12 Morning Yoga Tips to Start and Sustain Your Practice • Yoga Basics
A morning yoga practice is a great routine to help you relieve stress and tension, increase your ability to concentrate and focus, and to boost your energy levels. Just a few minutes of yoga in the morning boosts your immune system, increases your metabolism, improves your mood and promotes mental wellbeing. Despite all the amazing benefits of morning yoga, people often feel that they do not have enough time for a practice, or they think they don’t have the energy or enthusiasm to wake up early. The trick is to create a morning practice that is fun, effective, and rewarding. The following morning yoga tips will teach you how to maximize the benefits of your practice, while being excited to get on your yoga mat soon after you wake up.
Most of the following morning yoga tips will apply whether you are practicing at home or going to the yoga studio. Choose which tips are best for your lifestyle and your needs. You may wish to bookmark or print out these morning yoga tips to revert back to as you build a solid morning yoga routine. Hopefully, these tips will soon become second nature to you!
1. Prepare the night before
Incorporate a few tasks to prep for a morning practice in your evening routine. If you are taking your morning sessions at the local studio or gym, then make sure you have enough gas in your car, fill up your water bottle, pick out your yoga clothes and gather your mat, props, and other gear. The less effort you take to get ready, the more likely you will make it to class. If you are practicing at home with an online class or just doing your regular practice, then have your space and equipment ready with your yoga mat already rolled out. Pick out the morning yoga video you want to use and cue it up on your device.
Try to avoid eating a late heavy meal the night before as it will make you feel groggy and heavy. Go to bed at a reasonable time to get a good night’s sleep so you will be well rested when you start your morning yoga routine and can resist hitting the snooze button.
Set an intention just before you fall sleep to prime the mind for success when you wake up. This can be linked to your goals or the benefits you wish to experience from your practice. You can alternatively visualize or imaging yourself enjoying getting up early to practice yoga.
2. Set realistic goals and expectations
It is important to have clear and actionable goals, but it is equally important to keep your morning plans realistic. If your goals are too lofty, then you may set yourself up for failure, excessive struggle, and suffering. On the other hand, if you set goals that are too low, then you may end up feeling bored and disempowered by competing your goals too quickly and easily. Perhaps your first goal would be to do five sun salutations in a row without stopping. Maybe your second goal would be to hold each posture for at least four deep breaths. Whatever your goals, make them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely).
3. Visualize the benefits
As you get ready for your morning practice, mentally rehearse the rewards you will receive. It will keep you moving toward your goal of having a great day and a brilliant start to your week. If you are having trouble getting motivated, then use these mental benefits as extra ammo to help you power through your prep and get to class or to your mat.
4. Wake up with a shower
Taking a shower or just splashing some water on your face will help refresh and wake you up before you begin with your yoga session. It might feel odd to shower before you workout, but especially if you are going to class, being clean and hygienic will make you feel and smell good while you practice.
Drink a glass of water upon waking to make sure you are well hydrated before your practice. Water with some fresh lemon juice helps your body flush out all the toxins and maximize your energy levels for your morning routine.
6. Have a snack
It is best to practice on an empty stomach, but if you are hungry or feeling your blood sugar levels are low, you can have a snack before you get on your mat. A morning smoothie is a great option, as is fruit and small amounts of nuts and seeds. Whatever you choose, make sure that keep your snack small, light and easy to digest.
7. Take it slow
When you wake up the body is stiff and stagnant from sleep and probably not capable of jumping straight into a class. Be kind to yourself in the morning and take things slow and easy while the brain is still recovering from unconsciousness and the body is still heavy with drowsiness. Set your alarm to give you a few extra minutes so you don’t feel any pressure or stress to rush to your mat.
8. Keep it short and simple
It is best to Keep your morning yoga practice short. A suitable length is 15-30 minutes. You probably don’t want to add too much weight to your day by doing an extended practice before you’ve even gotten going. Short, quick practices are a great way to prepare your body and mind for a hard day’s work. On the other hand, if you only do a few rounds of sun salutations, you may find that the effects of an abbreviated practice wears off very quickly. It’s a tricky balancing act, so experiment and find what works best for you.
9. Choose a convenient time and place
If possible, try to do your morning yoga practice in the same room or space where you do your daily exercise routine. This will help you build a feeling of continuity and keep you on track. Just be sure to pick a place that is quiet and free from distractions. Look for a place that is relatively clean and uncluttered. Avoid places with a lot of traffic or places with lots of people running around. This will make your practice much more peaceful and you will concentrate better.
10. Keep it interesting
If you do the same morning yoga routine over and over, your body gets bored and sluggish. Consider changing it up every week or two. You can mix it up by including a variety of yoga techniques and morning yoga poses. Do some sun salutations one day; some pranayama breathing exercises the next. Keep it fresh and try a new sequence of asanas every month. Add or remove exercises as needed to maintain the love and enthusiasm in your practice.
11. Practice with a friend
Practicing with a yoga buddy is fun and makes you feel good. Committing to practice with a friend makes you not want to leaving them hanging, so this commitment motivates you to show up.
12. Sign up for a morning yoga challenge
Challenges are a great way to add variety to your morning routine and provide motivation to practice every day. You can find yoga challenges on Instagram, YouTube, at your local yoga studio, or you can make your own. Choose something that you can realistically accomplish and is geared toward your experience and level of fitness. It is best to start with a 7-day challenge and work your way up to 30 or 40 days.