How To Have a Good Day
Bhava Teacher Karen Byers shares with us why we all should be doing yoga in the morning. Read on for strategies and inspiration for getting yourself there. xoxoBea
“Practice in the morning makes one work better in one’s vocation.”
~ Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar.
One of the optimal times for yoga is dawn-or the first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to wake up your body, mind and spirit, and get energized for the day ahead.
There are fewer distractions in the morning, the city is quieter with much less traffic, enabling you to get where you need to be without much ado. Nice. Arrive at yoga already less stressed than having to get there after a day’s work and in rush hour traffic.
What goes on inside your body is always revealed on the surface.
The conscious breathing of yoga will clear the cobwebs from the mind, making you clearer, calmer and more alert for your day ahead. The poses will gently remove the “fuzziness” in your muscle fibers that accumulate during sleep and limit mobility. You will look fresher, younger, and brighter for having practiced in the morning. It’s a great way to bring the blood flow not only to the face, but to the entire body.
Studies have shown exercise before breakfast can combat even the worst diets. Practicing in the morning kick starts the body’s digestion so you will metabolize your food more quickly throughout the day. You will not have to worry about second helpings!
Your posture will improve; yoga makes you feel taller giving you the ability to stand up straighter and stronger throughout the rest of your day.
Yoga raises endorphins and serotonin levels; neurotransmitters which assist us in feeling less pain, stress, and improve the “3 M’s”, mood, memory and metabolism. How about starting your day with the 3 M’s in check?
The hardest part is resisting the urge to surrender to your warm cozy blankets and getting out of bed and to the studio. We all have that moment when we think it would be much easier to roll over and go back to sleep. If you are a “snooze button addict”, set your alarm across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off, you are less likely to get back in once you are out.
Though it is not possible, time seems to pass more rapidly in the early morning; the slightest deviation from normality can throw you off your planned schedule.
Since life is nothing if not chaotic, try these simple strategies to ensure that you will make it to out of the house and onto your mat:
- Roll out of bed into the shower, a sure-fire way to wake up and get moving.
- Sleep in your yoga togs they are often as comfortable as pajamas. That way you can arise, do your ablutions and go to yoga.
- Place your clothes, shoes, accessories where you can access them with little or no thought.
- Sign up in advance, you are less likely to cancel if you’ve already committed to the class.
- Have a buddy meet you; again you are more likely to come if you know someone is depending on you.
- Bring your caffeine with you in a travel cup. You can drink it on the way to class and enjoy a double charge of yoga and caffeine.
- Pack everything you need for your day ahead the night before, yes even fill your water bottles. Ready everything you think you might need. Remember it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
- Tell your family and friends about your AM practice, it will help you stay focused, you can even post on Facebook and Tweet about it the night before.
- DO NOT go near your computer in the morning, it is a time vampire. There will be plenty of time for technology after yoga class.
- If you put off your practice, there is no telling what may occur later in the day to prevent your making it to class. All day long you will know you have already gotten your yoga in. What could be better than that?
Personally, I love exercising first thing in the morning; it gets me going in a way like nothing else does. I find myself calmer and less stressed throughout the rest of my day. The physical benefits pale in comparison to what it does for my psyche, I love the early morning and enjoy waking up with the sun.
Though many mornings I am tempted to stay under the covers with my snugly-wuggly puppy, I tell myself to get up, make the start and am always grateful that I do. Yes, the first few moments are often difficult, morose and painful I want to stop after the first chatarunga. However, I know that if I give it a few more poses my mind opens up and I attain that yoga high.
We are all our own worst enemies, speaking to ourselves with such disdain and condescension some days, it is a wonder we can function. I fully admit to being an active participant in this; surrendering to self-degrading thoughts is one of the ways I packed on my “widow weight”.
Let us remember our divinity, our grace and speak to ourselves with love and compassion. Not only will it mold us into finer beings but together we can make the world a better place.
Make a start.
Make the commitment to morning yoga; you’ll be happy you did. Join me Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:30 am. We will wake up with yoga, music and joy.
Karen originally came to yoga as part of her treatment for brain cancer nearly two decades ago. Trained in the Anusara style, she loves the duality of freedom within boundaries. A former actress, singer and dancer she has survived cancer, show business and widowhood. Karen believes yoga is a tool for negotiating life’s turbulence in addition to a fitness system. By knowing there is always light inside the darkness, her sense of humor about the absurdity in life eases each situation. She relishes guiding students through discovery, laughter and enjoyment during class. Join Karen and celebrate life’s never ending chaos.