As the modern 21st century generation, we have been used to sleeping late at night and waking up late in the morning. Because our lives are filled with innumerable attractions that make us stay awake until we realize it is actually the time to wake up when we go to sleep.
To sleep on time, eat on time, and wake up on time has become less valuable as it goes against the trend of modernity. However, health experts repeatedly warn us about the harms that can occur as a result of our altered lifestyle.
Many healthcare experts suggest the need to begin your routine early in the morning. Most of us wish to change our old, non-advantageous habits but do not know where to begin. Well, the best practice you can start with is to take care of your body and mind to kick start your day in the most amazing way.
The increasing awareness and research on the yogic lifestyle are making people enthusiastic about including it in their daily life. Moreover, beginning your day with yoga has its own perks. Let’s look into how yoga is helpful as a morning exercise.
Importance of Morning Yoga
Yoga is a combination of physical, mental, and spiritual exercises. Performing physical postures after a good night’s sleep is necessary to loosen your muscles. When you do asanas in the morning, you are relieved from the heaviness and stagnancy that comes from your physical inactivity during sleep.
Moreover, when you wake up early in the morning your stomach is empty, and all the food from the dinner is digested. It is the best physical condition to perform yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation exercises.
Also, after a peaceful sleep, your mind is almost vacant. There haven’t been many things in the morning to think about or get distracted. Hence, if you sit with a calm mind to meditate, it can prove to be most beneficial. You can focus sincerely on the yogic practice with this condition of the mind.
The key to yogic practices is both stimulation and relaxation. After your body is completely relaxed from the night’s sleep, it is time for the stimulation again. The repetition of this enhances the flexibility of the body and results in the expansion of awareness.
Why consistency is important?
When you are just beginning your morning yoga routine, there are many chances to slip. A tendency to feel lethargy or give up is more in the starting. For this, you must keep in mind the benefits that consistency is going to bring you.
No change happens in a day. As we take some time to graduate from college or to learn a new language, yogic practices need some time to show their effects. To benefit the most from your morning yoga routine, you must remember to stay consistent in your practice. Yoga can only benefit you if it’s practised regularly, with dedication, and with complete conviction.
Persistence is about bringing discipline. It does not just motivate us to do yoga but also apply the same consistency in our life’s other jobs. Consistency is always followed by success in time.
How to stay consistent with your morning yoga routine?
Before beginning to take up a morning yoga routine, you must prepare yourself for doing it with dedication and consistency.
Here are some helpful tips to regularly follow your morning yogic routine.
- Set a time.
- Choose a place.
- Be specific about your goals.
- Start with easy practice.
- keep it interesting.
- Know the yogic rules.
- Keep your mind calm.
- Sleep on time.
- Be positive for getting up.
- Think of higher benefits.
1. Set a Time
Before you begin anything, the first essential thing is to decide a fixed time for your practice. When you fix a time for the practice, you automatically dive into the discipline. Fixing a certain time encourages you to be there and begin as planned.
However ideally, yoga is encouraged to be practised early morning between 4.30 and 5.30 a.m, at the time of Brahma Muhurta, but you can set a later time if you aren’t a morning person. Set a mental remainder of this fixed time every night before you go to bed and sleep accordingly.
Performing yogic practice at a fixed time in the morning will set your body’s calendar and eventually you will automatically start waking up before your fixed practice time. Also, when you decide a time, you know that there are no other things to be planned during that period and you know in that particular time frame, you will only be doing your practice, and nothing else.
2. Choose a Place
The place where you practice matters a lot. So, before beginning, fix a place in your home where you will do your morning yoga. Choose a place that is quiet and benefits your practice. Ensure you are not disturbed by anyone as long as your practice goes on in the morning.
You can also decorate the place appropriate for your yogic purpose. The quiet atmosphere of the room will encourage you to never miss your morning practice and enhance your consistency by offering the best results of the practice.
3. Be specific about your goals
Your goals give you motivation and when you’re motivated you’re likely to follow a set of rules.
When you’re setting up your morning yoga routine, you must set a goal that you want to achieve in a short period of time (2 to 3 weeks). For example, with yoga, you want to reduce stress, increase concentration, gain strength, and flexibility, or lose weight.
Once you decide on your goal, then start researching which yoga would be best suited to achieve your goals. There are various forms of yoga and you can select the one that you think is most suitable for your purpose. For example, if your aim is to gain strength and flexibility then a dynamic style like Vinyasa Yoga would be good for you. If your focus is on knowing body postures basics and beginner yoga, then you can choose from Iyengar or Hatha Yoga style.
