Balanced Lifestyle

Whether your morning is filled with a bustling household of children, or you’re simply trying to get yourself to your first meeting of the day—mornings can be hectic! Taking a few minutes to start your day calm and centered can better set you up for success no matter what’s on the agenda. Little changes can go a long way! Here are three easy tips for mastering a morning routine to brighten your mood and your day.

Yoga Couple Working Out at Home

Step 1: DIY Yoga

Feeling less “namaste” and more “nama-stay in bed” in the morning? Luckily, there are some in-home yoga moves that can bring the studio experience to the comfort of your home (or bed) that can be done in as little as 15 minutes! Rather than snoozing the alarm and jumping frantically into your to-do list for the day, try adding a little yoga and stretching to your routine to start your day off relaxed. Ahhhh.

Research results from UC Davis suggests stretching can help you become more flexible, prevent injuries, calm your mind, and release stress. So, why not give it a shot? Here are some simple poses to get you started.

Bridge Pose

Pose 1: Bridge Pose

Bridge pose is a great way to strengthen your legs while simultaneously stretching out your back and shoulders. Your goal is to position your body like a bridge. Lie on your back with your feet hip-width apart, and press down firmly with your feet while lifting your behind up a few inches. Then, interlace your hands behind your back and press your fists down onto your mat, floor, or mattress. If you’re doing this pose correctly, your shoulders, triceps, fists and heels should be firmly anchoring you down, while your back and thighs form the bridge.

Pose 2: Seated Forward Bend

Seated forward bend is a great pose to stretch out your back and hamstrings, especially if you’ll be sitting all day. And, it’s pretty simple. Seated, start with your legs straightened and your hands by your hips. Then, sit up tall, and lean forward at your waist, bringing your chest to your thighs without curving your back. If you’re extra flexible, you can try touching your toes or holding the arches of your feet. Only lean forward as far as you feel is comfortable for your body and don’t be afraid to use a towel or a strap to give you a better reach.

Childs Pose

Pose 3: Child’s Pose

Child’s pose is a fantastic way to stretch out your hips, thighs, and shoulders. It’s known for its energizing effects, reducing both stress and fatigue. For this pose, start out on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are a little more than hip-width apart while bringing your big toes to touch underneath you. Then, sit your behind back onto your heels. Extend your arms forward and place your chest as close to your thighs as possible while you rest your forehead on the bed in between your arms. This one feels so nice you may want to linger a little longer!

Step 2: Make Time for a Mindful Moment

Once you’ve completed your morning stretch routine, take a few moments to practice mindfulness. Not totally sure what that buzzy word means? It’s the simple act of being present in the moment! Clearing your mind and pushing away all thoughts and stresses to focus on your breath and body can have a positive impact on your inner tranquility, productivity, and overall well-being.

Whether it’s listening to a guided meditation, journaling, prayer or going for a morning walk (movement meditation), take a few minutes to yourself so that you can dive into your day feeling ready for whatever comes your way. If you’re new to the meditation world and need a hand getting started, there are a number of apps you can download to guide you through the various forms of meditation and relaxation.

Step 3: Enjoy the Most Important Meal of the Day

Round out your morning with an energizing breakfast. Adding one serving of walnuts to your breakfast provides you with protein (4g), fiber (2g), magnesium (45mg), and plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5g), more than any other nut! Whether you’re blending up a quick and refreshing Mixed Berry Walnut Chia Smoothie to drink on the go, or making some Apple Walnut Pancakes for the family, California Walnuts breakfast recipes pack taste and nutrition into one for you to fuel your morning and your day.

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