Many of my students ask me what the best morning meditation is.
Personally, I like to do a simple morning meditation to start the day, and I don’t go too deep or for too long. I’m also not too bothered about the exact time of my morning meditation session either.
Some people believe that 4am is the best time to meditate because 4am and 4pm is when the angle of the sun to the Earth is at 60 degrees. Supposedly, this leads to better results, although there is zero scientific evidence for this.
What does matter, however, is having a good morning, and meditation will help.
There are many benefits of meditation in the morning. For starters, it helps you to start the day on a positive note. It also focuses the mind for the day ahead. And of course, it helps with problems like stress and anxiety.
Generalised studies show that mindfulness meditation reduces activity in the amygdala (meaning less morning anxiety) and increases activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for thinking and behaviour modification, according to Adrienne Taren [researcher, University of Pittsburgh]. So, by meditating you have less morning anxiety and more ability to plan your day and change your behaviours.
While you can practice any of these 31 different kinds of meditation techniques in the morning, some are better than others.
Louise Hay [American motivational author and the founder of Hay House] recommends a gentle guided morning meditation. For instance, you can try listening to morning meditation music, and doing gentle techniques like Anapanasati (mindful breathing).
Best Morning Meditation
Some mindfulness practitioners might advocate waking up at the crack of dawn and watching the sunrise while doing some yoga. Good for them. Doubtlessly there are many great health benefits of doing so. But most of us need sleep after a busy day, and need to wake up and get to work. So let’s get real, shall we?
Setting the alarm just ten minutes early seems pretty real to me. That’s ten minutes we can give ourselves to meditate in the morning without losing too much sleep. So, waking up ten minutes early, we can now leap out of bed and immediately . . . errr. . sit on the floor for ten minutes to meditate.
Try the follow meditation in the morning.
- Find a comfortable sitting position that works for you, preferably on a good meditation chair. Place your legs at shoulder-width apart. Sit with a straight and relaxed spine. Roll your shoulders back gently. Lightly move your head from side to side then let it come to a central resting position. Check that you are sitting with good posture.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath: When you wake up, your mind may still be full of visions from your sleep, or you may find yourself thinking of the day ahead. Either way, close your eyes and focus on your breath to release these waking thoughts.
- Listen: To truly wake-up and start feeling energised, listen to the sounds around you. If you are so fortunate, you may live in an area near running water or with birds singing that you can hear. If not, simply find a piece of relaxing music, put it on your phone and listen.
- Connect with your body: It’s essential to reconnect body and mind in the morning. The best way to do so is with a quick five-minute body scan. Begin by focusing your attention on the crown of your head. Feel the sensations there. Then, gradually move down your body, scanning as you go. Notice the sensations in your neck, arms, torso, legs, right down to your feet. Now gradually return your focus back up towards your head.
- Recite a positive mantra: Finally, we want to use our meditation for the morning to create positivity. Recite a positive mantra for five minutes. You might recite a simple mantra about the day ahead (for instance, “I am feeling positive about the day ahead” or the loving-kindness mantra (“I extend love and happiness to all”). It’s entirely up to you which words you choose to use for your morning mantra, but select something positive about the day ahead and recite it a few times over.
- And you’re done. Ten minutes of this morning meditation will start your day on a happy note.
9 More Morning Meditations to Begin the Day
Try each of these morning meditations on a different morning each day in the week, and let me know how big a difference they make to your daily routine.
When you are just waking up, you want to focus on the positive. This sets a good tone for the rest of the day. Save the deeper stuff for later. Use your meditation in the morning for some gratitude.
The day is a blessing. Prince (okay not the best spiritual guru, but bear with me)… he said, “Every day I feel is a blessing from God. And I consider it a new beginning. Yeah, everything is beautiful.” What a great mantra for the morning.
By focusing on the positive and thinking about things to be thankful for, you create a positive mood and attitude that will serve you for the rest of the day. That’s why gratitude is an excellent way to start your mornings. As the Dalai Lama states, “Every day, think as you wake up, Today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.”
One of the best ways to wake up positive and happy is with a relaxing meditation.
I do a relaxing morning meditation for half an hour a day. And I like to vary the type of technique I do (see the link above). Some of the best morning meditations to start the day are breath-based techniques like Counting The Breath or Anapanasati. You could also listen to some relaxing music or a guided meditation on Youtube. You can do this as you rise from bed. It will calm you down so you can have a stress-free morning.
3: Mindful Breakfast
Mindful eating is another great morning meditation to start the day. It’s a process that involves nonjudgmental observation of the food we eat.