Taking a class with a trained instructor is the best start if you wish to continue the morning yogic routine. It will set you up with the necessary knowledge and ask for your commitment to that subject.
4. Start with easy
We start with the primary school and not just directly appear for high school. Similarly, when you are beginning your yoga practice, remember to keep it simple and doable. Sometimes higher goals than the goals we can actually achieve don’t help. It can quickly drain our motivation and put us back in bed again.
So, start with the simplest practices like basic asanas, surya namaskara or simple pranayama exercises. As you find stability in the easy practices, you can move to the intermediate level practices. However, the beginning can only result in persisting if you start with simple and slowly progress ahead.
5. keep It Interesting
Monotonous are the things that cause demotivation and then boredom. To refrain from any feeling that keeps you away from the morning yoga practice, you should combine different styles of yogic practices together. Try to include the loosening exercises, breathing exercises, and various postures like standing, sitting, prone, and supine.
Suryanamaskaras is the most dynamic exercise that you can include in your daily morning yoga routine. It include a combination of various types of asanas that will influence every part of your body. Making your morning routine full of energetic as well as dynamic practices will surely motivate you for the next day and every day.
6. Know the yogic rules
Most people misunderstood yoga as a mere physical or mental practice. By knowing yoga in the real sense, you will realize it’s not just a set of practices you do on a mat but a complete lifestyle regime.
It’s important for a beginner to know the ethical and moral rules of yoga, known as Yamas and Niyamas, so they can relate the practice to their lifestyle. It tells the practitioner about how our behaviour should be others or for society and how we should take care of ourselves.
Why it becomes important to know the yogic rules for consistent practice is because it has many elements which you incorporate into your lifestyle as a habit. For example, Shaucha – the first of five Niyamas tells the importance of cleanliness in yoga practice. On knowing this you truly understand why it’s advised to empty your stomach before yoga practice.
After the night’s sleep, your digestive system has completed its function by excreting the waste. After this, do not eat anything until about half an hour after your workout. You can drink water, but remember to avoid eating anything solid before yoga.
7. Keep your mind calm
As we saw, early morning is the best time to practice yoga as we are relaxed from the night’s sleep and very few thoughts that can bother us. So, before you move to exercise, sit calmly with closed eyes. Make sure your mind is clear and prepared for the joyful yoga session.
A calm mind stores better knowledge and helps our system to contemplate more. Thus, ensure you are fully awake with a positive attitude before you move to practice. Take a few deep breaths, closing your eyes, resolute for the day and the days to come after and begin your yogic practice.
8. Sleep on time
More than the duration, the quality of your sleep is most important if you plan to wake up early in the morning. For this, one thing you must keep in mind is to sleep on time and sleep peacefully. You must have your meals at least 3-4 hours before you go to bed, as digestion needs to be completed before you lie down.
Before sleeping, try to recollect your experiences of the day. Visit the positive memories, good deeds, and good plans you are going to achieve the next day. If you sleep with a feeling of gratitude and optimism, the quality of sleep will surely increase. And when this one system falls into place, your sleep will be completed in time and you can get up feeling fresh.
9. Be positively prepared for getting up
Waking up to the alarm and actually coming out of the bed is the most challenging task, especially for beginners. So, take a moment before you get out of bed. Think of the good things that getting up is going to bring you.
Yoga Gurus often suggest rubbing both hands together and placing them on your eyes when you get up. It creates instant energy in your body and makes you awake and aware. Placing the warm hands on your face fills your wakefulness with energy and you are fresh to come out of the bed to your yoga mat.
10. Think of higher benefits
Whenever you feel stuck at any level of the yogic practice or feel demotivated or lazy, try to remember the higher benefits you can get with it. Maintain the thought that you are going the right way, doing the right thing. If you keep yourself surrounded by the activities that enhance your motivation to do yoga, you can do it better.
There is always a possibility of stepping down from the good path, as our mind plays tricks on us. So, start by first appreciating yourself for getting up, maintaining a catalogue of your progress each day, thinking of the greater benefits and eventually bringing consistency in your practice.
Consistency is a very important part of any job. And more than that what is important is to begin, rehearse and rehearse until it becomes a habit. Good habits take time to integrate with our routine. But if you are resolute on the good stuff and you are convinced of its greater advantages of it, you will make it happen no matter what.
So, gear up for the next day with lots and lots of positivity, give yourself a chance to leave the morning laziness and go to your yoga mat. Because your mat is the place that is going to prepare you for all the things in your life, physically and mentally. More power to you and your mat!