Having a good morning routine is essential to conquering the rest of the day. A cold shower or bath is one of the things you can do to kick-start your day with a fresh mood. Then, of course, there’s mindfulness meditation to begin your day serenely. However, I’ve seen people ask questions like: Is it necessary to take a bath before meditation? Can I meditate before I take a shower?
We’ve already looked at how your meals affect your meditation sessions in the past, and now let’s discuss whether having a shower or bathing before meditation has any effect on the quality of your practice. This article is a result of my own experiences, and what I’ve learned from studying the teachings of various masters in the form of books, videos, discourses, and personal interactions as well.
So, should you meditate before or after a shower? Some people find that taking a shower before meditation helps them concentrate better, while others say that meditating before bath has always worked best for them. I would say that you should try doing both and see what works for you. There’s no hard and fast rule regarding whether you should meditate before or after a shower.
Don’t worry, I won’t leave you at “go figure it out”. Well, I will as you’ll see, but there’s a very interesting and powerful technique I want to share with you that’s related to breathing and cold showers. Read on to learn more about the role of shower and meditation in your morning routine, so you can decide what would work best for you.
Meditating first thing in the morning
It has been suggested by many meditation experts and masters that we should meditate right after waking up. The reason being that our minds are more relaxed and quieter in the early morning, and we can take advantage of that by meditating. Let’s look at the rationale behind it.
Throughout the day, your mind is bombarded with information, impressions, tension, and lots of other things. And so, by evening it will get tired, and you will have spent most of your energy doing things in your home or office. After all of that, when you sit down to meditate in the evening, all the thoughts from your day will come running at you, and you won’t have the required energy to concentrate properly.
On the other hand, in the morning, you wake up after 7-8 hours of rest and your mind is fresh and the body is full of energy. So, meditation at that time comes naturally, and you’re able to concentrate better. As the day progresses, you’re exposed to more and more things, and your mind gets more and more distracted. But if you start your day by meditating, you’re more likely to retain that serenity and composure throughout the next 24 hours.
You might have heard of the Brahma Muhurtha in Yoga. It begins 1 hour and 36 minutes before sunrise and ends 48 minutes before it. Brahma Muhurtha is considered an excellent time to meditate for serious practitioners.
So, that’s one reason why meditation is recommended as the first thing in the morning. Another reason would be to help you build a routine. You’ll find it easier to build a solid meditation habit – or any habit for that matter – if you have an anchor to attach it to. By doing it daily, you are basically telling your mind that you wake up, you meditate, and there are no exceptions. That way, you’ll build a habit of meditating every single day.
Now, you might argue that meditating right after taking a shower could also be your anchor, and you’d be right! But every day may not be the same and you may not able to take a shower in the morning because of work or some other reason. When that happens, it’ll become harder to stay consistent in your practice.
Taking a shower before meditation
Many people like to take a shower or a bath before they meditate in the morning. It can act as a symbolic cleansing before meditation, and it also refreshes you. If you’re tired in the morning or haven’t slept properly, you can take a bath and that’ll wake you up. It is also said that water neutralizes the negative energies that our bodies pick up.
Cold showers are also an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that provides numerous health benefits, such as improving blood circulation, treating mental health issues, and skin toning. In the eyes of Ayurveda, cold showers in the morning have a great impact on your overall well-being.
There’s actually not much to say about taking a shower before meditation. In the end, it all comes down to you. If you feel more energized and ready to meditate after taking a shower, then go for it.
Now, let’s take a look at a remarkable breathing technique that will calm your mind before you go in for a shower and has various mental and physical health benefits.
How to incorporate meditation into your showers
This is the helpful information I want to share with you. I highly recommend you try this out at least a couple of times. It might seem a bit off-topic, but it’s something that could change your life by improving its quality. It involves breathing meditation and cold showers. The method is definitely worth checking out and incorporating in your morning routine.
It is known as the Wim Hoff method, named after the man who formulated it. The Dutch athlete Wim Hoff got the nickname “Iceman” for withstanding extreme cold, and he attributes his endurance to his breath and mental control. So, what is it?
Simply put, the Wim Hoff method is a breathing technique – which is really a form of meditation. The method revolves around doing rounds of breathing exercises and taking cold showers. Now, rather than me trying to explain the whole method here, it would be a lot easier for you if you learned it from Wim Hoff himself. Here’s his YouTube video explaining the technique:
So, what should you do?
It’s possible that after reading all this, you’re even more confused as to what exactly you should do. Remember, there’s no rule when it comes to meditating before or after a shower. Try it out and see what works for you. Maybe you’ll find that meditation after waking up works wonders for you. Or it could also be that having a bath clears your mind and you’re able to meditate better.
Personally, I find that having a bath does indeed refreshes my mind and makes me feel more energized. However, I’ve also noticed that my mind is “emptier” when I wake up, so I’m able to maintain mindfulness better than if I were to meditate, say, in the evening or a few hours after getting up. So, you’ll mostly find me meditating before and after a bath – twice – because, why not? Although sometimes, when I haven’t slept properly or I’m really tired, I’ll take a shower to wake myself up before sitting down to meditate.
So it is that you should simply go ahead and try what works for you. One way to compare would be this: Meditate just after waking up for a week and maintain a journal to gauge the quality of your sessions. Then, take a shower before meditating and record the quality of those sessions. Now, you can compare both of your entries to see which routine gives you the most benefits and stick to the one that feels better.
Also check out: Should You Meditate After Eating?
At the end of the day, it probably won’t make much of a difference especially when you’re just starting out. Building a steady meditation practice is ten times more important than deciding whether to meditate before or after a shower. So, focus more on meditating daily and making mindfulness a habit.
Don’t get down on yourself or think you’re not meditating correctly just because you have a busy life and sometimes require (or enjoy) shaking up your meditation schedule. The most important thing is that you meditate, and you do it daily.
Good luck and happy meditating!