When we eat breakfast mindfully, we intentionally eat slowly, focusing the mind 100% on the sensations of the food we are eating. When you’re sitting down to your breakfast bowl, eat slowly and focus on what the food looks like, taste like, feels like, even what it sounds like when you bite.
Mindful eating is hugely beneficial for both mental and physical health. As Dr Susan Albers, a New York Times bestselling author , says: “Studies show that mindful eating can 1) reduce overeating and binge eating, 2) help you lose weight, 3) help you to cope with chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia, and 4) improve the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes.”
But mindful eating isn’t just for people with eating disorders. Eating mindfully helps you to focus on the present moment, and also makes eating a much more pleasurable experience. It’s one of the best types of morning meditations to start the day positively.
4: Mindfully rise from bed
If you want to know how to wake up cheerful and be fit at the same time, do some gentle movement meditations, such as yoga or tai chi. It’s great to start the day positively with some exercise, and morning yoga is the best (in my opinion). Research shows that the immune system is not ready to deal with intense exercise first thing in the morning. But some gentle morning yoga? Now that’s perfect. And tai chi and Qigong are good too.
5: Do a morning meditation on the sangha (your community)
If you asked the Buddha how to use meditation to start the day positive, he’d say to meditate on the “sangha” (community). Buddha spent every morning finding a way to benefit the people in his community. This helped both his community and helped Buddha himself.
Buddha’s morning meditation would last for one hour. He would meditate on the sangha (community) using Loving-Kindness and Karuna (compassion-meditation), and he would bring to mind people who needed help. After his morning meditation, he would then go about helping those people.
Positive psychology tells us that a sense of social importance is immensely valuable to our mental wellbeing [Martin Elias Peter Seligman, American psychologist, educator, and author of self-help books.].
When we feel valuable to the community around us, we find the positivity and motivation to do work that matters. In the morning, meditate on your community and ask how you could help.
6: Do This Buddhist Meditation In The A.M For Happiness!
Do you ever wake up on the “wrong side of the bed”. Do you feel unhappy in the morning? And if so, does it set an unhappy tone of the rest of your day? If so, you might like to wake up with this meditation for happiness. It’s called Smiling Buddha. It is an exercise in which we meditate on the smile. Use this exercise in the morning to produce positive feelings of happiness and joy that last all day!
7: Mindful breathing (or yawning!)
The simplest meditation for the morning is to meditate on the energy of a yawn. Breath is the stem of life. As the roots of a tree must connect with fertile soil for that tree to grow strong, so too must the human mind connect with the root of life, the breath, for the mind to grow.
Don’t baseline to shallow breathing. That way leads to stress for both body and mind. Breathe deep. Fill your body with fresh life through your breath. And as you breathe, focus on the sensation of breathing. Connect with the breath. Mindful breathing will make you happy.
Peace activist and meditation teacher Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Our breathing is the link between our body and our mind. Sometimes our mind is thinking of one thing, and our body is doing another, and mind and body are not unified. By concentrating on our breathing, “In” and “Out,” we bring body and mind back together, and become whole again. Conscious breathing is an important bridge.”
To relax in the A.M. take some mindful breaths first thing out of bed.
8: Morning Mantras And Mudras
Another excellent way to meditating in the morning is with mantras and mudras. In my experience, the best morning mudra is the Prana Mudra. When used in the morning, this mudra provides energy for the day ahead. The best morning mantra (in my opinion) is Sa Ta Na Ma, which is a Kundalini mantra. Recite this mantra each morning 108 times.
Benefits of Morning Meditation
Many people meditate before bed at night. However, it might be smarter to meditate in the morning to start the day.
Science suggests that the morning is the single most crucial time of the day. A study conducted by Roy Baumeister, a psychology professor at Florida State University, showed that it is vital to make the most of the morning because that is when our willpower is at its strongest. This is especially true if you struggle to fit in your mindfulness session throughout the rest of the day. In the morning you will have the most motivation to meditate!
National Wellness Expert Lynn Taylor says, “How you begin your morning often sets the tone and your attitude for the day. Your morning can derail you or direct your focus. If you remain committed to good morning work habits, you won’t fall prey to feeling unproductive and distracted at the end of the day or week.” 
Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast agrees. Her book reveals that successful people begin their day with meaningful spiritual, intellectual, or physical pursuits. By having a fulfilling morning routine, you will motivate yourself to work positively for the rest of the day.
Your morning routine makes or breaks your day. That’s why it’s essential to start the day positively and mindfully. Have a mindful morning so you create the right foundation on which to build the rest of your day.