Yoga can be a great way to start your day. It can help you treat insomnia and stress while offering relaxation and gentle way to wake up, especially if you start while you're still in bed. Although it can be a challenge to make time for yoga in the morning, it is possible and worth waking up early for.
How meditation and yoga can help you sleep better
Insomnia can be caused by issues with stress, mental health, or physical health. But yoga can help you relieve the stress, worry, and anxiety that may keep you up at night.
Yoga, especially when paired with mindfulness meditation, can trigger the relaxation response. When you experience this response, you have reduced physical and psychological stress. Your brain wave patterns slow down, blood pressure is lowered, and you experience a decrease in your heart rate and muscle tension.
Using yoga to trigger the relaxation response can help you mitigate insomnia, depression and anxiety, and improve your sense of wellbeing. With regular practice, the relaxation response can counteract the effect of stress on your body with anti-oxidation and anti-inflammatory changes. Reducing stress, mental distress, and promoting physical relaxation can help you sleep better at night - and feel better during the day.
Challenges and benefits of early morning yoga
Early morning yoga sessions can be a refreshing and energising way to wake up. The session can give you something to look forward to, with added motivation to get out of bed and start your day in a peaceful and centred activity.
Starting your day with yoga can be physically and mentally stimulating. It gives you a chance to move your body before the day really begins, and you can work out stiffness and pain that has developed overnight.
Yoga at night can help you feel better prepared for sleep. However, yoga in the morning can set the tone for a more relaxed day overall, reducing stress not just at night before sleep but throughout the day.
While early morning yoga has its benefits, it is not without drawbacks. Many people find it difficult to wake up early enough. Some may even be tempted to sacrifice sleep to squeeze in a routine, which is not beneficial. It can be difficult not only to get up on time, but to find the motivation for physical activity early in the morning. However, it is possible to reap the benefits without losing sleep.
Making sleep and morning self-care a priority
Commit to a consistent early yoga routine. It's more difficult to wake up for early morning yoga if you don't do it on a regular basis. Waking up early for yoga occasionally may be a nice treat sometimes, but a regular commitment makes it a habit that's easier to repeat. Create a regular schedule for early morning yoga, repeating it daily or three to four times a week so that you can maintain consistency. It's much easier to get up early in the morning if you typically wake up at the same time each day, and repeat the same activities.
Get to bed on time, every time. You can't wake up early for yoga if you don't go to bed early. Plan ahead and determine what time you need to wake up so you'll have enough room in your morning for yoga, then count backward, giving yourself seven to nine hours to sleep before that.
Prepare for your early morning yoga session at night. Before you go to bed, get in the mindset that you'll be getting up early to practice yoga. Prepare by setting out your clothes, mat, or bag so you'll be ready to simply get out of bed and get started with yoga. This will mentally prepare you for your morning session, and reduce the difficulty of getting started with yoga in the morning.
Start your session in bed. If you're having trouble finding the motivation you need to actually get out of bed for yoga, don't. Consider simple poses you can do in bed as you're just waking up. You can do your entire session in bed, or just a few to get the ball rolling and help you shake off sleepiness before continuing with a full yoga routine.
Push through, even if you're tired. If you're feeling sleepy and not quite ready for a full routine, don't push yourself to do poses you're not ready for. But you should do easy poses in a softer style of yoga, simply to maintain consistency and help energise your body in the morning. When you're tired, you're at risk of injuring yourself if you push too hard, so a softer style of yoga routine can help you stay safe while maintaining a regular yoga routine.