Do you hit the snooze button on a regular basis? Do you hit it more than once a morning? Do you think I'm about to get preachy and tell you to stop that?
Well, fear not. I too hit the snooze button regularly. I always wished I was a morning person. But I'm not. I'm a night owl. I thought yoga would help reverse that trend, and turn me magically into an early riser. Not so. I still love to sleep in. And when I can't, I hit the snooze button. (Just ask my Basset Hound Elvis, who tries getting me up at 5:45a. In many ways, Elvis has become my snooze button because he whines and chides me every 8 minutes or so until I get up!)
But as you know, life is busy. So my snooze-button-loving-comrades, I have a neat little trick for you: Stumble out of bed after 2-3 snooze cycles, and over to your yoga mat. You can start your practice half asleep, and a few poses in, you'll probably feel more awake. That's my method--it really is. When you allow yourself to be sleepy, and not try to be otherwise, you have more self-compassion. You know you'll feel better after, but until then, be groggy. Breathe deep, you're on your way to waking up slowly.
Not only will you feel more awake after practicing, you'll also be more present. And this is the real beauty of morning yoga: By starting your day with yoga, you will be more mindful and in the moment. As a result, all those worries about school, work or the thousand things on your to-do list won't bog you down so much. Yoga practice clears your head at the beginning of the day, which allows you to tackle each task as you're doing it.
I find the best way to ensure I actually practice (rather than fall back asleep on my yoga mat) is to have a sequence at the ready. You can do one of our quick yoga videos, or any other video you like. Or, try the following Morning Practice sequence of 4 simple practices. It'll take you less than 15 minutes, and you'll be happy you did it:
For a quick, easy yoga practice that energizes & motivates you, try this!
1. Spinal Stretch
· Lie on your back, & bend knees into chest
· Exhale, & hug knees with arms
· Inhale, extend knees away until arms straighten
· Repeat 5 times
2. Rise & Shine Mountain Pose
· Stand in Mountain Pose, tadasana
· Inhale & extend arms to the sky
· Exhale, bring arms back down to
· Repeat 5 times
3. Awake Warrior
· Stand in Mountain Pose again
· Step right foot forward & bend right knee
· Swivel left heal down to the floor
· Inhale arms up
· Stay for 5 breaths
· Repeat on left side
4. Energizing Inhale
· Sit up tall on the floor or in a chair
· Inhale deep
· Exhale long
· Slow down the beginning of the inhale
· Slow down the beginning of the exhale
· Notice how many counts your inhale is, & let the exhale be the same
· After a few even breaths, start increase the inhale by 1-2 counts
· Repeat this for 5-10 breaths
Enjoy the clear head and calm energy that come from doing this practice. Go get ‘em, tiger!
PS: I'll be adding pictures of each of these poses. So check back later if you want the visual guide!