By McKenzie Zieser
One positive thought in the morning can change your entire day.
Showing up on your mat is a lot like showing up in life. And for an early morning practice, the hardest step is simply showing up. Each day, you have a choice to be open, embrace change, and cultivate compassion through connection with others. By getting to your mat first thing in the morning, you can set yourself up to show up with love in your life. With so many benefits of yoga, here are just a few reasons to get you out of bed and onto your mat.
Awaken the Body
Instead of rolling out of bed and running into your day, morning yoga awakens and eases your body through the transition of being asleep to being awakened. By tuning in and making adjustments with stretching, strengthening and lengthening, you can set yourself up for more mindful movements throughout the day. This is especially a great time to improve your posture and bring balance to your body if you sit often or if you’re on your feet. Moving first thing in the morning is a great way to build heat in your body and digestive system while wringing out toxins from the day before. Twists and other pose variations can create an incredible detox affect for your liver, kidneys and vital organs.
Align with the universe.
When you start the day with intention, anything is possible. While the creative energy of the universe is in high gear, mornings are the best time to connect to this powerful force and commit to showing up for yourself and your loved ones with intention. Group classes are also wonderful in promoting connection with those around you. Practicing with others is a beautiful reminder that we are in this together and are all one. By practicing self love first thing in the morning, it becomes much easier to extend it to others. Not only will your body, mind and soul thank you, but your family and friends will too.
Go with the Flow
Starting the day with a Vinyasa flow class encourages you to bring mindful attention to your breath and body, so you can learn to go with the flow and move through the day with ease and grace. After a morning practice, you might find yourself more calm and mindful in a tough situation. Instead of living in an intricate web of anxiety, re-telling stories of the past or anticipations of the future, a morning practice can provide the anchor you need to be true to yourself and a reminder to go with the flow – no matter what comes your way.
For those of you that wouldn’t categorize yourselves as early birds, it might sound great in theory to wake up for a 5:45am class, but easier said than done, right? Wrong. You might just surprise yourself. Follow these tips to get going and flowing in the morning:
- Get to bed at a decent hour.
- Try some restorative or yin yoga before bed (even if just legs at the wall for a few minutes).
- Don’t press the snooze button. Trust me, it’s a downward spiral and it’s wild the things your mind can come up with as an excuse so early in the morning.
- Fuel up with something small before class. Try a banana or oatmeal to give you the energy you need.
If you’re new to a morning yoga practice, it might feel like you’re inhabiting someone else’s body at first. Try practicing consistently (1-2 times a week) for one month, and you will start to feel more connected to your body. While the best time to practice yoga is really the time that works best for you, morning yoga can be a great way to invigorate you for your day.