The alarm goes off at 5 a.m. and you realize you decided last night you were going to yoga bright and early. There comes that pivotal moment when you wonder, “Should I go back to sleep or get my butt out of bed and hit the mat?”
If the mat wins, you kick serious asana. I teach at 6 a.m., and when I see my sleepy eyed yogis coming in for the morning class, I feel like a proud parent. Luckily, there are so many awesome reasons to practice yoga first thing in the morning.
Benefit # 1 - Yoga will wake you up like a triple espresso.
Yoga breathing will stimulate your body and mind. All that fresh oxygen will wake up your brain like a jolt of caffeine. Also, this energy boost from deep breathing will last all day, not just a couple hours like caffeine. You will become energized and clear. Sometimes you wake up feeling groggy, but that’s because there is literally “fuzz” in your brain fascia from your sleep. Yoga breathing will clear the fuzz away and you will have clarity and be ready to face your day brighter and more alive.
Benefit # 2- All day you can think, “Wow, I already did yoga today - I’m awesome.”
Your days are so busy, and your time is valuable. It’s tough to fit in a yoga class during the middle of the day, and by the evening you may have unexpected plans, or you may be too tired. You know, life happens. So doing your practice first thing in the morning is a relief. You take the pressure off your self during the day and get to focus on your work, family, friends, eating, and life. You can also remember how awesome you were for making the choice to get up and treat yourself to yoga.
Remember what Steph said last month about positive self talk? Thinking positively about yourself and your morning accomplishment will take you further than you may realize.
Benefit # 3- You will be more calm all day.
Taking yoga early in the morning will set the tone for your whole day. It will calm and center you before you have to step out into the chaos of life. You will be ready for any situation that comes your way. That traffic jam? No worries, you did yoga. You remember your breath. You're reminded of your early morning intention that you set. In yoga, you remember to practice kindness, compassion and love. Others can feel that. The magnetic field of your heart extends three to five feet around your body, and because you already opened it in yoga, you’ve got the love. Life’s dramas will seem small in comparison.
Benefit # 4 - You will look younger.
The stretching in yoga makes your body tighter, lighter, and brighter. It raises serotonin levels, endorphins and other feel good chemicals and that will all show up in the glow of your skin. Studies show people who practice yoga can actually slow down the aging of the heart, liver and kidneys. All of your insides will reflect on the outside. You eyes will be brighter. Your skin will have a glow. Your body will feel taller and longer. People on the street will stop you and say, “I don’t know you, but you sure look young.” (Maybe!)
Benefit # 5 - You can eat more that day.
Yoga helps speed up your metabolism which means that you can eat more and burn calories faster. When you practice yoga early in the day you improve your digestion and food will burn up faster, and more nutrients will move through your body. When you have enough nutrients moving through efficiently, then your body metabolizes fats and carbs faster and your insides will be running at tip top speed, so you can have that second bowl of granola and don’t sweat it!
So with all these benefits and more, set your alarm for 5 a.m. and get your asana to yoga. I’ll be so proud!