How to spend your morning, to change your day

Morning activation sessions are a powerful and creative way to start your day. They incorporate movement and mindfulness, leaving you feeling refreshed, calmer and supported. Being in Cairns, I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to spend so much time outdoors. The beach is nearby and I wake to join many other people enjoying a sunrise swim, walk, or other morning activity. I love using early morning mindfulness rituals as I believe it is what sets the tone for the rest of my day. Even when I’m not at home in sunny Cairns, travelling around in colder parts of the country and abroad, I make sure my day begins in a similar, mindful way. 

What we do in the first hour of being awake can influence how we feel for the rest of the day. Complex morning routines, such as rushing around our homes half-awake, rarely afford us the time to nurture and nourish as we should.  I teach my clients that mornings are to be valued and enjoyed - whether you are young, retired, a mother or a business owner. True to my knowledge, I lead weekly morning activation sessions with a community of women in Cairns. On the days I don’t lead activation sessions, I take the time to move and nurture - hiking up one of the many hills, yoga, beach walking, preparing a nourishing breakfast or simply stretching.

What are morning activation sessions?

Activation sessions are a nourishing morning ritual that grounds the body and grows the mind. We practice conscious breathing, being present and creating intent. My sessions are a combination of rituals that will start your day in the best way possible. These include walking, hydration, warm-up, practicing the Five Tibetan Rites, sun-gazing, meditation and breathing exercises. All done while watching the colours on the horizon change. It’s a really special way to start the day.

So, what are the benefits?

These really are endless. Walking on the beach is a great way to connect to the earth, get the heart rate up, breathe fresh air and activate the digestive system. Hydration during these sessions is paramount. Bringing a drink bottle along with water and freshly squeezed lemon will ensure your body flushes toxins and is working in its most optimum and hydrated state. Stretching and moving will warm up the joints. Carefully selected joint exercises get your body flowing and ready for the day. The Five Tibetan Rites have the power to wake the chakras and energy centres of the body. These five exercises are known as ‘the fountain of youth’ due to the incredible benefit of balancing hormones, opening the heart and activating the thyroid. It’s a great strengthening workout for the core and glutes too! Sun-gazing is a practice to switch on your pineal gland. This helps regulate melatonin (sleep/wake chemical) and serotonin (happiness chemical), keeping your body’s natural cycles and patterns in check. Our pineal gland has a tendency to become calcified as we age and sun-gazing can help in de-calcifying the pineal gland. Lastly, the sessions are a perfect time to set intentions for the day. Each short meditation and breathing practice has a focus and offers insight for the day.  Silent mantras keep our busy minds focused. These, along with the breathing exercises, can be used at different times throughout the day to oxygenate our cells and heal and repair the balance in our nervous system. Mornings are a fabulous time to start over and try something new and different.

Connection and like-mindedness.

The added bonus of activation sessions is the community of women. Here is a little something from one of the ladies who regularly attends the activation sessions: 

“Thanks for another beautiful start to the day yesterday.The morning activation sessions are such a lovely blend of movement and reflection through the meditations and connection with nature, self and community. The past few weeks sessions have really opened my day up well for being present, grounded and focused in my work as a massage therapist. I look forward to continuing this as my regular Tuesday morning ritual.”

Join us!

I run morning activation sessions every Tuesday morning from 6am-7am in Cairns. Simply come along and meet at the southern end of Trinity Beach. Look out for my Seeds Of Health sign as this is the meeting point. Feel free to phone beforehand to check details and don’t forget to bring a friend 0438733103. I look forward to seeing you there!

Fasting

Fasting can either mean a water or juice fast.  A rest from digesting, which allows our body to put energy into healing and repairing.

This is my 5th fast.  In the past I have done a two 3 day juice fasts, a 30 day adventure (starting with a 4 day colon cleanse, a salt flush and then 26 days on Pulse – ask if you would like to know more), along with a 9 day fast (4 days of juice fasting followed by 5 days of water) and I am now at the tail end of a 4 and a half day juice fast where I intend to enjoy green smoothies and fresh fruit for another day and a half, making 6 days altogether of juices, smoothies, fruit and water.  My digestive system is loving the rest and I am feeling more agile and have a much clearer mind.

