There are a number of benefits to starting your day with yoga. The practice involves breathing exercises, meditation and poses that stretch the body, promoting relaxation and reducing stress. Rather than leaping out of bed, rushing to get yourself and your family ready for the day and then heading to the workplace already stressed, yoga can provide a positive start to your day that you can carry with you right through to bedtime.
The Health Benefits of Yoga
Yoga has been proven to reduce stress by decreasing the secretion of cortisol – our main stress hormone. Other studies, including one with 131 participants, showed that a ten-week course of yoga reduced stress and anxiety while improving quality of life and mental wellbeing.
It is known that yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system – the part of our bodies responsible for rest and digestion. Starting the day with yoga practices can prepare your body for breakfast, lower blood pressure, aid the immune system and calm your nervous system – the perfect start to any day!
Commit to a consistent early morning yoga practice and set a date to start. If you’re changing your routine it may take a while to get into your groove, but setting a date and sticking to it will help.
It may seem obvious, but getting to bed a little earlier will help you rise in time for your yoga session, so prepare the night before by figuring out how much extra time you’ll need that morning and head to bed at least 8 – 9 hours before you need to be up for your morning yoga session.
If you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, try some yoga poses in bed to get you motivated! You can also consider getting your children involved when you’re starting out. Yoga is just as good for children as it is for adults and a perfect way to instil healthy practices for the whole family. There are many easy-to-do, fun children’s poses that are perfect for beginners too! Additionally, yoga resourcesare easy to find on the internet – join a YouTube session if you want to practice at home, download a yoga app on your phone, or find a class in your area that you can attend before work.
If you’re not a morning person, you may be surprised with how just a few poses can help boost your morning mood. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) pose is great after a long slumber. By performing a variation of poses, it’s a great way to warm up your body and sync up your breath.
The Surya Namaskar works all seven major chakras, and will help boost your energy levels and give you a sense of inner calm to kick off the day.
Chair pose(click) is also another one that helps build energy quickly, as it activates your core muscles, legs, and forces your mind to focus on the pose, and not your busy schedule that may lie ahead.
Another great pose to start off your day is Ardha Matsyendrasana(click) (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose). This pose is a classic yoga asana as it has many benefits. It promotes a healthy spine, helps stimulate the internal organs, aids in promoting healthy digestion, and encourages detoxification. It’s a great pose to do first thing in the morning and before breakfast.
Make it a Habit!
Once you have made the commitment to practice morning yoga, stay with it. Like many other things we learn, the more we do them the greater the benefits and the easier they become. Don’t get down on yourself if you miss a morning either, just make sure you return to it again the next day and keep up with the morning yoga practice.