Salute the sun

Mornings. The sun rises.  The birds sing.  Chaos ensues? As a mom, I know this reality, the way a morning can make or break a mood–be it mine, my husband’s, my 5-year old’s.
I am writing this after a particularly “loud” morning that arose out of a particularly “restless” night. Our daughter, who is in kindergarten, woke around midnight with a bad dream. Cuddles in her own bed did little to calm her nerves, so I relented and allowed her to follow me to my room.  The biggest flaw in this plan is that our 9-week old son is still sleeping bedside. Each time he woke last night–which was more than usual, go figure!–my daughter woke up, too.  And each time that happened I knew we were blowing one of his big sister’s already short morning fuses.
When my alarm went off, I jumped out of bed as quietly as could be to simultaneously shuffle our daughter into her room to get dressed while keeping the finally-settled newborn asleep. The rest is crazy morning history.
To give you an idea of how the morning went, I’ll reference a conversation I had with a neighbor this weekend.  She has two school-aged sons.  When I told her our 3-year old son loves waving to them when they head to the bus stop in the morning, her response was refreshingly honest and comically familiar. I’m sure he hears us yelling from your house as well! I knew exactly what she meant.  Why don’t they put their coats on the first time we ask?, she questioned. My response?  Or even the second time.
Any mom who has tried to get a kid or even a husband or even herself out of the door on any given morning has experienced at least one that fits this description.  Oddly enough, though I hate to admit it, these chaos-infused mornings seems more prevalent now that I am on maternity leave.  I’ve spent the past hour wondering why that’s the case. I think I know: lack of routine.
Since I am not leaving the house in the mad rush, I am sleeping later than usual. Yes, I’ve been prepping lunches in advance and my kids pick out their clothes the night before, but that doesn’t mean our morning has any structure.  Sometimes my husband can sleep later, so I sleep later.  Sometimes my 3-year old wakes me up, sometimes my daughter does. And as a result, I have been skipping an important part of my mornings that I know keeps my mood even and my patience strong: I have not been saluting the sun.
A sun salutation is a simple series of yoga poses. It allows all of your muscles and your mind to greet the day with openness. It also builds strength and flexibility over time.  For over a year, I performed at least two sun salutations upon waking for the day. I would complete one traditional series and one non-traditional series by adding Warrior poses or leg lifts. I even did this throughout most of my recent pregnancy, with some modification, of course.  My three-year old son would often join in and mimic my poses.  The added giggles of his involvement further brightened my mornings.
Once my husband and daughter left for work and school this morning and my two boys were fed, I walked into the living room, stood in front of the sunniest window, and saluted the sun. I plan to do the same thing tomorrow–before I let the chaos in.

Below, find a wonderful step-by-step video I found online. Maybe one day I’ll make my own.  Why did I pick this one? It was posted on my birthday.