Posted on November 3, 2017
Supporting Yourself with Routine
The way you carry out your day can have a profound impact on how you feel and what you can accomplish. How does your routine support you?
I recently returned from my second 10 day segment of yoga teacher training, as I work toward my 500 hour certification, with the Himalayan Institute. This center in Pennsylvania offers a deeply supportive space to nurture and grow within. As an institute that accommodates around 100 people with a small community also living nearby, you really begin to feel like you’re at home and the people become your extended family.
I anticipated this second journey for months, knowing how supportive and connected I felt the first time I went in the spring. I assumed a similar experience this time around, and though there was a similar structure, it is interesting how you meet each experience based on where you are in the moment. While most of the structure was the same, I notice myself entering into the structure slightly differently.
This time I ended up with a single room, previously I shared a space. This in itself created an altered environment as I was alone more often than before. That said, this alone time gave me more time to reflect and notice my own rhythms.
During my previous experience, I didn’t really have a specific routine daily, I showered at different times of day, had various beverages of coffee, tea, etc, and got up and went to bed at different times. Though I loved the experience, I completely crashed when it was finished. So this time, I found myself entering into the 10 day experience desiring to find a way that felt more balanced.
On our second day there, we learned about dinacharya (ayurvedic daily routine) in an afternoon segment on Ayurveda. The class triggered a memory for me, how in previous years when I was working at the bank, that I felt my best when I had a supportive daily routine. Back then, I would get up each morning with enough time to do some yoga and meditation, get ready and have some time to relax before heading out on my day. At lunch I would go for a walk and often each lunch a nearby park. Reconnecting with the way I felt by having that time for myself during the day, I knew I was hearing this information in divine timing.
I immediately chose to implement an easy routine for my remaining days; I woke up at 5:15am, I had a shower and got ready. Then I went to morning prayers and sat in meditation for about 20 mins. At 6:30am I made my way down to our morning yoga practice. For breakfast, I tried to choose food that felt warm, grounding, and nourishing. After my food had a about 30 minutes to digest, I would take a walk somewhere on the property. Then as I moved through my day with morning classes, a wholesome lunch, afternoon classes, a light supper, and evening class, I would take a moment to notice if I needed to relax, get some fresh air, take a walk in nature, or connect with classmates. I followed my intuition.
After experiencing this structure to my day, a sense of balance and purpose emerged. I was able to be attentive in class during these long days, I slept well, and even started to feel better with some digestive issues I have been experiencing.
Upon arriving back home, I decided it was time to rediscover my daily routine and find something that would feel supportive now on a continual basis.
Depending on the flow of your life, this can be simple or a challenge. For me, one week my partner and I are alone (just us and the dog), the next week we get to spend the week with his children, while also running to school and activities. Finding my routine is likely going to take some experimenting over the next few weeks. While I am currently only a few days into exploring my routine, I feel content each time I complete my morning ritual.
One of the most important things about creating a structured routine, is to make it easy, something that can flow without much decision-making, but with mindful intention. We want to be present in mind and body to our routine, so we can alter as needed, as our needs change over time.
While I am currently mostly focused on my morning routine, in order for my morning to flow with ease, I need to pay attention to my evening. Heading to bed at a time that is supportive to my ability to get up in the morning is essential.
Eventually, I want to look at the whole day. What can I do each day that will feel grounding, supportive, and enticing enough to follow? The sense I get is a routine that holds my energy on both sides of my day, morning and night, so I can show up my best in the middle to the world around me.
If you decide to explore with your routine, is it unfolds notice what changes about you. In the past, I know if felt more aligned with my true intentions, more confident in my abilities, and my intuition heightened.
I invite you to take a look at your daily routines and discover what shifts, intentions, or new actions would support you the most in your life today. And let me know what you discover! I’d love to hear from you.
Love and light,