Saying someone “woke up on the wrong side of the bed” is an easy way to write off their bad mood. But it’s actually a legitimate statement. There are days that simply start off horribly. Everything goes wrong, aligning you with your dark side for the day. Flip the coin, and there are the mornings where you spring out of bed like an eager puppy to great whatever amazing opportunities the day may offer us. Either way—good or bad—meditation is a key component to changing your bad mood or keeping your positivity flowing.
See also 17 Poses to Jump-Start Your Day
Morning Mantra Meditation
I’ve been using japa meditation—the repetition of a mantra—in my regular practice with mala beads. But when I was in Los Angeles about a week ago, I enjoyed a beautiful mala-less mantra meditation. I was about to kick off a grueling 3 days of filming at YogaGlo followed by a weekend of teaching at Yoga Journal LIVE! My dear friend Matt Rothert invited me to come in early so he could guide a few of us through a morning meditation. I eagerly accepted, and was so grateful that I had. The meditation couldn’t have been longer than 5 minutes (that’s right, everyone has time for this; even 1 minute works), and it lit me up like a tiki torch. He guided us, using a simple mantra:
I am energized. I am focused.
These simple words were all I needed to shift my attitude into a place of creative potential. I could feel the power washing over my body as I internally stated the word energized, and a beautiful, soft determination when I said the word focused.
Thank you, Matt. Your simple mantra is now part of my daily efforts to stay connected, stop before I begin, and reach my full potential. I wish the same for anyone who brings this into their life. With the deepest of bows, namaste.
How to Practice Japa Meditation
- Take a comfortable seat on the ground, on a bolster or pillow, or even sitting upright in a chair.
- Sit tall and place your palms on your knees or folded in your lap. Relax your shoulders and close your eyes.
- Begin to focus on your breath in and out through your nose, and do your best to move away from your mind’s agenda or any distractions around you.
- Start to connect the mantra to your breath:
Inhale: I am energized
Exhale: I am focused
- Continue repeating this for as long as you desire. Once you release the mantra, sit for one more minute to absorb its meaning and message. Softly blink your eyes open and go take on the day!