Are You Looking for Yoga for the Morning?
Practicing yoga at any time of the day can be so helpful, but did you know that there are specific benefits to practicing in the morning? Not only does yoga in the morning keep you awake and energized as you start your day, but it helps to relieve any pain or tension that may have built up from the night before. There is a reason that there is a specific yoga practice known as Sun Salutations that many do first thing in the morning. The linked poses actually keep the body moving and the blood pumping as you “salute” the sun. Many people practice right when they wake up. Even if the practice focuses mostly on meditation with very gentle, slow stretches, you would still be doing yoga.
Free 15 Minute Morning Yoga Routine
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Benefits of Doing Yoga in the Morning
Relaxation- Morning yoga also helps to calm the body before a long day. Let’s say you have a stressful day ahead at work and you do not know how to relax yourself. You can achieve a calmer state of being through doing yoga before starting your day.
Mental Health Benefits- Yoga has many mental health benefits, and beginning your day with a practice can help to relieve stress and depression. By starting your day with yoga, you can relieve tension from the body, focus the mind, and go into your day with more positivity. In addition, many people use a morning yoga practice to set an intention for their day.
More Energy- Many times, when you simply roll out of bed in the morning and get ready, you are not giving yourself proper time to wake up and move. By adding more gentle movements into your morning, you are allowing yourself time to wake up slowly, stretch your muscles, and get your blood pumping.
Increasing Focus- For those who struggle with focus, yoga can be a great way to start off your morning. Yoga can increase one’s concentration which is why many schools are now including it in their curriculum. If you find that you have a lot of trouble staying on task throughout the day, try some morning yoga to center yourself and your mind. In addition, by moving around in the morning, you are relieving pent up tension and getting in a gentle exercise. When you get your blood pumping, you feel more awake, and if you find that you do not have much time to move around during the day, morning yoga can add some more movement into your day.
Exercising- As we were just saying, morning yoga allows you to add some exercise into your day. Yoga in general is a great way to build muscle and stay in shape. After a long day at work, it can be hard to find the energy to exercise. That is why so many people get up early to work out. However, it can be a lot sometimes to do a full workout first thing in the morning. Therefore, a few minutes of gentle yoga before starting your day can be a great way to get your body moving and increase your energy. If you’re looking to built a fitness habit for weight loss, getting started with a few minutes of daily yoga in the mornings is a great way to do that.
Reducing Pain- The less you move, the more your body will hurt. This is due to the fact that we have something called fascia within our bodies that surrounds every organ and also sits between the muscles and skin. Fascia is soft tissue throughout the body that can easily harden and lock up if it is not being properly moved. When we stretch out and move the fascia, it begins to soften and become more flexible, allowing our bodies to be able to do more in the long run. This also helps to reduce pain in the body by releasing tense fascia and can also give the muscles, ligaments, and tendons more space to stretch out as well and increase in flexibility as well. This, in turn, can both prevent injuries and even relieve chronic pain.
Doing Yoga in the Morning VS Other Times of the Day
While practicing yoga at any time of the day can be beneficial for you, practicing in the morning can specifically help you to start off your work day focused and energized. Practicing at night helps to let go of the day and relax the body before bed so that you can get more sleep. When you practice in the middle of the day, it can offer a nice break and give you a reset before continuing with your day.
Doing a full hour-long practice in the morning is great, but you can absolutely just add a few minutes of yoga into your morning routine to help you work up to doing more. While there is no right or wrong time to do yoga, each time has specific benefits, and it can be easier to stay up to the task of doing yoga when you first wake up versus when you are half asleep at the end of the day. It truly depends on each individual person and their specific needs.
If you are looking to relax more at night time, then doing yoga before bed can be great for you. If you are looking to feel more energized and awake throughout your day, practicing in the morning is even better. You can even do both, using different practices throughout your day for different reasons.
