Yoga Teacher Zoe Shares Her Morning Rituals Throughout Lockdown

Before Covid hit, I was teaching at 7 or 8am every weekday - which meant years of 5am alarms and hurried mornings rolling out of bed, into a pair of leggings, and out of the door with coffee in a KeepCup before my eyes had really opened! One of the rare silver linings of lockdown has been having the time to wake up slowly; last March I used to wake up and start working within about half an hour, but three lockdowns in I’ve settled into the rhythm of a morning routine that leaves me feeling calm and clearheaded for the day ahead. Here’s what works for me:

As soon as I wake up (usually between 6:15-6:30) I say hi to my gorgeous cat who’s pretty much always under the duvet with me, and drink a big glass of water from the carafe on my bedside table. Then I peel myself out of bed, open the curtains, and head straight for the coffee machine.

While that’s doing its thing I brush my teeth and wash my face. Pre 7am is no time for complexity so I cleanse, then use either a toner or a serum depending on how I feel (Mauli’s Supreme Skin Rose Toner is the absolute delicious smelling dream) and a moisturiser with SPF.

The best bit about not having to be anywhere is being able to take my coffee back to bed! While it’s cooling down enough to drink I do a 5 minute meditation - either self guided or with HeadSpace or Insight Timer. Then it’s the NY Times mini crossword which I’m more competitive than I’d like to admit about, and after that I’ll read the news or a book for a little bit. At the moment I’m eking out The White Album by Joan Didion because I’m enjoying it so much; it’s a series of short essays so perfect for morning reading, and I find it much easier to concentrate first thing than late at night!

Once I’ve finished my coffee it’s time to get out of bed (again), feed the aforementioned cat, and open up my laptop. I check that all the zoom links for the days’ livestream classes are ready to go out, answer any urgent emails, and try and do one work related task I’ve been sort of putting off or not looking forward to. Getting it out of the way makes the rest of the day much easier! Once I feel happy that I haven’t missed anything workwise, I put some music on and hit my yoga mat. Sometimes I practice for ten minutes, sometimes I get an hour in - usually it’s 30-45 minutes of mindful, un-instagrammable, pyjama-clad movement and it always feels so good.

After yoga it’s time to get dressed (leggings, a cosy jumper, a big pair of socks), brush my hair, make another coffee, and do a quick scoot around my flat to check that everything’s kind of tidy before settling down at my desk. Anything could happen for the rest of the day - as a small business owner I wear a lot of hats! - but after a slow, considered start, at least I’m ready for it.

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