You’ve probably heard about the importance of a morning routine, and it’s true that starting your day off in a positive and productive way can set you up for success. But when you’re making a morning routine with yoga, it’s important to choose something that you’ll be able to stick with—even on those days when you don’t feel like doing anything at all. We recommend keeping it low-key. You don’t have to force yourself out of bed to run five miles at 5:00 a.m. in order to “earn” your breakfast (and even if you do get up that early, keep in mind that everyone else is sleeping, so no one will see your sweat). Instead, try something simple that will prepare you mentally and physically for your yoga session—something that doesn’t require any extra effort or expense on your part.
If you can’t attend a yoga studio in Bozeman or you’re feeling tired and unmotivated, there’s no excuse not to try these simple morning routines:
Practice gratefulness while still sitting in bed
Before you get out of bed, take a few minutes to reflect. Think about what you have to be grateful for in your life, and think about what you hope to do today. By taking the time to appreciate what’s good in your life and setting the tone for a positive day, you’re more likely to be in the right mindset when you get up and begin your yoga session.
Ten minutes of meditation or prayer.
Starting the day with a ten-minute meditation or prayer can calm your mind and set you up for a peaceful day. There are several apps that can help you with the process, but the key is to simply sit somewhere quiet and focus on your breath. In order to keep your mind from wandering, count your breaths (1-10), and when you get to 10, start over again. If thoughts come into your head, which they inevitably will, let them pass through like clouds floating through the sky, and then go back to counting your breaths. Even just ten minutes of this practice can help calm an anxious or busy mind, and it’s something that anybody can do.
Start your day with a few minutes of stretching. It’s the best way to get your body moving, get the blood flowing, and wake up the muscles so you can take on the day. Even if you’re not a morning person, getting up a little early to start your day with five or ten minutes of gentle stretches can be a great way to ease into your day.
A 15-minute walk in the morning sun.
Sunlight is an essential ingredient to any morning ritual, and one of the easiest ways to get a healthy dose of it is to take a walk. Exercise, in general, can do wonders for your mental wellbeing, but sunlight has its own range of benefits including building up your immune system, improving your mood, and even helping you sleep better at night. As part of your morning routine, find some time (even if it’s just 15 minutes) to go outside and get some fresh air. It’s the perfect way to start off any day.
A few minutes of deep breathing exercises.
Take a few minutes to get yourself in the right headspace for the day ahead. Start by sitting comfortably, with your back straight but not stiff. If you’re at home, turn off the TV and phone. Close your eyes and let your breath flow slowly through your nose. As you inhale, feel a cool breeze pass through your nostrils and down into your lungs.
Your lungs are two of our most important organs, so it’s easy to forget how vital they can be for our physical well-being. If we don’t breathe correctly, we can develop an irregular heartbeat that can make us feel dizzy or lightheaded as well as cause various other health problems if left untreated.
To help keep breathing exercises like this one simple while still being effective:
- Sit comfortably
- Close eyes (or use meditation techniques to focus on a single object)
- Take slow breaths through your nose (as you inhale, feel air flowing in; when you exhale, see the air flowing out).
Take it slow: Start with some gentle poses.
You probably wake up tired and groggy, so don’t dive right into an intense yoga routine first thing—it might feel good for a minute, but you’re risking injury and burning yourself out for the rest of the day. Instead, start with some gentle poses like cat-cow, walking lunges, or hip openers; these will help get your body warmed up without overstressing your joints or muscles.
After working on some stretches, take some time to add in a few minutes each day working up to more intense poses like wheel pose or crow pose that are often difficult at first. This will not only help you gradually grow stronger over time, but it will also give you an added sense of accomplishment as each pose gets easier to achieve.
Mantras to deepen your yoga practice.
As you begin to incorporate these mantras into your daily practice, remember that there is no rush. Perfection comes through repetition and dedication, so there’s no need to feel like you have to master them on day one. The more often you say them to yourself, the more meaning they’ll have for you. When you’re in a situation where you’re finding it difficult to stay present because of stress or tension, repeating one of the above mantras over and over can be incredibly helpful in centering your mind and body back on the mat.
Strengthen your yoga practice and mind by getting into a healthy morning routine
If you’re busy, it can be hard to get into the routine of a morning ritual. But even if you feel like there isn’t enough time, adding in just a couple of minutes can make a huge difference in your day and help you to remain focused and awake throughout the day. Do not just say that you are going to do something; doing so is simply not enough. You have to actually follow through with what you are saying.
Don’t get discouraged if you miss one day. If one day goes by where you didn’t practice your morning routine, don’t sweat it! Everyone has off days and just because this happened doesn’t mean that your goal is unattainable or that the benefits won’t occur over time. It may take longer than 30 days for some people, so try again tomorrow!