Better than coffee
Having never been a morning person, I've needed to find ways over the years to feel awake in the morning. In the process, I discovered places where life force gets held up or released. Just yesterday I discovered a new place to open up the juices in the morning. I've been allergic to dairy for decades, so black coffee was utterly unappealing. I do like the apple cider vinegar in water with a little lemon juice - that really works, and alkalizes your system at the same time. Even before that point in the morning though, before getting out of bed, I sometimes arch and curl my spine. Tons of energy gets held in the low back.
Most recently I've seen this interesting connection between the sacrum and thought. Thinking about anything creates a tension in the brain that has a physical effect on the dura which pulls and tightens all the way down the cord to the little fibers at the coccyx. There's probably an energetic connection also, as the bladder meridian runs from the corners of the eyes all the way down the back, and we tend to furrow the brow in concentration. Okay, so to stop thought, it actually helps to spread the eyebrows apart, drop the shoulders, and feel your skin - from the inside. Start with the outside, feeling whatever fabric in laying on your skin, then feel the skin itself, anywhere you can, then everywhere at once. This in itself feels amazing! Your body begins to create 'happy nectar' when it's not involved in thought or emotion. Feeling/sensing is different and connects with different structures.
The body settles much more easily after the mind settles. Doing little mini-stretches from being in the sensation of my skin is very effective to begin the 'awakening proceess' throughout the system and releasing the pressures of lying down all night. I open the joints one by one with little reaches or elongations in the fingers, the toes, the elbows, ankles, neck, hips, etc. - wherever it feels tight. Now when I stand up there's barely any stiffness remaining from the night. In the shower the next rinse and release of whatever the subconscious wanted to process during sleep rinses off while I do those awesome washing up the extremities described in an earlier post. (the 'Gravity' one). When I get to my neck, I carefully wash around the top of my neck where it meets my head, from my throat around the back from ear to ear, then around the 'collar' area where a t-shirt would hit, making a circle there with the washcloth. I do that a couple of times to open the pressures from lying on my neck and shoulders that may have restricted a little blood/nerve circulation to and from the brain and Voila! - alertness!
The body is awake and in its happy place, the mind has come on board, refreshed and alert with all the fluids circulating, and electricity firing, energy flowing. If any dullness is left in the extremities or anywhere, little pats with a soft, cupped hand gets it moving (this is a chi kung move that feels awesome, but it's also a neuromuscular and shiatsu technique that wakes the tissue and nervous system up). Well, here are several options you can pick and choose from, or try one that resonates so you can tell which one your body responds to the most. One may feel more appropriate on a particular day, another might call you when your day is going to be more physically demanding - try them and see what your body tells you in different circumstances. I'm not a coffee drinker so felt motivated to experiment, but it actually feels wonderful.