Making changes that are consistent with the natural flow of grace.
5 Reasons for am Practice – Transform Your Morning and Day with Movement!
Research has found the early morning hours to be my most productive time of the day.
Until one very special morning I decided to change my early morning routine to focus on myself, my health and wellbeing, first and foremost. I decided to try starting my day with a yoga
practice followed by a meditation as the very first thing I did with my early morning time. I forced myself to stay clear from the types of distractions that are delivered through mobile
devices and laptops until after my yoga practice because it makes for a less anxiety-ridden practice if I am not worrying about all the work-related things I will need to think about beginning in
the hours to come. This seemingly simple change had the most profound effect on my body, mind, spirit- and life in general! It was unbelievable how much more I was able to achieve and
accomplish throughout the rest of the day. How I was more in control of my emotional reactions, how my body felt alive with vibrant energy running through it all while feeling grounded,
secure and more sure of myself. The changes were visible quickly and this encouraged me to continue to wake up and greet the day with my yoga practice- before sunrise, before the
shower or tea or anything else. Bowing my head to the sun through my practice of Surya Namaskar was now my new way of waking up and greeting the day, honoring my life, my practice, and
setting intentions for my day ahead. Setting this personal time out for myself and my morning Sadhana, (conscious spiritual practice), was starting to change my life for the better.
This lead to my love of teaching very early morning yoga classes, where I encourage students to start their day with a yoga practice so they too can see the amazing benefits of doing so.
I know all too well the level of dedication it takes to wake up in time to make a 6am yoga class, so when I see the sleepy eyed yogis coming in for morning class, it makes me feel like a proud
parent. There are so many benefits and reasons to cultivate and sustain an early morning yoga practice- here are a few to get you inspired!
Reason #1 – Early Morning Yoga Regulates Your Sleep Rhythm & Balance Your Hormones-
Once you make practicing yoga in the morning a habit, your body becomes accustomed to getting up at the same time each day. It will begin to get you ready to wake up on time, which means
you will awake feeling more energized and alert- enhancing this feeling the more that you do it. While practicing yoga, the attention to breathing, meditation and asana has a positive
effect on the endocrine system, which is responsible for long-term body maintenance using glands and hormones, and helps keep you balanced. Certain yoga poses stimulate the pineal gland
that excretes the melatonin hormone that regulates sleep patterns as well. As you regulate your circadian sleep cycles, the feeling of confusion upon awakening from sleep due to widely changing
sleep times start to disappear.
Reason #2- Early Morning Yoga Helps to Build a Healthy, Consistent Routine-
Studies have shown that 90% of those who exercise regularly, as in more than three times a week, are morning practitioners. Having an established morning routine encourages you to stick
with it and the odds are in your favor responsible to create exercise and self-care habits that endure should you choose to practice or exercise early in the morning. Most of us live busy
lives, our days are busy and time is valuable. It’s understandably tough to fit in a yoga class during your busy day and by the evening things may come up that prevent you from practicing,
or you’re just feeling too tired. Doing your practice first thing in the morning provides relief to most- just imagine having your yoga practice and your exercise completely done with
before 8am! The feeling of self-empowerment that comes from being disciplined in your routine brings increased mental strength into other areas of your life as well. Early morning
yoga can help to build a healthy, consistent routine to your yoga practice.
Reason #3- Early Morning Yoga Creates a More Peaceful, Calm & Grounded Day-
An early morning practice can help set the tone for your entire day ahead. The importance of being calm and grounded before heading out into the chaos of daily life should not be underestimated.
That traffic jam, rude person, negative co-worker – that’s not a problem for you as you remember to connect with your breath, to control your breathing. The mind is the king of the body, but the
breath is the king of the mind. During your early morning yoga practice you will set an intention to practice love, and heart felt compassion to all sentient beings- this will carry with you
throughout your day long after leaving your yoga mat. Your vibratory frequency starts to increase and others can feel that, the world will start to reflect this peace back to you as well.
Love is a higher vibration, or frequency, and a consistent yoga practice will help you attune yourself to this frequency and consciously raise your vibration. I have found that early
morning yoga helps me to be more peaceful, calm and grounded throughout the day.
Reason #4- Early Morning Yoga Increases Metabolism Allowing You to Eat More That Day-
Certain types of yoga help to speed up your metabolic rate, which means that you can eat more and burn calories quicker. Practicing yoga first thing in the morning, you improve your digestion and
help more nutrients move through your body. Once the body has a sufficient amount of nutrients moving through, it will begin to metabolize fats and carbs faster, which allows you to eat
more. Choosing healthy, non GMO verified brands and natural organic options are always recommended. Always be conscious of the first Yama of your yoga practice, which is Ahimsa,
(non-harm to all sentient beings, non-violence) when making your food choices. As your yoga practice starts to evolve, this limb of your yoga practice will branch out to include not only your
actions, but your thoughts as well.
Reason #5- Early Morning Yoga is a Great Caffeine Alternative-
The specific type of breathing done during your early morning yoga practice stimulates your entire body and mind. All of that fresh oxygen helps wake up the brain and it can feel like a
jolt of caffeine, yet unlike coffee or tea, the energy boost you feel from deep pranayama breathing lasts all day long! Early morning yoga helps you to feel more energized, yet grounded at
the same time, thus helping you to accomplish more and be more productive during the day. Even on the days when I feel a little tired or less energy upon waking up, that certainly always changes
after my hour long morning yoga practice. You start to feel alive, with clarity and purpose, and you go about your day with absolutely no caffeine required!
If you’re not an early morning person, or you have not yet tried to incorporate a consistent early morning yoga practice, I highly encourage you to give it a go. Perhaps try it out for a week, or
a month, and see if you notice any of the benefits listed. As you continue to make early morning yoga part of your morning routine, I’m confident you will find many more of your own reasons to
add to this list.