Grace Gavilanes is a Chicago-based writer who is embarking on her first-ever yoga journey using the Yoga Wake Up app.
I’ve never been a yogi. In fact, a few years ago when I was at my fittest, I mistakenly thought my body craved high-intensity exercises – when really, my body was overworked and seriously lacking rest and recovery. I was tired and under a lot of stress due to the two-a-day workouts I managed to squeeze into my already packed schedule. I was feeding an obsession with getting “stronger” and “more toned” that was simultaneously putting a strain on my newfound relationship with wellness. (I didn’t realize the irony until after it all became too much.) I eventually lost the desire to schlep to my early-morning boxing class, to down all those post-workout protein shakes, and to do it all over again after leaving the office.
After almost two years of embracing this monotonous lifestyle, I pressed pause on my training. My body just wasn’t having any of it anymore. Don’t get me wrong: I wanted to want to restart my crazy workout routine … but I physically couldn’t. So, those morning workouts turned into once-a-week or twice-a-month classes. I allowed myself to eat bread again. I didn’t ignore my cravings for chocolate chip cookies. I proudly traded in my weights for occasional stretching and protein bars for carbs.
It wasn’t until the start of quarantine that I began incorporating yoga moves to my daily routine. Before sheltering in place, I would make the 40-minute walk to work in the mornings – that was my new form of daily cardio. But since working remotely, I’ve started opening myself up to other forms of exercise. I don’t do weighted squats or burpees – instead, I open Yoga Wake Up in the mornings and begin my day.
Here’s a little snippet of how my morning has evolved to a more mindful approach that’s more satisfying than my previous routine. Plus, I'm more energized because of it!
Movement In Bed
I love using Yoga Wake Up’s quick meditation and yoga resources in bed. I literally have no excuse but to start off my day giving my body a little TLC. Every morning, I wake up to a soothing alarm that oh-so-calmly guides me through positive affirmations while taking me through different movements that help open my chest and stretch my arms, neck and back. Seeing as these audio clips are less than 10 minutes and can be done in bed, my usual “but I have to answer all these emails!” excuse has no place here. And if I’m being honest, I’ve found myself craving even more gentle movement at the end. As it turns out, my body likes what I’m doing. It’s not tired anymore and it feels stronger than I could have ever imagined.
When I’m done with my first step, I walk to my kitchen and pour myself a glass of water. I usually feel pretty parched when I wake up, so my glass is empty within seconds of filling it up to the brim. As a reminder, staying hydrated is super important and varies depending on your level of activity for the day. Since the most physical activity I’m getting includes my early-morning Yoga Wake Up session and a 20-minute evening walk, I usually set a goal of drinking 5 glasses of water per day.
One of the rituals that keeps me motivated when I want nothing more than to sleep in, is whipping up my own matcha latte. It feels like another form of meditation since the steps, while easy, require care and focus. Once I've achieved a frothy top and thicker-than-usual consistency (thank you, coconut milk!), I happily walk to my desk with my matcha latte in hand and start working.
Share with us: How do you begin your mornings?