How to start a morning yoga practice

seated yoga twist

Do you love the idea of rolling out your mat in the morning for a yoga practice, but find in reality it doesn’t actually happen?

Maybe you’re not a morning person and prefer to hit the snooze button. Or perhaps there are little people at home who need your attention first thing. Or maybe you simply don’t have the time for yoga at the beginning of your busy day.

You are not alone – I am probably unusual among yoga teachers and practitioners, in that I am not a natural early bird. Give me late night yin sessions any day of the week. And yet, when I do get up early and start my day with practice, I know I feel SO much better.

So what can you do to make your morning practice a nourishing part of your routine, rather than another thing you HAVE to do or feel guilty for not doing?

Here are some tips that have worked for me and my students in the past.

1. Try a short or live class

Mornings are busy times for most of us, and it’s not always possible to fit in a long class. It is likely to be much more achievable if you find a short yoga class under 30 mins to commit to. And if that’s live, even better. Something to show up for at a specific time can really help to keep the routine going!

2. Set up your space the night before

If possible, roll out your mat and have your props ready, laptop fully charged etc. That way, you’ll have fewer things to do in the morning and it is super easy to roll out of bed and onto your mat. (You don’t even need to change out of your PJ – no fancy yoga clothes needed!)

3. Keep a journal

Doesn’t need to be a daily essay, but maybe jot down a few words on how you feel before and after your practice, so you remember how it feels when you do include yoga in your morning. You might find it interesting to look back on what you’ve written after a few weeks of reflecting!

4. Find a supportive community

You know the saying, if you want to fast go alone, if you want to go far, go together. That applies to building a new routine too! Having the support and encouragement of a friend, practice buddy, classmates, or group chat can really help you stay motivated, and give you a boost when you are struggling. For my Rise morning yoga journey, the private Facebook group has become a supportive hub for members to share updates, reflections and inspire others on the journey.

5. Listen to your body

Sometimes, your body might need and prefer rest to movement. This isn’t about hitting any goals or targets or making yourself show up – it’s not boot camp! Let your yoga practice be a space where you treat your body with kindness and compassion. If you would benefit more from sleeping, then sleep. One of the main principles of my yoga practice and classes is, unconditional permission to rest. It’s not lazy, it’s important self care. Your yoga mat isn’t going anywhere and will be ready for you any time.

Feeling motivated to try building your morning yoga routine? Check out Rise, my 3 week yoga journey. Short classes, recordings you can keep, and a friendly and supportive community.

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