An early morning yoga practice may feel daunting and unappealing (especially for the non-morning folks), but it’s an excellent way to begin your day. So, how can you make yoga part of your morning routine? Here are some recommendations for breathwork, meditation, and yoga asana, so you can connect inward, reap the benefits of the practice optimally, and energize yourself for the day ahead.

Start With An Intention

Intentions allow you to draw your attention in, and when we focus on something, it quiets the noise and distractions. Establish what you’d like to bring into the day. It can be general, such as loving-kindness towards everyone or to feel good within yourself, or you can focus on more specific goals, such as generating courage in your voice for a tough conversation.

Whatever you’d like to focus on throughout your day, or even just your yoga practice, call attention to it now and speak it out loud to declare it to the universe. You may try these affirmations as you intention:

  • I am love and clarity.
  • My day will be balanced and peaceful.
  • I intend to move through my day with grace.
  • I am full of energy.
  • Loving-kindness radiates from me.
  • I am grounded and connected.

Practice Breathwork

Breathwork, or pranayama, is considered an essential part of one’s yoga practice and is a powerful way to start your early morning yoga practice. One of the most energizing pranayama exercises is Kapalabhati, which is high-frequency yoga breathing. This breathing technique increases oxygen and prana flow to enhance cognitive functioning, sharpen focus, and reduce stress.

To practice Kapalabhati, sit with your back and neck erect. Then, inhale through both nostrils and exhale rapidly by flapping the abdomen during each exhalation at a pace of 60-120 breaths/minute.

Meditate for Peace

Morning meditation is an act of self-love that helps you ground within your energy before giving your power out to the rest of the world. Thus, meditation leads to a stronger sense of self and wellbeing. 

By becoming aware of our thoughts and observing them first thing in the morning, we prevent ourselves from getting caught up in analyzing the past or planning the future, and instead, are able to tap into a state of peace. The cultivation of this peace can help us retain our energy throughout the day so that we can live a vibrant life!

Roll Out Your Mat

Movement completes this early morning yoga routine by getting rid of the fuzz, brain fog, and stagnation built up in the body while sleeping. Moving your body involves cellular movement and, therefore, oxygenation. Your body reinvigorates when your cells refresh oxygen levels. So by practicing yoga asana in the morning, you’re further inviting fresh oxygen into your cells and energizing your whole being! 

Traditionally, Surya Namaskar (sun salutations) is performed at sunrise to salute the sun and new day. This traditional practice syncs us with the rhythms of Nature, and thus by practicing when the sun rises, we also tap into our natural rhythm. Aligning with the natural rhythms of the day is an Ayurvedic practice to find balance. 

Your morning yoga practice can be a few Sun Salutations or a more extended sequence, depending on the time of year. Either way, you’ll feel fresher, lighter, and more awake! Below is a short sequence of poses that can be done as individual poses or a series to energize your body, mind, and soul.

  • Sun Salutation A (3-5 rounds)
  • Cat / cow
  • Chair
  • Eagle (right and left side)
  • Downward dog
  • Warrior 1
  • Warrior 2
  • Bow
  • Boat
  • Bridge pose
  • Savasana

Replenish and Complete the Rest of Your Morning Routine

Little is better for you than replenishing yourself with rejuvenating nutrients after an early morning yoga practice. After cultivating vigor and energy through your intention, breathwork, meditation, and yoga asana, nourish the body further with a rasayana such as Chyawanprash.

Chyawanprash is an ancient Ayurvedic breakfast recipe filled with a nutritional powerhouse of ingredients. It is the ideal boost to cleanse and rejuvenate your system. It also helps elevate your meditation and yoga practice. 

As part of an Ayurvedic daily routine, we recommend taking 1-2 tsp of PIOR Living Chyawanprash each morning before yoga to boost your mood, enhance your circulatory and respiratory systems, regulate your digestion, stimulate immunity, and sharpen clarity. You can follow this up by adding 1 tsp of Ghruta ghee to your tea or coffee for improved metabolism, focus, and energy.

Clare Michalik, Ayurvedic Practitioner, @Clareminded 

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