You also might feel a bit tighter in the morning versus at other times throughout your day after you would have been up and moving. However, this is also a good reason to do yoga first thing in the morning instead of waiting. While your body might slowly loosen up and become less tense as the day goes on, doing yoga when you first wake up will ensure that you are feeling less tight and more mobile. If you find that you might have slept on something wrong and you wake up sore, yoga is especially helpful for assisting in releasing this pain and going into your day feeling good.
B.K.S. Iyengar, a yoga instructor who was the founder of Iyengar Yoga, has actually written about the dilemma of when to practice in his book Light on Yoga. He discusses practicing in the morning and evening and explains how there are benefits to both. He explains that practicing in the morning will make a person better at their job during the day, but practicing at night will help to relieve stress from the day and prepare a person for bed. (Iyengar, 1965)
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Did you know that doing even two minutes of yoga is better than doing no yoga at all? Perhaps, a longer practice seems intimidating. Maybe,
Best Types of Yoga for the Morning
There are many types of yoga that you can practice in the morning, but some might have more benefits than others.
Yin Yoga- If you are looking for a gentle, deep stretch, then yin yoga might be a good option for you. This practice involves intense stretcing of the soft tissues of the body.
Restorative Yoga- Restorative yoga is similar to yin yoga and can be great for working through injuries, but both of these practices do not involve a lot of movement, so if you are looking to feel more awake, these might be better for later in the day.
Vinyasa Yoga- Some of the best practices for first thing in the morning would involve some form of vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga is a practice that involves doing multiple poses in a sequence and linking the movements with the breath. If you want some movement but not so much that you are involving cardio, a gentle vinyasa flow can be great for when you first wake up. If you want some more cardio, a faster paced vinyasa is most likely what you would be looking for. The most popular vinyasa sequence to practice in the morning is called Sun Salutations. This is a specific series of poses linked together with the breath that is meant to salute the sun and wake up the body. There are alternatives to this sequence as well with some involving more standing and muscle strengthening poses, and others being more gentle. In addition, there are even variations of this practice meant for before bed known as Moon Salutations.
Power Yoga- You also might try power yoga which is a more intense version of a vinyasa practice, involving holding each pose for longer to really engage the muscles.
The right morning yoga practice for you fully depends on what you are looking to gain from the sequence. Ask yourself what benefits you are hoping to receive and then pick the best practice from there.https://www.youtube.com/embed/L33yNHJKeoo?start=3&feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https:%2F%2Fbodybyyoga.training
What to Look for in a Yoga Class for the Best Morning Session
While each person will have a different practice that works best for them in the morning, overall, the majority of people will benefit from having a practice that involves more movement to wake the body up. A practice should not have so much movement first thing in the morning that you are exhausted the rest of the day, but it should have enough that you are more awake after practicing. Vinyasa yoga is overall one of the greatest types to practice in the morning, and if you are looking for a sequence of poses to do at home, sun salutations is probably the most popular and best to do. However, this will vary person to person.
Some classes will be labeled for the morning. You might see names of classes along the lines of “Morning Yoga,” “Wake Up Yoga,” “Awakening Yoga,” etc. These would be specifically designed to be practiced in the morning, but you can always pick classes that resonate more with you instead. If you absolutely do not want to move much in the morning, you can pick a more gentle practice like yin or restorative yoga.
How to Establish a Sustainable Yoga Habit for the Morning
Jumping right into a long practice when you first start might not be the best for everybody. Going from no movement in the morning to an hour long practice can be a lot. If you are practicing at home instead of in a studio, you can begin by doing even just a few minutes of yoga a day and work your way up over time. Even just five minutes a day can offer you many benefits and help to get your blood pumping in the morning. Body By Yoga offers many short but impactful practices that you can do from home. In fact, we even have a yoga class that is just under fifteen minutes for you to try out. Check it out below!https://www.youtube.com/embed/m7PA74doSJc?feature=oembed&enablejsapi=1&origin=https:%2F%2Fbodybyyoga.training
If you feel overwhelmed when first beginning a morning routine, take your time to work your way up to it. Just do a few minutes a day, stretching when you first wake up with some deep breathing, and notice how that affects you. You should start feeling more awake and ready for the day ahead versus when you simply roll out of bed and get going.