Wake up to this morning yoga routine and set yourself up for a day of calm.
If you start your day by hitting the snooze button and then scrolling through text messages and news updates on your phone, it may be high time for a new morning routine. Studies show that checking your email first thing in the morning can actually be very damaging. So what should you do instead? Replace the read-respond-repeat cycle with a short morning yoga practice.
Benefits of morning yoga
If you are just starting out, don’t let the idea of establishing a morning yoga practice overwhelm you. There are many benefits to even the simplest morning yoga routine:
A morning yoga practice can energize you and help you fight fatigue
It will set you up for a day of calm, happiness and positive outcomes
A morning yoga practice and help you handle the stress of the day with greater grace and ease. Studies show that yoga acts as a natural antidepressant, helping us produce significantly higher levels of the stress-relieving amino acid GABA. When our GABA production increases, we are better able to handle anxiety and stress.
It can improve your sleep cycle
Think waking up 30 minutes early to practice yoga will just make you too tired? Studies show that yoga may actually help you sleep deeper and better.
Morning yoga can help regulate your natural sleep rhythm and balance your hormones. Many studies have shown that morning exercise may help sleep. Combined with the fact that a regular sleep schedule, in general, can help improve your sleep, a morning yoga practice can be a powerful way to take charge of your sleeping habits.
Boost your metabolism
If weight loss is one of your goals, doing yoga first thing in the morning can help. Some studies show that exercising before breakfast boosts our metabolism and helps us maximize the calories we burn during a workout.
Removes other obstacles from your practice
If you are trying to establish a consistent workout routine, the best time to exercise is always the time you are most likely to stick to. Although for some people that may mean working out with a buddy in the afternoon is best, for most, it is easier to commit to a consistent practice in the morning, before the phone calls, happy hour invitations and work commitments start coming.
Keep you flexible and prevent injury throughout the day
Practicing yoga in the morning can support good posture throughout the day, preventing back, neck and shoulder pain. It can also help us stretch out after a long night’s sleep, preventing injury.
How to start a morning yoga routine
Start small and go easy on yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about minor setbacks, or worry too much about each post being perfect. The idea is to establish a routine that quiets your mind while strengthening your mental and physical health.
Select and set up a space
First, determine what area of your home would best serve as a space to practice your new morning yoga routine. If you live in a small space, consider moving around furniture slightly to make room for your practice. Consider having the following props on hand:
- A water bottle filled with water
- A soft blanket, towel or yoga mat
- A pillow or meditation cushion
- Yoga blocks
- Yoga straps
This 7-piece yoga kit contains everything you may need.
Set a goal
Next, consider what a reasonable goal for you would be. If it seems “too easy,” it’s probably a good place to start. Some great goals to start with could include:
- A timed goal: Strive for 15 minutes of yoga each morning
- A pose goal: Choose 3 simple poses and commit to practicing them for a week. Next week, choose 3 more.
- A daily goal: Is every morning too much for you? Consider starting with a Saturday morning practice, or a Friday morning practice and venturing out to other days of the week later.
Choose a sequence
There are so many yoga resources available, choosing just a few poses to start with can seem overwhelming. Here are some quick, easy resources to help you choose:
- For beginners: These beginner poses are great ones to start with if you are a beginner looking to increase your energy through yoga. Rather follow along with an instructor? Try this 5-minute sunrise yoga routine.
- For intermediate yogis: If you have a bit more time and feel comfortable trying more than 3-5 poses, try these 10, 20, and 30 minute yoga routines, or this 15-minute morning yoga sequence.
- For seasoned yogis: Try this 30 minute Vinyasa yoga class for energy and flexibility.
Prepare the night before
Make sure you prepare well the night before your practice. Set up your yoga space (including your props) and go to bed early. Set your alarm so you have enough time to get dressed and enjoy your session without feeling rushed. Don’t forget to put out your clothes the night before so you’re not scrambling to find yoga pants in the morning.
Hooray! You did it! One of the best ways to form a new habit is to reward yourself along the way. Treat yourself to a delicious cup of tea or latte, or set a longer term goal. For instance, after 5 yoga sessions, treat yourself to some new yoga clothes.
Lemon water + morning yoga = a day of zen
Did you know that drinking lemon water in the morning can improve immunity, revitalize your skin, support weight maintenance, reduce inflammation and more? Try combining a bottle of lemon water in the morning with your morning yoga routine and see if you feel more calm and energized.
Do you have a morning yoga practice?
We’d love to hear your tips. Share any ideas you have for the most successful way to start a morning yoga practice in the comments section below.