Getting out of bed in the morning is sometimes hard enough, never mind doing it even earlier to practice yoga! However, even 20 minutes of practice will make a positive difference to the way you feel for the rest of the day. Here are our top tips for starting a morning yoga practice.
1. Be prepared
Though time is always exactly the same length, it often seems shorter in the morning – especially when you have have a busy day ahead. However, a short practice first thing in the morning can help make the rest of the day feel much easier to cope with.
Try laying out your mat the previous evening – at the very least it’ll act as a visual reminder of your intention! If you’re doing an online class and want to reduce decision-making time, stick the class on your toolbar and just click and play.
2. Keep it simple – RPP
If you think about the number of things many of us do in the morning – brushing our teeth, having a shower, putting on make-up, deciding what clothes to wear, making and eating breakfast, checking our emails / social media / the news, etc. – it’s a wonder we even have energy for the rest of the day. (If you have children, this is just the tip of the iceberg!). Reduce the number of things you do before you practice to just three: get up; go to the bathroom; practice – or for those who like acronyms, RPP:
3. Get cosy
Make sure you are warm or getting up on cold, winter’s morning will be even more of a challenge. The great thing about doing yoga at home is that it doesn’t much matter if you’re wearing flannelette pyjamas and your partner’s woolly jumper, as long as you can move!
Make the room or space you practice in an inviting place to be or the lure of an extra 20 minutes in bed will beat doing yoga every time.
4. Think of the greater benefit
At that mid-decision point when you’ve snoozed your alarm for the third time and are trying to decide whether to get up or have an extra few minutes in bed, ask yourself the question: What will benefit me more?
If you’re absolutely exhausted, more sleep is probably exactly what you need – so go ahead, hit snooze. On the other hand, getting up and practicing yoga may actually be the best start to the day you can possibly give yourself. Plus, the residue of peace, openness and equilibrium may resonate much longer than the benefits of a few extra minutes in bed.
5. Lead with your body, not the mind
If your mind whirls into action as soon as you wake up, it’s waste time mulling over what happened yesterday or what you have to do today. Instead you could make a decision to lead with the body. As Gregg Krech writes in his article, Action, inspiration and resolution: You may not feel like doing something. You may have thoughts like, “I’ll do this later.” But you allow your body to take the lead. And bring your mind along for the ride.
So, once you’ve made the decision to get up, count to five, then move!
30 Mornings of Yoga program
If this has given you the incentive to try some morning yoga, try our program 30 Mornings of Yoga! This 30 day program builds steadily to help you get into a daily yoga habit. With energising, morning yoga classes from a mix of teachers.