Most of us like to have a morning routine to get our day started. Doing things in a routine manner, and waking up in a certain way, can help to get us in the right mindset for the day to come. This can include a healthy breakfast, a morning shower, even listening to a favorite song or two.
One great addition to any morning routine is yoga. While it may seem like a strange reason to set the alarm for half an hour earlier, doing yoga in the mornings can help to get your day going for a variety of reasons. The following are just three of many:
1. Yoga can calm your mind and start your day in a positive light
Yoga is an ancient practice that has been cherished for thousands of years. One of its primary benefits is its ability to center and focus the mind, thereby reducing a great deal of stress. If you feel rushed or anxious in the morning, a few yoga postures could help tremendously.
A 2004 study published in The West Indian Medical Journal examined the role of yoga in reducing stress. The study authors wrote:
“The state of the mind and that of the body are intimately related. If the mind is relaxed, the muscles in the body will also be relaxed. Stress produces a state of physical and mental tension. Yoga, developed thousands of years ago, is recognized as a form of mind-body medicine. In yoga, physical postures and breathing exercises improve muscle strength, flexibility, blood circulation and oxygen uptake as well as hormone function.”
Furthermore, the study authors added:
“Physiological benefits which follow, help yoga practitioners become more resilient to stressful conditions and reduce a variety of important risk factors for various diseases, especially cardio-respiratory diseases.”
2. Yoga supports good posture, and can keep you pain-free throughout the day
The practice of yoga is wonderful for correcting posture, and for maintaining optimal posture as well. If you have poor posture, you may experience back, neck and shoulder pain. You may also find yourself with a tension headache by the afternoon. If you practice morning yoga, you can set yourself up for good posture throughout the day.
A 2012 meta-analysis published in The Journal of Pain surveyed research on yoga’s effectiveness against pain and disabilities related to pain. The studies that were analyzed included those that covered yoga’s effect on rheumatoid arthritis, headaches and migraines. Results of the analysis showed that, “all studies reported positive effects in favor of the yoga interventions.”
The study authors concluded:
“This meta-analysis suggests that yoga is a useful supplementary approach with moderate effect sizes on pain and associated disability.”
3. Yoga can energize you, and may help fight fatigue throughout the day
Performing yoga poses in the morning can help wake you up, and leave you with a steady stream of positive energy. It may also help to fight fatigue.
A 2005 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry tested the effects of yoga and other natural remedies on “unexplained chronic fatigue.” Researchers found that practicing yoga “predicted subsequent fatigue improvement” after six months. It was found to be “most effective for subjects who did not have unclear thinking associated with the fatigue.”
The study authors wrote:
“Certain alternative therapies for unexplained chronic fatigue, especially yoga, deserve testing in randomized controlled trials.”
There are many reasons to do yoga, including the three listed above. Morning is an excellent time to do it, although other times of day can also be beneficial. There are many styles available, so you’re sure to find one that works for you! You can even do some yoga poses right from the comfort of your own bed — really!
Do you practice yoga in the morning? What benefits have you experienced?