4 reasons to start an early morning yoga practice (and tips for getting you on the mat!) by Katy Scherer
Been thinking about jumping on your mat in the early hours of the morning but still haven’t found the right motivation? Well, look no further, we have 4 GOOD reasons to get your butt out of bed and onto the mat and a few tips and tricks to help you on your way.
1. Start as you mean to go on
A good daily routine starts the night before and it starts with having something good to get up for. By fixing an early morning yoga practice you are committing to starting your day in a positive way and ending the previous day in a sensible, sustainable, getting up early friendly kind of way. Many early morning practitioners notice their evening routines begin to change for the better. Dinner becomes earlier and so does bedtime - helping to support a healthy sleep and body clock cycle. This is where you begin to see the benefits of yoga off the mat. Yoga begins to positively influence your daily life and routine without you having to think much about it. Fantastic.
2. Peace and quiet
No matter if you live alone or have a full house, there is something very special about being up before the rest of the world and enjoying a cup of coffee in the peace! For many early morning practitioners this time might be the only quiet and solitude they get all day and they therefore view this time as almost sacred! Taking time for yourself and self-care through your yoga practice can be incredibly rewarding especially when you can enjoy it in peace and quiet!
3. Honest practice
One of the main criticisms of an early practice is that the body feels very stiff first thing in the morning. Yep, this is true. You will never feel stiffer than when you first wake up but this isn’t such a bad thing! An early morning practice can be the most honest practice as you are very aware of your natural limitations. Being aware of our physical limitation is the first step in injury prevention so it’s time to view the morning stiffness as a blessing and not a curse.
Practicing early in the AM loosens up the body and prepares the mind for the day ahead. Instead of luging your morning stiff body and foggy mind into a new day you can help yourself but jumping on the mat before your usual day begins.
4. Job done!
We shouldn’t look at our practice as a chore but its still okay to think about getting the practice out of the way. We can have the best of intentions but life happens and things get in the way of our planned evening yoga class in the studio. Meetings are scheduled, weather changes, dinner and drinks are organised and before you know it something else trumps your intention to practice. Getting your practice done means nothing can come in between you and the mat! Getting up early to practice guarantees that nothing will come between you and your practice plus the feeling of achievement when you have your practice done before 9am is worth the early start alone!
Now that you are completely convinced to start an early morning yoga practice ( ;) ) here are my tips to help you get on the mat or to the studio.
- Early to bed, early to rise! Yep, you are going to need to trot yourself off to bed nice and early which is easier said than done. Make sure you bring your entire evening routine forward which means eating dinner earlier, bathing and calming down before jumping into bed.
- Let meet same place same time. We are creatures of habit so try to make good habits. Plan to practice in the same location at the same time when possible. This will help you to form a new GOOD habit.
- Preparation is key. Make sure to prepare your yoga area the night before, rolling out the mat and setting up all the props you need. Look out what you are going to wear to make the journey from the duvet to the mat is as hassle free as possible.
- It might sound counterproductive as you will probably shower after practice but showing up on your mat squeaky clean and awake can be very helpful.
- It doesn’t matter what anyone else says but having a coffee in the early hours of the morning when everyone is still in bed before practice is AWSOME! In fact, for some people, it gives them something to look forward to.
- Knowing what you are doing. Having a good idea of what your practice will look like can be very helpful. In Ashtanga yoga the sequence is always fixed which takes the creative thought process out of the equation. If you are not an ashtanga then maybe making up your own sequence or at least having a theme to your practice with be very helpful.
- Tags: Yoga