For even the most advanced Yogi getting your morning started can be a hassle. The idea of a morning yoga routine seems heavenly, and starting your day with good intention and peace should be easy, right?
You set your alarm for 6:00 am. The alarm goes off – now what? It’s recommended we should meditate for 10-15 minutes. You wake yourself up to sit on the floor, close your eyes and focus your breath. See the problem yet? You wake up an hour later disappointed in yourself. You set yourself up to fail before you began.
How You Can Make Yoga Part of Your Morning Routine
- Accept who you are as a person. If you a morning person, then maybe that routine will work for you. Most of us, however, are not. You are an individual who has your own needs. Yoga is an individual activity that is unique to each individual. If you are not a morning person, then meditating right out of bed is not going to work for you.
- Learn what yoga is and what it is not. There are a lot of misconceptions about yoga. Yoga is not a force that demands structures and schedules. Maybe you aren’t a “structured” person, so forcing yourself to follow a strict set of rigid rules is counterproductive. Yoga does not want to change you.
- Start small. You don’t even have to get out of bed! Begin with a few deep breaths and maybe an overhead stretch. Eventually, draw your knees to your chest. Wrap your forearms around your shins and give yourself a big hug. Take a deep inhale, bring your arms out to a T-shape and drop your knees to the right side. Gaze gently over your left arm. Hold for 20-30 seconds (or as long as you would like if it feels good), and very slowly draw your knees back into your chest. Breath deeply and repeat on the other side.
- When you are ready to rise from your bed, maybe you start with pranayama. Having a good breathing practice is the cornerstone of yoga. It is all about the breath. If you can breath, you can do yoga. You could simply start with a few steady inhales and exhales. Depending on your needs of the day, maybe you move onto something more complex, such as ujjayi breath or nadi shodhana breathing. Again, it is YOUR yoga. Honor your body.
- Let your body tell you what to do next. Maybe you move into a strong vinyasa flow or you instead make your morning trip to the bathroom. Neither of these options is wrong.
- Check back with your body. Some people will be ready for meditation before they begin a more intense physical practice. Others will prefer a physical practice prior to meditation. Occassionally you may want a meditation before and after. It is completely up to you. Honor your body.
- When you are ready to meditate, get comfortable. You don’t have to sit upright, unsupported on the hard floor. You can meditate in any position. If you choose to sit upright, sit against the wall. This takes some of the pressure off your body and allows you to focus easier on your breath. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and relax; don’t force anything. Start with small sessions of meditation. Even 3 minutes is enough to begin.
- Once your mind begins to relax, you will notice an influx of information bursting through your mind. Don’t worry. Just acknowledge the thought and send it on its way. Focusing on your breath will help keep the random thoughts from interrupting your practice.
As you can see, adding yoga into your morning routine can be very simple. Avoid overthinking. Yoga doesn’t care if you follow a strict schedule. It doesn’t care if your pose doesn’t look like people on social media. Yoga loves and accepts you for you are, regardless of your morning routine.