I have learnt a lot on this particular fast & have really enjoyed playing with new juicing recipes.  It has been interesting doing it with another and making juice for both of us as I have had to plan ahead to make 5.5-6L of juice per day.  The support has been great, knowing that someone else is going through the same experience as you, no matter how different it is.  Also, sharing a dinner or juice together and not being tempted by the smells coming out of the kitchen.  I highly recommend having a buddy!

It is my first fast after learning so much about fasting from Tyler Tolman in Bali last September.  My first 3 day fasts were done a while ago and I wasn’t aware of the importance of oil pulling, enemas, breathing, sunshine, Gwasha, exercise, etc while fasting.  I also didn’t have as much knowledge as I do now about breaking a fast.  During this fast I have felt more at ease and confident with how to approach a juice fast while fitting it in around a normal working week.  If you are just starting out with fasting, be willing to explore it and play with recipes and be kind to yourself if things don’t go to plan.  There’s always another opportunity.  Each fast is a chance to learn something new and remember for the following fast.  We should all be doing at least one fast a year or if you choose to one a month to give the body a greater chance to heal and repair.  Some people fast one day a week on just juices or smoothies, which is excellent, however I would still recommend a longer fast each year.

Here’s a glimpse into one of my days of fasting…Day 5.  I started my day with some coconut oil pulling, 1 litre of water (this should happen every morning whether you’re on a juice fast or not), some yoga and then an enema.   I have been feeling amazing on juice and the enema just topped it off!  This morning, being Saturday, was a perfect time to do an enema as I didn’t have to rush off anywhere.  After my enema I had a shower & used a cleansing ritual called Gwasha.  Gwasha is a specific mix of pure alcohol and aluminium free bi carb soda.  I learnt about this through Tyler Tolman and know that it cleanses the skin beautifully and should be followed by applying coconut oil all over the body and getting into the sun for a little while, to soak up some vitamin D.  So that is exactly what I did… while sipping on coconuts!

I would  liked to have been doing enemas every day on this fast but it didn’t happen due to a very busy week.  Enemas are essential if you are needing a good cleanse and trying to rid something acute or chronic within the body.  

The things I have learnt this week are:

  • I realised how beneficial it was to have a variety of high water content vegetables so that your juice goes further when making such a large quantities.  For example, watermelon, pineapple, coconut water, cucumbers, celery, etc.
  • I have tended in the past to make my juice as needed (except for the 9 day fast with Tyler Tolman, as the juices were made for us).  However, I actually think making a larger quantity of a morning for breakfast and lunch, for 2 people, actually motivated me more and saved time with prep and cleaning up.  I just had to be organised.
  • Coconut oil pulling is such a fantastic technique to draw toxins out of the body.  This is done daily & can be continued when your fast is finished.  It is also known to whiten teeth.  You simply place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into your mouth upon waking and swish it around for 5-20mins.  It is important to adopt this as part of a fast to allow the toxins to exit your system that bit faster.  There is a wealth of information here http://www.oilpulling.com or a great book available called Oil Pulling Therapy by Bruce Fife.
  • It has been excellent setting an intention each morning at the start of my yoga practice or during my breathing exercises while walking or sitting.  I would like to continue this.
  • It is really important to listen to your body on the fast and rest when your body asks for it.  Even if it is just a 10min rest.  I found myself doing this when I got home from work some afternoons and feeling recharged from it.
  • If you do feel like you just can’t continue on juice because you are too hungry the first thing you should do is drink 1 litre of water and wait 20mins, the other option is to have an apple as apples assist in cleaning the colon.
  • My body temperature dropped while fasting so it is important to plan fasting around the seasons or just remember a cardigan/jacket if working in air-conditioning.  Lucky I live in Cairns!
  • I have been able to develop a better relationship with food.  During periods of stress I tend to overeat, no matter how healthy the food is.  This fast has given me the ability to slow down and enjoy the smells and each ingredient and each mouthful of flavour (I tried to remember to do this with my juices).  My body performs a lot better on less.
  • Breaking a fast can often be tricky.  It is important to transition to smoothies and then to fruits and vegetables that have a high water content like watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes, pineapple, etc.  Raw salads with lemon juice and sea salt for flavouring, as well as home made vegetable soups.


I leave you with a gorgeous picture of the view from my back steps.

Please post a comment on the blog or Facebook if you have any questions/comments.

Happy juicing!
Janelle