Rise & Shine: 22 Surefire Ways to Start Your Day (Yogis Weigh-in)

Need an extra kick in the stretchy pants to get going in the morning?

We caught up with a few of our favorite Yoga Journal Live! New York presenters to see how they greet the day. Check out their answers in the slideshow below.

Meet us on the mat in NYC this April 23 - 27th for Yoga Journal LIVE! New York. Click here to grab your tickets and be sure to enter promo code YNON at checkout and save 15% on your purchase.


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Morning Yoga

Elena Brower: Snuggle with my man and my son, do a few sun salutations for the sunrise, sit for meditation with my man, and choose a card from one of my decks to set the tone for the day.

Rina Jacubowicz: I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is practice Jnana Yoga, which is self-studying and the study of the scriptures.

Sri Dharma Mittra: With the mind resting on emptiness, I do a few stretches, take care of the pets and prepare for the next class I am to teach.

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Getting Down with Your Dog

Kathryn Budig: My husband leaves for work early, and my dog Ashi always burrows under the covers with me after he leaves. It’s our special girl time and the best way to start the day.

Gail Grossman: I love to wake up to my 3 dogs and cuddle with them in my bed! It makes it really hard to get up, but starting my day with that un-conditional love is just the best!

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Good Morning Tea

Tasha Blank: The first thing I do is drink lingzhi tea and clean my kitchen.

Tazdeen Rashid: I love making me a hot cup of Herbal ZAP Ayurveda to get my morning started. No matter what I ate the night before, ZAP to me is the feel good drink plus it’s good for your immune system.

Natasha Rizopoulos: Early morning tea with my husband and dogs.

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Morning Meditation + Mantras

Tiffany Cruikshank: I like to start my day with a simple 20 minute meditation followed by a yummy green breakfast smoothie and a snuggle with my dog Lulu.

Marina DeLaTorre: It’s a kind of mantra; I wake up every day and as I get out of bed I say silently “I’m awake, I’m alive, and ready for a brand new day”

Dana Flynn: Dancing meditation, running from the shower directly to the dance floor in my tiny tree house apt.Dana Flynn: dancing meditation, running from the shower directly to the dance floor in my tiny tree house apt.

Justin Michael Williams: "Meditate before I do anything!" is my morning mantra. Then I have some tea (or coffee if I'm feeling frisky) and start the day.

Megan Huylo: Before I get out of bed, I take a minute to give thanks and run through a list of things that I'm grateful for in my mind.  Some days there are more than others, but there's always something, and it gets my head in the right place to take on the day.

Aadil Palkhivala: I start my day with the Gayatri Mantra and prayers. These include prayers for myself, my family and the world. Then I do Heartfull Meditation™ to concretise those prayers in the physical world.  Then it is time for some ginger powder and hot water, followed my my asana practice.

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Green Juice

Amy Ippoliti: Some simple stretches, meditation, visualization, a green juice and I’m a happy camper in the morning.

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Cold Shower

Amanbir Singh: My favorite morning ritual is a nice cold shower.  It helps me to wake up and have renewed energy to approach each day.

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Hot Water + Lemon a Day...

Bo Forbes: Every morning I hit the snooze button for five minutes. That's my reflection time, where I connect with my intention for that day. Then I drink my hot water with lemon juice and honey, and do whatever body-based practice is on the menu for that day.

Beryl Bender Birch: Build a fire in the wood stove (from October-May), put the kettle on for hot water for ginger, lemon, and honey, and then meditation

Karen E. Mozes: I drink warm water with lemon, and like to meditate every morning for 20 minutes before making coffee, breakfast and walking my pup on the beach with my boyfriend.

Larissa Hall Carlson: After washing up, the most precious part of my morning is cuddling up on the couch with my sweetheart while waiting for the kettle to boil (I begin each day with a cup of hot lemon water).  Hugs and smooches start the day off right!

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Ayurvedic Rituals

Coby Kozlowski: A morning ritual is crucial for me in order to feel vibrant throughout the day. I follow a variation of an Ayurvedic ritual,  dinacharya, which includes brushing teeth, tongue scraping, drinking a glass of warm water, oil pulling (I use coconut oil), applying organic rosewater to my eyes, self massage with warm oil, movement, and setting an intention for the day by journaling.

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Waste No More

Leslie Kaminoff: As my teacher has said, yoga therapy is 90% waste removal...so at my age, nothing gets the day going better than a good morning bowel movement. Oh, yeah, and I do nauli while on the can.

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