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MeditationWaking Up

Waking Up

Everyone feels differently first thing, but it’s common to feel a little sluggish when waking up. Using a simple visualization technique, this exercise acts like a gentle alarm clock for the body, and is intended to leave the mind feeling crisper, clearer, and warmer.

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So just take a moment, make sure that you're sitting comfortably, ideally away from wherever you sleep, this clearly separating the night and the day. And we're gonna begin with the eyes open. So there's always just taking in the space around you but also just aware of the morning light, as you begin with some big, deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. So as always, as you breathe in, noticing how the body expands as it fills with air. And as you breathe out, noticing how the muscles soften as the body exhales. At the same time, as you breathe in an idea, a sense of breathing in the day, breathing in fresh energy. And as you exhale, sense of just breathing out or letting go any heaviness in the body. any dullness in the mind. So just a couple more breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. And with the next out breath, just gently closing the eyes now. Just noticing for a moment how the body feels. Just bringing the different senses into the day, just waking them up. Noticing any sounds. Noticing the sensation of touch. It might just be clothes against your body, body against the seat or the floor, it could be the air against the skin. Noticing any smells, any tastes. So just bringing the mind into the body, into the senses, and just starting to notice again how the body feels, whether there's a sense of heaviness, of lightness, stillness, movement. And as you scan down from head to toe this morning, just starting to get a sense of how the body feels, but also imagining that as you scan down each and every part of the body, it's just slowly waking up. So a little more space creeps into the body. Right, a sense of lightness, just scanning down towards the toes. Not trying to change anything, just noticing how the body feels. You can even scan down several times, if you find it easier, to move a little more quickly. Body just waking up, as the attention passes through that area. Taking just a moment to rest the attention on the breath. Again, nothing to do with the breath, don't need to focus too intently. Just connecting with that feeling, that idea of breathing in fresh air, breathing in a new day. And with each exhalation, just letting go, of the nighttime, letting go of any heaviness, dullness of mind. And just allowing the breath to continue in the same way. And I'd like you just to take a moment to remember the last time you were in really bright, clear, warm sunshine. Just to remember that quality of sunlight. And I'd like you to imagine that right now, in the middle of the body, in the middle of the chest, a little sort of speck of this sunlight. So it has all those same qualities, of space, of lightness,...


Duration3-10 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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Frequently asked questions

  • We suggest starting your morning by practicing some mindfulness from the moment you wake. Take five deep breaths in and out. Splash some cold water on your face to feel awake. Maybe write down, or say to yourself, who or what gives you reason to feel grateful. View breakfast or brushing your teeth as an opportunity to be non-distracted and present, with your attention on the moment or family. Use it all as mindful preparation for a morning meditation. One of our most popular ones is the Waking Up meditation which uses a visualization technique to leave the mind feeling crisper, clearer, and warmer.

  • Whether you are starting a new routine or building a morning meditation into an existing routine, it’s all about making space for the minutes you decide to sit with, and look after, the mind. Planning ahead — setting an alarm or scheduling a session — is key to creating an unhurried routine. Resolve to make meditation a morning ritual and go easy on yourself if it doesn’t always happen. With practice and repetition, you will soon turn the practice into a healthy habit.

  • The duration of a morning meditation all depends on how much time you have, but we recommend a minimum of 10 minutes each morning, though you do have the choice to make the exercise as brief as three minutes if your schedule is tight. It’s always worth considering that a meditation ideally needs to be long enough to feel challenging and short enough so that it doesn’t feel demotivating.

  • When you choose to start the day with a morning meditation, you give yourself the best opportunity to get in the right headspace; to be fully aware and fully awake before "doing" anything. You are establishing a healthy morning routine while cultivating a sense of clarity and calm that better prepares you for whatever the day ahead may hold. We also have a five minute Morning Pause meditation — a quick breathing exercise to ground yourself.

  • We suggest meditating in the morning. Not only is it a nice way to start the day, it’s the one time that you can realistically shape before life gets busy in any number of ways. A morning meditation can help you to get clear, feel focused, and enjoy a sense of calm — a productive, balanced mindset to take into the day. Of course, if you prefer to meditate at night to let go of the day’s stress, that’s good, too. Always meditate at a time that works best for you. That’s the beauty of using an app like Headspace — you can meditate wherever you happen to be at a time that’s most convenient for your schedule.

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