Many new yogis ask themselves, “What is the best time for yoga?” It depends on what time you prefer to practice yoga, your needs and your goals. You will still reap the incredible benefits of yoga, no matter when you sit down on your mat. There are many reasons why you should practice yoga every morning. One or more of these ten advantages might be enough to motivate you to start a morning yoga routine. You’ll notice effective changes in your body, mind, and heart once you make it a daily routine.
Your intention for the day
It is powerful to practice yoga in the morning. This allows you to take control of your day by setting clear, thoughtful and activated intentions. Moving and breathing in the morning is good for your body and anxiety-prone mind. Getting to your mat in the morning allows you to choose the theme of your day. There are many things in life that you cannot control. But the time you spend in the morning being intentional about your day, being focused and present at the moment, will allow you to bring this intentionality and presence into every day.
DeSiato says it is important to have the time and space in the morning to set an intent. A theme or intention is important for your home practice. It’s just as important to bring an intention or theme to class. Creating that intention at home might be more important before you start your morning practice. Setting an intention for the day allows you to control your mood and decide how to respond to whatever happens. You create a barrier between yourself and what happens next by being the first to speak to yourself. All that advice you’ve heard from yoga teachers about being rooted? This is how it works. This is how you do it: You allow time and space, choose a phrase, an intention, theme or flavour and meditate on it. Or you can chant it, chant it, or you hear it in your head. Then, in the morning, you set your intention. This gives you a better outlook and a subtle, energetic shield against the day’s challenges. A yoga practice can help you create a positive outlook on the day.
Happy Morning Yoga to Boost Happiness
MORNING YOGA PRACTICES TO HAPPINESSJumpstart your day
Your mood and how you feel throughout the day can affect your waking. A great way to start your day is with gratitude and intention. Know your energy rhythm. Consider what time of the day is best for you to exercise, write, or do your bookkeeping. Respect these rhythms by planning your day. Your day will begin with an activity that maximizes your energy in the morning.
For whatever the day brings, feel strong and fit.
Stress, worry, and difficulties are all part of our daily lives. Approaching each day with the greatest amount of inner strength and resilience will help you to overcome stress, worry, and challenges. Emma Sothern is a yoga and meditation teacher. She notes that “morning Yoga helps you digest, keep you grounded, and conserves energy. Deep breathing, detoxifying twists and calming forward foldings activate the parasympathetic portion of the autonomic nerve system, which is our “rest and digest” state. Unlike the adrenaline-fueled, “fight or flee” sympathetic state, the PNS is calm and nourishing. Why switch this part on in the morning when you have to “get up, go”? So that all your organs work properly. Your heart rate is slowed down. You increase intestinal activity. You increase blood flow to your vital systems (digestive and reproductive), allowing more blood to reach them. This will keep you strong and healthy no matter what the day brings. A short yoga sequence can help you move again if your mornings are slow or you have symptoms such as brain fog, IBS, or brain fog.
Recognize your needs
Jenna Hillier, a Life Coach and Fitness Instructor, notes the importance of turning each morning inwards to recognize your needs and plan for the day. There are many roles we play in our lives. It’s easy to get up in the morning and think about what or who needs your attention first. This is a common way to start the day or make it as productive as possible. Yoga in the morning allows us to listen to our needs and not rush to meet those of others. It is in these quiet moments that we can see clearly what our needs are. This is crucial for planning a day that supports your mental health, emotional stability, and personal well-being. We can connect with ourselves when we begin our day with movement, breath, and awareness. This allows us to recognize what we most need. As the old saying goes, we can only give what we have to others first.
Clear your mind
A few minutes of yogic breathing can help eliminate lingering thoughts and dullness. Stanley explains how yoga gives us tools to calm the mind and bring more peace and balance to our daily lives. Yoga teaches that the quality of our breath is directly related to the quality of our mind. To calm our minds, pranayama can be used to shape our breath. In simple pranayamas such as diaphragmatic (belly) breathing, it is the quality and quantity of your breath that matter. Awareness of how we breathe can help us to stop the thoughts and vrittis. My favourite practice for calming a busy mind is 5 minutes of slow, conscious, continuous breathing.
Focus and concentrate more effectively
Yoga with conscious breathing will awaken the mind and help you concentrate and focus. Kelly Clifton Turner is the Director of Education at YogaSix. She believes that your brain will receive lots of oxygen as you practice yoga. This will help you eliminate any sleepiness and improve your mental clarity for your day.
Increase your metabolism
Consider moving your yoga practice to earlier if you have trouble maintaining a healthy weight. Turner says that morning yoga can wake you up and boost your metabolism. You can also add a few extra twists to your morning yoga routine to stimulate your digestive system. This will help eliminate bloating after last night’s meal and make you feel great. You can speed up your metabolism by taking a heated or power yoga class early in the morning.
Reduce tension and pain
Therapeutic yoga practice at the beginning of each day may prove more beneficial for those suffering from chronic or occasional back pain. This is especially important if you work in a physically demanding job. Hillier says that stretching first in the morning can help relieve back pain and tension after a long night’s sleep. Stretching in the morning can help relieve any soreness or chronic aches. Your blood flow increases as you move and breathe, encouraging your stiff muscles to relax. Yoga’s emphasis on balance and stability can help prevent future back pain. It also helps to build armour against the most common causes of pain, such as weak abdominal muscles or inflexibility in the hips. It’s easy to see how yoga can benefit anyone, especially in the morning.
Your immune system can be strengthened.
Morning yoga is a great option if your commute or work requires you to be around others. Sophie Jaffe, a health and wellness expert, says stress is a major cause of sickness, especially in the area of our immune system. Stress can lead to health problems if it is allowed to control our lives. Yoga can help reduce stress hormones, which compromise the immune system, calm the nervous system and start your day in a more intentional, mindful space. Moving and stretching help release stagnant energy from our cells, allowing them to eliminate harmful toxins.
If you don’t have the time to do a full practice, you can choose to practice a few targeted poses to increase your immune system.
Promote a healthy lifestyle
“Starting your day with self-care acts like a quick yoga practice can help you make better daily choices. If a morning yoga practice reminds us that movement feels good, we’re more likely than not to include little breaks in our busy schedules. Starting the day with a healthy habit encourages us to make healthier choices. We’re less likely to “undo” what we’ve already done.
A morning routine can boost energy and make you feel more alert, reducing the likelihood of relying on caffeine or sugary snacks for your energy. You never know when your positive choices could inspire someone else to make healthy lifestyle choices. This could have a ripple effect on your professional and social networks.