Conscious awareness begins as soon as you wake up in the morning. Can you remember what your first thought of the day was? Or did your mind go straight into forming your to-do list? Perhaps you drifted in and out of consciousness as you hit the snooze button to avoid waking up? It’s a no-brainer that doing some exercise in the morning will set you up for the day. Getting the body moving is so important for your physical health, but research has shown that it’s just as important for your mental health. As we are now entering a new lockdown we are also entering a new year, so to boost your mood as well as your blood flow, this might be the perfect time to create a morning Yoga ritual.
Mornings are great when you have time on your hands such as when you’re on holiday or when the sun rises early – life feels full of promise and possibilities. Those who practise Yoga in the mornings get that special morning vibe everyday by flowing through sun salutations, waking up the spine through the six directions of movement, building physical strength and finding a connection to their life force via the breath. They are those people you meet who are brimming with energy all day long. But let’s be honest, mornings can be chaotic for many of us! Creating a morning Yoga ritual means waking up early: giving yourself time to prepare for the class, allowing time after your practice to eat a healthy breakfast before starting work and overall, not feeling rushed.
Try having a moment of stillness and quiet when you first wake up, this is really important. Throughout the day you will be bombarded with information in some form or another and this constant distraction is addictive, so avoid seeking stimulus when you first wake up and just allow yourself to be. For us our morning ritual means setting our alarm so we get up before our daughter, allowing us 30-60 minutes of quiet time before the hustle and bustle of family life begins. It depends on the day but if we’re not teaching we use this time either to read, talk, write, meditate or just sit and watch the birds out of the window.
Once you’ve decided you’re going to do the morning Yoga classes you must set yourself up for success – have what you need beforehand so you can jump right into your practice, and make sure you get plenty of sleep. While we’re doing the online classes, it is helpful to choose a specific place in your house that you can use every morning for your Yoga practice.
Consistency forms a habit. A couple of weeks won’t be life-changing. You need to do it regularly. Try writing down the excuses your mind comes up with for not sticking to it and feel good about overcoming them. Setting aside a rest day every now and then is fine but plan it ahead of time rather than waking up and deciding there and then that you can’t be bothered. If you continually skip your morning practice it’ll fall lower and lower on your priority list, so keep going until it becomes habitual. Be open to the distractions of other people and pets that you live with as they aren’t going away any time soon, just keep doing your thing as you harness the energy of the morning to prepare yourself for the day ahead.