by Kim Blanc
Have you always wanted to begin an early morning yoga practice but have been too tired to try?
There are so many benefits to beginning your day with a yoga practice, not least of which is that a morning practice encourages health all day. We treat ourselves better, make healthier food choices and exhibit more kindness and mindfulness when we’ve gifted ourselves with a morning yoga practice.
Below are some of the many benefits that come with an early morning practice. Perhaps you will be inspired to give it a try—you never know, it may become your new favorite thing!
- You will be calmer all day. Practicing yoga early in the morning will set the tone for your whole day. It will calm and center you before you have to step out into the craziness of life.
- A morning practice is easier to keep. When the early morning alarm clock sounds it’s easy to tell ourselves “I’ll go to yoga tonight” and then a meeting at work, fatigue or a glass of wine keeps us from getting to our mat. Having an established morning routine is a surefire way to be consistent in your practice.
- You may actually sleep better. Morning yoga has been proven to regulate sleep rhythm and even balance your hormones. Once you make a habit out of practicing upon waking up, your body will become accustomed to the routine resulting in more energy, more balance, and best of all, more restful sleep.
- Early morning yoga may boost your metabolism. Practicing yoga early in the morning will warm up your digestive system and help nutrients move more easily through the body throughout the day thus causing it to metabolize food more quickly and efficiently.
- You begin your day feeling GREAT! Guaranteed!
HOW TO WAKE UP FOR EARLY MORNING YOGA
- FIRST AND FOREMOST: Get rid of the “not a morning person” myth. That’s just a story the ego tells itself. Being a “night person” might point to adrenal fatigue and that can be healed though yoga practice.
- The night before, put the clothes you are going to wear to yoga in your bathroom and set your alarm.
- When your alarm goes off and you think to yourself “no way!” just put your feet on the floor and go brush your teeth knowing that you can still go back to bed if you so choose after brushing your teeth. When you’re done brushing, look at your yoga clothes and ask yourself “do I want to go back to bed or go to yoga?” Chances are you will be awake enough now that you will put your yoga clothes on.
- Grab a quick cup of tea or coffee and get in your car. DO NOT SIT DOWN AT YOUR COMPUTER. Enjoy your ride to the yoga studio by noticing how peaceful and beautiful the world is before dawn. If you’re lucky, you may even see the sunrise. There is definitely something to be said for being up before the rest of the world:) (note: if you drink coffee and have an automatic programmable coffee maker, you might want to set it to brew before you wake. The smell of coffee might be enough to get you out of bed, the proverbial dangling of a carrot, if you will. If you can do this without coffee, go for it. But since we’re discussing ways to help get a morning practice up and running, I think it’s worth a consideration.)
- Have faith during those dark mornings when you’re sleepy and stumbling over your two left feet, when you’re cold and crabby and thinking you should just head back to bed, that it is all worth it. And have faith that you are not alone. There are practitioners all over the world doing the exact same thing, probably feeling lots of the same things you’re feeling.
- Sign up for class the night before. Now you’ve set an intention.
- Believe in why you’re doing this. There are many reasons why we practice yoga, but I think we can all agree that it makes us feel better. The more you can put your finger on why you love your yoga practice, the simpler all the other steps will be.
- 21 days to make it a habit. Early morning yoga–over time–actually rewires you physically, emotionally and spiritually. It’s in these more relaxed and quiet moments that we, in some way, are most connected with ourselves. By getting up early, we practice before the mind turns on to worry about the rest of the day.