Whether you’re new to yoga, or a seasoned practitioner, you may be wondering when the best time to do yoga is and how you can reap the most benefits.
Including a regular asana practice into your daily life is definitely a healthy habit to maintain.
Truth is the asana practice, like meditation, benefits you every second that you are practicing, whether it’s 3am, 12pm or 7pm.
Although we all lead different lives, and while squeezing in yoga at any time of the day will always yield balance, establishing a morning routine of yoga has its own merits and complements a life of routine.
In this article, we will be referring to the third limb of yoga according to Patanjali: asana practice. We will cover these benefits of morning yoga:
- Loosens You Up, Improves Flexibility And Balance
- Stimulates Your Bodily Systems
- Stills The Mind And Cultivates Mindfulness
- Improves Your Energy Levels And Boosts Your Focus
- Establishes Self-Discipline
- Improves Your Mood
- Improves The Quality Of Your Sleep
- Sets Your Daily Intention
#1: Loosens You Up, Improves Flexibility And Balance
One of the most powerful benefits of morning yoga is that you can effectively address muscle and joint stiffness, improve blood circulation, and release accumulated fluids and connective tissues.
During sleep, our muscles experience a period of rest. However, this period of inertia in the body can lead to the sticking together of fascia (conglomerate muscle tissues) over time
As we wake up, these tissues can cause stiffness and restrict the flow of blood, leading to feelings of tightness and discomfort.
By performing yoga asanas and stretching exercises in the morning, we stimulate the muscles and joints, helping them to loosen up and promoting the proper circulation of blood.This, in turn, reduces stiffness, enhances flexibility, and alleviates any tightness or pain in the joints. Regular morning yoga routines are particularly effective in preventing the thickening of fluids and the worsening of stiffness.
This proactive approach helps to maintain the suppleness of muscles and joints, reducing the risk of developing tight muscles or experiencing joint pain throughout the day.
By incorporating yoga into our morning routine, we not only improve physical fitness but also enhance our body balance, strength, and flexibility.
The regular practice of yoga helps to build endurance, allowing us to perform yoga asanas with greater precision and ease.
#2: Stimulates Your Bodily Systems
Morning yoga is a powerful practice that can effectively enhance your bodily systems and therefore equip you with the vitality to conquer the day (and life!).
When we say bodily systems, we mean like your immune system, your digestive system and metabolism, your nervous system, and your circulatory system.
Extensive research has consistently demonstrated the interconnectedness of your gut and brain. When your body fails to absorb and digest food consumed the previous day, it can lead to various health complications and even impact your intake on the current day.
Partaking in a bit of yoga during the early hours, however, significantly amplifies the body’s metabolism, facilitating the healthy processing of your gut and digestion of essential nutrients.
Furthermore, yoga increases circulation, allowing for greater oxygen supply to the digestive organs and encouraging the secretion of digestive enzymes, thus enhancing digestion and metabolism.
Specific yoga poses, such as twists and forward bends, can also invigorate the digestive system and promote peristalsis, facilitating smoother movement of food through the digestive tract.
#3: Stills The Mind, And Cultivates Mindfulness
Engaging in morning yoga can serve as a powerful tool to foster a sense of presence and mindfulness.
Mindfulness is to be aware of what is happening, and having a collected seat of perspective in your life. You could consider asana practice as a meditative practice in mindfulness.
What happens in a yoga session? You have an intention, a reason for doing it, you engage in deep breathing, and activate your body.
It’s normal to wake up in a bit of a daze. I for one am guilty of reaching for my phone, or obsessing over coffee. These are natural, primal impulses of the monkey mind, looking for distraction and comfort.
Morning yoga can truly serve as an antidote for this, setting the tone for the remainder of the day.
Bringing awareness to our breath, postures, and the quality of these two bodily mechanisms can assist us in establishing a physiological foundation of serenity and mindfulness.
This foundation enables our mind to lean into mindfulness throughout the day.
#4: Improves Your Energy Levels And Boosts Your Focus
On top of creating a calm, mindful headspace, a morning yoga routine can give you some energetic pep throughout the day, and cement a focused mindset for the tasks of the day ahead.
As yoga practitioners, we know there is a direct relationship between the mind and body. This channel corresponds and affects each other through the link.
Linked to the stimulation of your nervous system and digestive system, morning yoga can give you a real boost in energy and ability to focus and concentrate.
This is because it has the ability to induce a calming effect, which in turn enhances mental focus and concentration.
When you regulate your breath during asana practice, for instance, your brain receives a healthy supply of oxygen.
This elevation in oxygen intake heightens your mental clarity, ensuring that you are well-equipped for your day’s tasks.
Sun salutations are a prime example of a sequence that encourages a boost to your energy.
#5: Establishes Self-Discipline
By prioritizing an act of self-care as the first thing you do in the morning, with a morning yoga practice that fosters your physical and mental well-being, and committing to it consistently, you establish a cornerstone for self-discipline in your life.
If morning yoga is the first thing you do, this habit will incentivize you to make more disciplined actions throughout your life also, we believe.
Making a commitment to regular practice, at a consistent time each day, can aid in cultivating a genuine sense of structure and self-care.
This commitment signifies placing yourself as a priority and understanding that self-discipline involves more than simply fulfilling mundane tasks.
Instead, it involves undertaking actions that prioritize your health and bring joy into your life.
#6: Improves Your Mood
Morning yoga can improve your mood for the rest of the day by literal chemical reactions in your body. Asana practice itself has been proven to release endorphins, which play a vital role in states of happiness and well-being.
Hormones such as endorphins help to regulate mood and this point is linked to point 2 in a sense, because yoga also stimulates your endocrine system, which manages the release of hormones through glands.
What do we mean by happiness? In this context, it’s about your body working effectively, alongside your mind working effectively, establishing a state of joy of living through harmony and balance.
An early morning yoga session could unravel tension in your body, helping you to feel more relaxed and buoyant in mood prior to the challenges of the upcoming day.
#7: Improves The Quality Of Your Sleep
There are multiple ways in which morning yoga can improve your sleep. Firstly, it has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety, both of which often contribute to sleep disturbances.
By engaging in morning yoga, you can begin your day with a sense of calm and tranquility, enabling you to release worries and tension that may interfere with your sleep later on.
Establishing a consistent morning yoga routine helps regulate your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm.
Your body adapts to this routine, recognizing the regularity in your waking and sleeping patterns.
By synchronizing your body’s natural rhythm with your daily activities, including morning yoga, you can improve your sleep quality by ensuring a more natural and restful transition into sleep at night.
Finally, morning yoga energizes your body and enhances balance, setting a positive tone for the day ahead.
By starting your day on a positive note, you can reduce daytime fatigue and be more alert and focused throughout the day.
This can help maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle, making it easier to fall asleep and experience a more rejuvenating sleep at night.
#8: Sets Your Daily Intention
Morning yoga benefits extend to setting intentions and infusing your day with purpose and meaning.
When you engage in a morning yoga practice, you create a dedicated time and space for self-reflection and introspection.
Through mindful movements, conscious breathing, and moments of stillness, you invite a deep sense of awareness and presence into your being.
Engaging in morning yoga provides a precious opportunity to establish a connection with your inner self and attain clarity regarding your values, desires, and aspirations.
With each mindful movement and conscious breath, you have the potential to release any external distractions or influences, allowing yourself to wholeheartedly concentrate on what holds true significance in your life.
By setting an intention during your morning yoga practice, you also consciously direct your energy and attention towards a specific purpose or quality that you want to embody throughout the day.
It could be an intention to cultivate gratitude, kindness, patience, or resilience. You choose an intention that resonates with your personal growth.
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