How to develop an early morning practice as the mornings become colder and darker.
Let me start this post off by saying that I have never been a morning person. I am not one of those lucky souls who leaps out of bed at the crack of dawn, bright eyed and bushy tailed, without even pressing the snooze button once! On the contrary, my alarm settings look a little something like this 🙄:
Usually, it takes some time after waking up (and a coffee or two) for my mind to feel clear, my eyes to lose their sleepiness, and my voice to lose its hoarseness.
So you can imagine, it’s much harder for me to do an early morning practice than it is for me to hit the mat in the evening when I’m feeling more energetic and limber. As we enter Autumn and the mornings gradually become colder and darker, it becomes even more difficult as the prospect of remaining curled up under the warm covers is much more appealing than getting up.
But, in my opinion, an early morning practice is important and beneficial. It not only builds discipline and shows commitment to your practice, but also sets you up for a brighter, more productive day. To quote one of my favourite authors from my childhood, Lemony Snicket:
"The morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have."
Once you have actually completed your morning practice, you feel absolutely amazing, light and energetic, with a strong sense of accomplishment, despite that when you arrived into that 6.00am Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) your hips and hamstrings felt like that of the Tin Man and you wished you could just lie in Savasana already!!
So, most of us could agree we will feel better in the long run if we do a regular morning practice, but it’s still just so damn hard to start!!! The alarm goes off, and we snuggle further under the covers, hit the snooze button, and tell ourselves “I’ll start tomorrow”.
While developing an early morning practice does require a level of mental discipline, as well as a genuine dedication, there are number of little tips and tricks you can implement to help you get that yogi butt out of bed and onto the mat. Here are my top 5 tips:
1. Do absolutely everything possible to get prepared the night before so that getting out the door to yoga class in the morning is smooth sailing.
I like to set myself up so that I don’t have to think as I am getting ready. My clothes, clean underwear, shoes and socks are ready to go, my bag is ready with wallet, keys, water bottle etc. Absolutely everything you can think of! Girls, even have your hair bands, bobby pins and hairbrush ready on the bathroom counter! If you have all this stuff ready the night before, you could even be getting up to an extra 10 minutes of shut-eye!
2. Ugg boots + snuggly jacket.
During those cold Winter months, jumping out of bed into the cold morning air is may be very unappealing, but if you quickly rug up in your Uggs and cosy jacket/jumper, the early morning will be much more tolerable.
3. Play one of your favourite songs for your morning alarm.
"Oh how I love the sound of incessant beeping to wake me up in the morning" ... said no one ever! My morning song is Jack Johnson’s Bubbly Toes - soothing yet upbeat, and much more morning friendly. Just make sure you choose a song that isn't going to put you straight back to sleep!
4. Take a shower.
Even if you think it’s counterproductive to shower before working out, there’s nothing that will wake you up like water showering over you! Even if it’s just 30 seconds!
5. Get up for the love of your practice.
Remind yourself why you are waking up at the crack of dawn in the first place! Making it to morning practice is only demonstrating love and benefit to yourself, your body, your mind, your wellbeing, your life.
Each night, write a little note to place by your bedside table that says “I am getting up early for yoga tomorrow because… [enter reason]”. Mine is simply “I am getting up tomorrow morning for the love of my practice”.
I hope these tips help to get your butt out of bed and onto your mat!
Coastline Yoga runs classes at 6.00am every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Come along to share beautiful morning energy and bring vitality to your day!