I was never a morning person growing up. Even as a young child I wished to sleep ever-later and needed sufficient time to begin functioning as a human.
So when I signed up as a volunteer to open a yoga studio and check students in for the 6am class– and stay to take it– not even I believed it would last longer than a moon cycle.
Flash forward 4 years and I’m not just still committed to 6am, I’m the one teaching now, generating energy and awakening my students in mind, body, and spirit as they begin their days. And I love it. Perhaps you might too!
I present for you ~ 10 Joys of an Early Morning Yoga Practice:
1. Connecting to the Breath Before Connecting to the World – To know oneself is the first step to living in kindness. Begin with the Breath to awaken your energy source then interact with others. Watch as your connections become more genuine and your energy reserved.
2. Lean into your Day with Compassion by First Feeling Compassion for Self – How can we be prepared to walk a mile in another’s moccasins? We must first walk in our own. To offer ourselves compassion is to remove self judgment and self criticism, to give ourselves the benefit of doubt, and to accept ourselves as is. Do this before the sun rises and you are prepared to meet others with the same acceptance throughout your day.
3. Listen to the Tone of the Inner Voice – When we wake up, we do so with the energy of our night’s sleep still within us. If we experience negativity while sleeping, whether leftover from the day before or due to the sleep itself, we will often wake up projecting that energy. A quick way to get this in check is to listen to the way we are speaking to our inner Self, the way we’re speaking about Life and about others. Having an early morning practice gives you the early advantage to check in, listen, and choose adjustments if needed.
4. Activate Energy First Thing – Imagine your morning yoga practice as a light switch turning on your positivity, your productivity, and your capacity for compassion. Now imagine flipping that light switch on before the sun rises. Visualize how your movements, your interactions, and your choices could be influenced by activating special energy early in the morning, before external influence enters your energy field.
5. Interpret Emotions as Energy – All emotions are full of energy so being able to self reflect on the energy output of your own emotions is a beautiful representation of self study. To easily utilize those Self Awareness muscles, we need to continually awaken them. Awakening your self awareness before the sun rises encourages the muscles to stay activated throughout your day.
6. Identify Negative and Positive Sensations in the Physical Body – So often everything we experience, and the intensity it is felt, is linked to the sensations we are carrying in the physical body. By taking a moment to scan through the body and identify any discomforts, or alternatively- feelings of ease- you can better understand the lens through which you view the outer world throughout your day.
7. Oxygenate Your Entire Being – Juice out your muscles, joints, bones, and brain. Every concentrated inhale brings a dose of oxygen (and dopamine!) to the body and the mind. Set yourself up for success for the day by beginning with an abundance of air and notice how you naturally fill your lungs deeper as your day unfolds, positively affecting everything from your energy level to your mood.
8. Whole Body Movement Regardless of the Day’s To Do List – As the hours move forward on the clock, the ability to move our bodies in various ways often becomes more limited. We get caught in work mode and stuck in one position or else we utilize an entire subset of the body for our work while neglecting the other parts. So whether your yoga practice is fitness-driven or not, recognizing the value of moving the body in a multitude of ways can make all the difference in your physical body’s functionality and comfort throughout the day. And bonus- if you do it first thing in the morning, you get to prepare your body for the day versus undoing the damage of the day later.
9. A Body in Motion Stays in Motion – Keep the momentum of your day going by getting it started as early as possible. If you want to avoid stiff, inactive muscles (Think shortened hamstrings for seated jobs!) Then get them moving before they have the opportunity to slow you down!
10. Connect Mind + Brain + Body + Spirit – If your goal of the day is to find balance within your Self, then there is no better way than to begin with your breath and expand the connection to your mind, your brain, your body, and in turn your Spirit.
No matter where you are in your practice, there are so many benefits of an early morning practice. Even if that consists of sitting on your mat as you yawn and flutter your eyes opened and closed~ An early morning yoga practice could be the magic that starts all of your days off right!
Feeling ready to rise early now?! Symmetry Yoga offers 6am classes Monday through Friday and we welcome you always!
Written by Tiffany Marguez. Tiffany teaches Early Bird Flow at 6am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.