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Many people find it hard to get out of bed in the morning and spend the first part of their day checking social media or emails that came in over night – not a great way to start. Putting together a morning routine full of mindful rituals can make even the toughest mornings easier.

Why not replace that morning flurry of a quick shower, frantically throwing on some clothes and a few mouthfuls of toast with a sense of calm and intention? Taking time first thing in the morning to set a positive tone for your day can have a positive effect on your overall well being.

Outlined below are just some of the rituals that you can use to make your morning routine more supportive. Ease yourself into it by adding one at a time and practising them mindfully until they become your routine.

Note how your new morning ritual makes you feel. Do you handle challenging or stressful situations better? Are your food choices healthier? What is your body telling you?

Remember your morning ritual is as much about the benefits you receive from each practice as it is about the ‘me time’. Enjoy investing in yourself first thing in the morning and watch the change that takes place when you choose to do this.

Lemon Water

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a cup of warm water. This is such a simple and yet effective way to prepare your body to digest your food. It also helps your liver eliminate toxins, keeping your skin clearer and smoother.

Lemons are high in vitamin C, a vital anti-oxidant and important nutrient for the production of collagen, our anti-wrinkle fibre. They are a great source of phosphorus (required for a healthy nervous system, brain repair and memory) and sodium, helping eliminate wastes and prevent hardened arteries and arthritis.

If lemons are out of season or you’re travelling, apple cider vinegar does a similar job for your digestion and can be taken the same way; one teaspoon in a cup of warm water.

 

Dry body brushing

Your skin is your body’s largest eliminative organ and is responsible for one quarter of the body’s detoxification each day. Dry skin brushing is a wonderful detoxification aid. Brush your skin every day before your shower or bath for approximately 5-10 minutes, starting at your feet and moving upwards. Brush towards your heart with a light pressure until your skin has a slight healthy pink glow.

Healthy Breakfast

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day but most of us aren’t putting this into practice. An easy way to ensure your morning ritual includes a healthy breakfast is to prepare one of the delicious and easy recipes such as our new Matcha Granola! This sustaining breakfast is high in fibre and B vitamins, both nutrients help support a healthy skin.

Get moving

Gentle exercise stimulates our blood and lymph flow and calms our nervous system, all of which promotes and encourages detoxification. Whether it’s a run, walk or rebalancing, breath-based exercise like yoga or pilates, all of these promote health and clarity of mind.

Breathe deeply

When we breathe we inhale life-giving oxygen and exhale waste carbon dioxide. Deep rhythmic breathing is vital to the healthy functioning of our bodies, helping to regulate our pH balance and calm our nervous system. It also gives us an opportunity to practice mindfulness.

Deep-breathing techniques are extremely effective ways of flipping your nervous system from ‘fight or flight’ into ‘rest and repair’. Your heartbeat slows and a feeling of relaxation floods your body. All systems of your body will work much more efficiently when you are in a calm state, a great way to start your day.

Think tank

Different types of thought effect our bodies physically in different ways and a lot of respected scientists are starting to think that we attract what we think.

Starting your day reflecting on what it involves and setting clear intentions for what you wish to achieve allows positive affirmation. This is an insightful way to gather, audit and clarify your thoughts.

Let go of: Negative self-talk, comparing yourself to others, limiting beliefs, resisting change, dwelling on the past.

Make room for: Gratitude, positive affirmations, embracing challenges, finding inspiration in the success of others, reflection, goal setting

So take a moment to reflect on what your mornings currently look like and begin to make them over by adding  the above routines to form a morning ritual that enhances your health and well being.

  • May 21, 2020
Learning to breathe properly again can have many benefits and not just the obvious ones that we have discussed but some surprising ones for your clients and yourself.

There is growing evidence that there is a relationship between respiration and hormones. Many people have found that by correcting their breathing they notice an improvement in symptoms such as PMT and menopausal problems like hot flushes.
It is also interesting to note that in Traditional Chinese Medicine the lungs and the skin are linked. So correct breathing can impact on the health and appearance of your skin.

There is also growing evidence to suggest that breathing correctly can burn fat, helping you to lose weight. With all the benefits it certainly makes sense to spend a bit of time getting it right. So if you think your breathing needs work or want to be able to refer your clients, check out what practitioners are available in your area or take a look at the BradCliff Method website, www.bradcliff.com, “find a physio” and start breathing your way to beauty and health…

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  • December 17, 2014
What is your breathing rate? The rate at which you breathe is also important and is linked to how you breathe. It will either be rapid and shallow or deep and slow. You should be taking between 10 to 14 breaths per minute. Anything higher than this and your breathing is too shallow and rapid and anything less is too slow.

So why does our breathing get so out of kilter? There can be many triggers like respiratory disorders (asthma, sinus problems), physical injury to the nose, poor posture, pain, anxiety, prolonged computer use, or simply being too busy with life. Even once the trigger has gone, changes in breathing habits can continue on, undermining your health.

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  • December 11, 2014
Shallow or Deep?
Are you a deep, belly-breather or a shallow breather?

The process of breathing involves the lungs taking oxygen from the air and transferring it to de-oxygenated blood pumped into the lungs by the heart.

The lower lobes of the lung contain more capillaries, therefore exchange more oxygen. This makes deep breathing much more effective for oxygenating your blood than high, shallow breathing. When you test which hand on your belly not the hand under the collarbones. Shallow breathing is far less effective than deep, belly breathing.

Shallow breathing also activates your fight or flight system resulting in feelings of anxiety, stress and irritability. It can also cause you to hyperventilate by expelling too much carbon dioxide and this can cause symptoms such as dizziness, rapid heart rate, chest pains and lightheadedness.

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  • November 25, 2014
How well do you breathe? Firstly, you need to observe how you currently breathe.

 

  • Are you a ‘nose breather’ or a ‘mouth breather’?
  • Count the number of times your breathe in one minute.
  • Place one hand on the middle of your chest just below your collarbone and the other hand on your belly, above the belly button and below the chest bone. Which hand moves the most when you breathe in and out? This will determine if you breathe more into the upper lobes of your lungs or if you’re a belly breather.

So armed with this information, you can now check how well you breathe.

Nose or mouth?

Firstly, it is important to always breathe through your nose not your mouth. The mucous membranes of your nose warm and humidify the air you breathe, making it more agreeable to your lung tissue.

Nasal hairs filter the air, removing air-borne allergens and viruses. The nasal hairs also produce nitric oxide, which when added to the air you breathe, increases the uptake rate of oxygen in your lungs. In fact, because of the nitric oxide you will get 10% more oxygen from the air you breathe through your nose.

Nasal breathing provides more resistance than the mouth, slowing down your breathing and giving the lungs longer to absorb the oxygen and expel the carbon dioxide. In addition, your lungs inflate and deflate at a gentler rate.

Your body is also calmed by slow, deep, rhythmic breaths, helping flip your nervous system from ‘fight and flight’ into ‘rest and repair’.

Check out the next blog to see if you are a shallow or deep breather…

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