298_298_the-morning-ritualWritten By Laird Hamilton for MensJournal.com
Credit: Photograph by Ture Lillegraven

You’ll have a better, healthier day if you wake up and follow the big-wave surfer’s early AM routine.
The first thing I do in the morning is take a hot shower to wake myself up and shake off the slumber and stiffness that accumulates during the night. Then, before I eat anything, I drink a glass of warm water with lemon juice and salt – just a quarter-teaspoon of Himalayan mineral salt and as much as a whole lemon. It’s like a warm, liquid cleanse, and it purges you right away. But it also sets up my stomach for the espresso and the protein smoothie that come next. You don’t want to put coffee on an empty stomach – too much acid. Besides, coffee is an appetite suppressant so I don’t want to have it right before I eat the most important meal of the day. Then, I almost always do a variation on the same few stretches: I reach up with my hands high overhead and arch my back, stretching the fascia in the whole front of the body and gazing back beyond my hands. Dogs put their paws out in front of them to arch their backs when they wake up and so should we. It stretches the chest, the hip flexors, the whole front of the body. I also do a quick side stretch by interlocking my hands behind my head with elbows out and standing with my heels together: I alternate, bringing each elbow down to each side, to open up the whole upper body. Then I’m stoked to start the day.