How I’m a morning person

After running around with hyped up fourth graders all morning, a fellow educator asked me how I have so much energy in the morning. Truth is, I’m not a morning person. I’m not a slow riser, but neither am I a quick riser. The alarm goes off, I curse at the light of the phone which doubles as my alarm, then proceed to roll around until I can muster the will power to remove myself from the bed. Often times this is prodded on by the overwhelming urge to use the loo, as per our human race. Once here, though, I’ve got a routine that has been built over years of getting up at 0500 for martial arts classes, followed by military boot camp later in life.

While not completely set in stone, my general routine involves making myself a cup of hot water with lemon in it — I like the citrus and warmth — and staring out the window while sipping and thinking of the things I have to do that day. After the hot water with lemon is gone, I switch to precious, life-giving coffee.

While the coffee brews, or if it’s already made, while I stay out of my fiancé’s way, I do a few exercises that have been staples in my life as long as I can remember. These exercises I do just about any time of day as they stretch out my entire body, make me feel strong, energised, and ready to take on challenges.

Lifting the Sky

Lifting the Sky is a kung fu move I never really knew had a name. As humans, we naturally stretch and breath like this. I remember when I was 5 doing this as part of the warm ups for martial arts.

I know it’s echoes a lot in this video, but what Master Kit is telling you is to breath in while raising your arms, breath out fully when you lower them. Simple and as natural as that. I like do this move to warm up my shoulder, relax my neck, and get some deep breaths in before I do a couple sun salutations from yoga.

Sun Salutation

This is one of those exercises I learnt from my dance instructor way back when. She even called it sun salutations, which I thought was a funny name. However, there is no denying that it loosens the legs, hips and back. I usually do this twice on each side, though I can say I don’t look as graceful or as good as the lady in this video.

I don’t believe that doing yoga “purifies” a thing in the body, but it sure as hell does make you feel good. My legs feel looser, my neck feels a bit more relaxed, and I feel more awake.

After doing these two exercises, I do feel better, stronger, and ready to take on those 10 writing assignments, lab work, field work, and anything the clients can throw at me. Right after I have my coffee cup in hand.