical time of the day. Energy moves DOWN after 6 a.m.

1. Wake up at 5 am (before sunrise)

Spend a minute visualizing my ideal day and expressing gratitude for yet another morning I will be alive. I then have my "workout" clothes available, so I don't have to think about whether or not I do my breath body practices later on.... roll out of bed and get dressed. This is called setting yourself up for success.

2. Scrape tongue

That white stuff on your tongue in Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga) is called AMA= TOXINS. That's the body trying to rid itself of leftover undigested food and gunk. Your tongue is a roadmap to the health of your organ body. Google a tongue map and you can learn to understand what's going on deep inside.

3. Hydrate

This is not for hydration purposes; this is for peristalsis and elimination. I guzzle a large mason jar of warm water with lemon within 10 minutes of waking up. Think of a tidal wave whooshing through your intestinal tract to stimulate a bowel movement. Ever been constipated? Nobody wants to walk around all day with fecal matter stuck in their colon - junk in the trunk and toxins in the body!
Get that junk out and THRIVE in your day.

4. Eliminate 

This may be easier said than done for some. I'm like clockwork at this point, and you want to be too. If pooping is a problem, let's nip that issue in the bud. 😃 If you're constipated, your system is not operating optimally, and over time, that build-up of undigested food and AMA turns to inflammation and eventually disease. Never mind the fact that if you're not a pooping machine (it's possible for you too), you're suffering daily because of it. This is worth taking the time to remedy. Start with a huge morning water flush. If that's not instigating movement, look at your diet and where you can add foods that stimulate the digestive process naturally.

5. Meditate

The yogis refer to this time between 2 am and 6 am as "Brahma muhurta" and call it THE most magical and creative time of the day when consciousness is the most expansive. This is when I settle onto my meditation cushion, where I've established a special place to sit for 15-20 minutes, open my mind to a bigger perspective, connect with my inner guide, and get intentional.



6.  Breath, Body Practice

This is usually 15-20 minutes of movement. Here's when we get out of our sleepy heads and into our bodies. If I'm teaching yoga that day- I'll practice my class. If I'm taking a yoga class later in the day, I'll balance it with more of a cardio workout- jumping jacks, burpees, light weights, or going for a short, vigorous walk. No matter what you have planned "exercise-wise", later in the day, choose a practice that cultivates the opposite. Another example-  If you're taking a long run or have a date with weights at the gym keep your AM practice more fluid, like stretching & yoga. The point is, MOVE YOUR BODY FIRST THING in the morning, somehow, some way. If this sounds impossible, start with 1 min. you'll feel the benefits of jumping jacks and naturally want to do more. Build from there.

7. Nourish your Body

I make a green smoothie. This is the best way to get a good shot of chlorophyll into the bloodstream, along with all the nutrients that dark leafy greens offer. You want to take this on an empty stomach, and if you have a larger appetite after 20m min. eat a healthy, easily digestible breakfast like oatmeal, stewed apples, toast, and eggs. Lean more towards greens and less towards sweet fruits as it's easy to load up on unnecessary sugars in smoothies that don't offer the same benefits.



8. Intentionally imagine and plan your day

If and when I don't do this, my entire day is a crapshoot- who knows what'll go down? After 45 minutes of taking care of my body's needs, opening to a bigger picture of life, and moving my body, I now have 15 minutes before the kids are up to curate my day. I'll take this time with my morning smoothie -these can be made in batches the night before and kept in the fridge. I then pull out my journal and open my Google calendar, and if you're like me, I also use other systems to align myself with my daily/ weekly and yearly goals, such as S.M.A.R.T sheets and 12-week year scorecards. I check in with what I have on my calendar and confirm it's doable. If not, it gets moved. I've developed this habit and streamlined it every day- this takes 5 min. If I have time, I'll tap into this creative time of the day and write for my website, blog, and others. Twice a week, I wake 1/2 an hour earlier to JUST write.


Here are a few more "tips" to launch your day into the BEST DAY POSSIBLE:

- Ditch perfection- think most of the time. Start small. Try 1-2 weeks and let it grow from there- I guarantee it will if you can only do 1 min. of jumping jacks and 1 min. of sitting in silence- do that! Don't let the "perfectionist mindset" convince you that if you can't do it all, why bother? There's always something you can do to set yourself up for a better day than if you did nothing.

- If getting up early sounds impossible, try waking up 15 minutes earlier and going to bed 15 minutes earlier and build from there.

- Set yourself up for success. Put your sneakers at the door for your morning walk the night before or roll out your yoga mat. Have your hot water in the pot and ready to push play. Blend your smoothie the night before.

- Trust that changing habits and establishing new routines takes time; they took time to establish in the first place.

- Most notably, envision HOW you WANT your day to unfold before you get out of bed. Your habits determine your experiences of your life- pick them with caution.

- Presence spirit and who it is that you want to show up FOR and AS in the world. It's too easy to hit the ground running and remain in "GO MODE" all day, then crash, burn, and do it all over again. We all want to and need to get things done. Use your morning routine to drop in, and from that place, step into your day feeling grounded, vibrant, rested, and able to present your best self to the world, for yourself and others.

- Experiment, Experiment, Experiment. Try one or a few of these practices for one week- I CHALLENGE YOU!!! Then pay close attention to how you feel, what comes up for you and resonates as something good for you

Baby steps in the direction of your goals. Let them build, and over time, the new way will be the natural way, and the old way, which wasn't supporting your desired health, lifestyle, and dreams, will seem outdated, no longer applicable, and totally out of style.


Ps. In my signature program, "MIND BODY BRIGHT DAILY HABITS", we spend an entire week, learning, practicing and automating this very important healthy habit.