Guest Post From Tuck Sleep
The benefits of an early morning yoga routine make it worth working it into your schedule. Yoga can boost circulation, open the lungs, stretch muscles, and improve muscle tone, which are all benefits that can help energize you for the day.
As much as you want the health benefits associated with yoga to be part of your morning, you also want to have good sleep hygiene. Your body needs that restorative time period to stay strong and keep your mind clear throughout the day. To successfully incorporate yoga into your morning, you’ll need to adjust your sleep schedule and think outside the box.
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night. You can adjust your sleep schedule in any number of ways to still get the sleep you need while also leaving time for yoga. A few ideas to try:
- Go to Bed Early. If your yoga routine takes 15 minutes, go to bed 15 minutes earlier. Prepare yourself for your new bedtime with a good bedtime routine. You may need to do light meditation or read a book to help calm your mind the first few nights as you get used to your new schedule.
- Be Consistent. Here’s where a lot of people run into trouble. Even if you only plan to do early morning yoga three days a week, your body will respond better if you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even the days you don’t do yoga. Your body will be able to monitor its circadian rhythm better if your schedule is consistent.
- Create Optimum Sleep Conditions. The environment in which you sleep can affect the quality of your sleep even if you are getting in a good seven hours. Your mattress, room temperature, light and noise levels, sleepwear, and diet are all factors you can alter to create the best conditions for sleeping. The best place to start is to keep your room cool, dark, and quiet. You can adjust the other factors over time as you learn what helps you and what doesn’t.
Think Outside the Morning Exercise Box
Yoga presents a unique way of approaching exercise. It has many of the health benefits of more rigorous methods but also calms, soothes, and stabilizes the body so you’re ready to focus for the day.
- Prepare the Night Before. This is about more than getting your work clothes ready, which is a good idea by the way. Set up your yoga space the night before. Have your yoga mat, water, and quiet music ready so all you have to do is roll out of bed and hit the mat. Many poses can be performed next to your bed so you don’t have to travel far.
- Pose in Bed. Many people lay in bed a few extra minutes to let their mind slowly wake. With the adaptability of many yoga poses, this quiet waking time is an ideal opportunity to stretch your body while still in bed. Supine twist, reclining goddess pose, and child’s pose are only a few poses that can be done from the comfort of your bed.
- Think Meditation Not Exercise. Some people have a hard time waking up knowing they have to exercise. Yoga falls into both exercise and meditation, and for some people, meditation is easier to accept early in the morning rather than exercise. If you have a hard time waking up, do poses that help you relax yet still get you moving like legs up the wall pose, fish pose, and reclining goddess pose.
Want to learn more about beginning a yoga practice? Schedule a Yoga Therapy consultation!
This post was written by Tuck Sleep. Tuck Sleep Foundation is a community devoted to improving sleep hygiene, health and wellness through the creation and dissemination of comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources. Tuck has been featured on NPR, Lifehacker, Radiolab and is referenced by many colleges/universities and sleep organizations across the web.