Wouldn’t it be nice if you could start your day feeling refreshed and focused instead of achy and sluggish? Better yet, not needing a cup of coffee to function?
Practicing yoga first thing in the morning may be all you need. We know we know, the idea of exercising the moment you get out of bed is enough to make anyone sleep in. But the simple act of incorporating yoga into your morning routine has the power to transform your mental and physical health. Read on to learn how!
1. Sets the Tone for Your Day
When tackling multiple tasks, they say you should take care of the most important things first, and this certainly applies to your health! We’ve all had days where everything seems to go wrong, right from the moment we get out of bed. But choosing to start your day with exercise allows you to prioritize your health and set a positive tone for the day.
You started your day focusing on the most important thing (your health!) and now you can move on to the next most important task, like caring for your children, working or finishing that passion project.
2. Increases Energy Levels
If you often feel groggy, heavy or exhausted, reach for your yoga mat instead of a cup of coffee. Not only is yoga a healthy alternative to caffeine, but it stretches your muscles while giving you energy! According to Harvard Health Publishing, “Exercise can boost energy levels by raising energy-promoting neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.”
And if you’re already an avid gym-goer, incorporating yoga and stretching into your routine will shorten your recovery time and lessen soreness. Stretching out your muscles helps break down lactic acid after weightlifting or cardio (which tend to shorten muscles).
3. Improves Concentration & Self Esteem
In the study, “The Effects of Yoga and Aerobic Exercise on Concentration and Feeling-States” from Roger Williams University, yoga and aerobic exercise were proven to boost concentration. However, only yoga was proven to enhance both concentration and “mood and self-satisfaction.”
4. Stress Relief
Practicing yoga in the morning can actually help you manage stress throughout the day, especially if you incorporate meditation. Meditation is a natural way to reduce stress and practicing it regularly during yoga is a simple way to build up your stress-management arsenal. That way, when you feel stressed throughout the day, you can go back to what you learned during your morning meditation.
5. Helps You Sleep Better
Finally, yoga will help you sleep better!
The Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School conducted a study on the effects of yoga insomnia and found that sleep efficiency, total sleep time, total wake time, sleep onset latency and wake time after sleep onset were all improved just by practicing yoga daily! Plus, the 2012 National Health Interview Survey found that 55 percent of Americans who do yoga report improved sleep.
It’s safe to say that yoga can help you wake up on the right side of the bed, every day!