Andrena Woodhams

What is your morning routine?

Morning Stretch

Mornings used to be a hectic time for me. The alarm went off, I jumped out of bed, showered quickly, gulped something to eat and grabbed a latte at the café bar around the corner on my way to work. When I later worked from home, I wanted to exercise before sitting down at my desk so I was still busy. To over-ride the tiredness, I drank a morning cup of coffee which tasted great and made me feel great, as long as the caffeine lasted.

I didn’t realize that mornings are sacred times. I had no idea how much caffeine trashes the adrenals. I wasn’t aware that there are rhythms of the planet, and that following them as much as possible helps me get in synch with myself. I didn’t know life could be gentler, and I could still be just as efficient. So let me share a little of what I do in my ideal day. Maybe some of these habits will resonate with you, too.

Wake up gently

Wake up softly, no jarring alarms or lights. If you have an alarm, set it for low. Try to have it gently nudge you awake, rather than making you jump three feet high, scrambling on the nightstand next to you to find it so that you can turn it off. I keep a full 16 oz glass of lukewarm water with a squeeze of lemon in it on my bedside so that I can drink it before I get out of bed. The lemon hydrates, purifies and alkalizes the body and wakes the water up to the life force inside of it. The reason for this is to help the liver clean my system from the night before. When I get out of bed, I feel my feet before I walk on them.

If I wake up in the middle of the night, I sit up in bed and prop a few pillows behind me to keep my spine straight, then bring the duvet around myself to keep warm. I then set a a soft alarm for 30 minutes and close my eyes and focus on the part of my body that is underneath me, supporting me: my thighs, the soles of my feet, my hips. Most often, my thoughts drift everywhere but where I want them to go (especially those rascally thoughts berating me about something or another that I DID WRONG, AGAIN!

It’s easy to get bored and irritated, but I know that this is just my mind, irritated if I stay with the practice, after about 15 minutes, I feel my energy start to release from my head and sense it slowly descending into my body. It feels a little like thick honey dripping into a bottle. I then lie down into bed for a few minutes afterward and most often I feel myself slipping into my body like a letter slipping into an envelope. And I fall back asleep. Ahhh.

Shower in the morning only

If you bathe before you sleep, the body, instead of relaxing, spends hours regulating its temperature. So if I shower or take a bath, it is always in the morning. If I do exercise, I wait for the body to cool down before taking a shower. This way I’m not shocking the muscles. There is a trend to have a cold shower in the morning, but I am against this because this shocks the muscles and makes them brittle.

Physical exercise can either be a walk (I try to feel my feet on the earth rather than on asphalt, to feel my connection with the earth). I find it better to not listen to podcasts, etc. The point is to connect with the body, not in an aggressive way, but to listen to its own rhythms. The point of all exercise is to get you out of your head and into your body. In fact everything is to help you get out of your head and into your body. Starting out the day is the most important thing of the day because how you do it often is reflected in the rest of the day. When you do this, you are now aligned with a pivot point that anchors and gives you the strength you need. Compassionate, gentle and powerful, the body is the stable base within you.

celery juice: a game changer

I then drink 16 ounces of fresh celery juice and follow it by something called a heavy metal detox smoothie. They are both delicious and incredibly good for you. If you’re wanting to do a trial morning routine with me while I’m in London, which includes making the celery juice and the smoothie, join me on one of my SHE morning rituals. Just sign up on the website and I’ll be sending out the dates shortly.