Morning Yoga, let alone any exercise first thing in the morning can seem like a little bit of a drag, especially if you, like me, tend to take a good few hours of the day to fully wake up.
When I was first recommended morning yoga I was highly skeptical. The idea of hauling myself out of bed to salute the sun with physical exercise seemed very jarring. However, I have really grown to love my morning Yoga routine, which helps me to feel energised and focused for the rest of my day.
Having fallen in love with doing Yoga in the morning, I decided to do some research into why I have started to feel such a positive effect and whether this could be the case for other people. No surprise, it turns out if you are an early riser or can make the time, Yoga first thing can have some incredible and somewhat surprising health benefits.
Read on to discover some of the top benefits of practicing morning Yoga.
Feeling Better in Your Body
While we are fast asleep and our muscles are truly resting, the lack of movement leads to a build-up of something affectionately termed in the scientific community as ‘fuzz’. This adorably termed substance is actually a rather uncomfortable combination of layers of connective tissue and bodily fluid that can cause stiffness, chronically ‘tight’ muscles, and common aches and pains. This is often the reason you might feel like you need a really good stretch when you wake up...
Making sure that you move first thing in the morning whether through practicing a morning Yoga routine or another form of exercise you prefer will improve the physical health of your body and help you to feel better in your body throughout the day. And, on the plus side, if you are looking to cut caffeine, doing something that helps you feel energised, alive, and more awake in your body could prevent you from feeling the need to reach for that cup of coffee!
Boost Your Brainpower
Did you know that the meditative state Yoga creates can actually improve your mental focus and boost brainpower?
Just a few days of training your mind to meditate in this way has been shown to improve your attention span, focus and reasoning skills, so just imagine what practicing Yoga every morning could do for your cognitive ability!
Feel Better When You Wake Up
The mood boost that Yoga can provide is more than just wishy-washy wellness talk. As we went through in our article on The Benefits of Yoga, Yoga can have a positive impact on decreasing depression. Moreover, research by the Yoga Biomedical Trust found that 94% of participants with anxiety who specifically practiced morning yoga every day found it significantly relieved their symptoms.
Whether you are someone like me who experiences anxiety or are just looking for a way to start your day more positively, practicing Yoga in the morning will make you feel better when you wake up and beyond.
Boost Your Immune System
Making sure you get your body moving first thing in the morning kickstarts all your body’s systems and enhances the flow of your circulation for the rest of the day.
Improved circulation is vital to your health for the following three reasons:
Healthy blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, enables your lungs, heart, and muscles to function better.
Efficient circulation removes waste from the body created by different organs so all your organs are in good working shape
Better circulation means the army of disease-fighting white blood cells in your immune system are transported more efficiently around your body to make sure you stay well.
It may sound a little gross but all the bendy and stretchy movements you do in your morning Yoga routine compress and decompress your veins in a way that greatly improves your circulation and therefore boosts your immune system.
You can drink and eat all the goodness you want and but if your body can’t properly absorb, and use what you are taking in, you will see very few of the positive effects.
Muscle strengthening and circulation-boosting activities like Yoga have been proven to improve your metabolic rate. Having a healthier metabolic rate means that you are better able to digest and process the nutrients you consume leading to an overall happier, well body.
Set Your Intention for the Day
An important part of Yoga practice is setting an intention for your flow at the beginning, whether that’s to feel better about yourself, improve your physical skills or any other number of positive outcomes.
Starting with morning yoga could mean that the intention you set shapes your entire experience positively for the rest of the day.