Looking to boost your clarity and energy? A morning yoga practice can provide you with these and other benefits. Practicing morning yoga is ideal for awakening the body after sleep and providing a sense of renewed purpose and intention. As an essential part of an Ayurveda morning routine or dinacharya, morning yoga offers numerous physical, mental and spiritual benefits.
Benefits of Yoga in the Morning
Ayurveda teaches us that it is beneficial for all doshas to wake up at sunrise. For most of us, this part of the day offers us quiet-time and peace. If we use this time for yoga, we can begin to see enhancements in all parts of our selves: body, mind and soul.
Benefits of Morning Yoga for the Physical Body:
- Early morning yoga stimulates the pineal gland, which excretes melatonin. This has an immediate effect on alertness and energy. Over time, regular practice can help regulate circadian sleep cycles.
- Yoga in the morning gives you the extra boost to ignite agni, digestive fire, and boost metabolism. Try adding in some twists to warm up the vital digestive organs for breakfast.
- After waking up, do you feel stiff in the shoulders or sore in the body? Yoga can ease tension and provide relief through asanas such as Anjaneyasana and/or lizard pose.
- By committing to a daily morning practice, you will strengthen the physical body and increase flexibility. The repetition of daily asana results in changes in mobility and stability.
Benefits of Morning Yoga for the Mind:
- Starting each day with a calm, focused yoga practice helps us become more resilient to the day’s stressors. Focusing and clearing our minds in the morning impacts how we interact with ourselves and others as we continue through our day.
- Morning movement also aids in mental clarity and cognitive function. This can enhance our decision-making faculties and improve our connection with our intuition.
- Yoga is known to release a variety of happiness hormones, including dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. This can help us start our day with positive feelings of warmth and goodness.
- An early morning yoga practice can also invigorate us and increase circulation to boost energy and help us move through our day with productivity and alertness.
Spiritual Benefits of Morning Yoga:
- Practicing yoga in the morning helps us know ourselves on a deeper level. Maybe you are feeling heavy in the physical body? There’s a chance your dinner has not been fully digested. Maybe you feel fatigued and sore? Perhaps you have been pushing yourself too hard. However you feel, yoga gives us a chance to reflect and understand ourselves better.
- Morning asana practice is also time for self-care. When we indulge in this form of self-love, we allow space to show up for others as well as ourselves in a more meaningful and compassionate way.
- Lastly, yoga helps us improve our body, mind and spirit connection. When we learn to sync our breath with movement, and transfer awareness from our minds to our bodies, we are reminded of our essential spiritual nature.
To achieve even greater benefits of yoga in the morning, considering taking a teaspoon of Chyawanprash before practice. Known as The Yogis Breakfast, Chyawanprash is an ancient Ayurveda remedy that offers a variety of physical, mental and spiritual benefits for yoga practice.
Building a morning yoga practice takes effort and planning until you can create a habit. The key is consistency. With time, you will become more in tune to your body and its needs that day. Whatever types of poses you practice, you will find the benefits of linking your breath to movement and stretching the muscles.
Commit to your practice and to yourself and see how your body, mind and soul can benefit!
Alexa Bull is an Ayurvedic Health Coach, Yoga Teacher and Aromatherapist based in Brooklyn.