I have to admit, I’m not a morning person. I hit the snooze button more than a few times every morning (it’s my own special way to get even with my snoring husband). It takes me a while to get functioning, and please don’t try to strike up a conversation with me until I’ve had at least one cup of coffee (my mother still doesn’t get this). Once I do get going, I tend to get my best work done in the morning, but doing any form of physical activity before noon has virtually no appeal to me.
I have worked out in the morning a few times and have always loved the way it got my blood pumping and how great I felt all day as a result. But do I drag myself out of bed early enough to make it a regular practice before work? Uh, no!
Last week I was leaving to go out of town and was thinking about how much I would miss my evening yoga classes at Lifesource Yoga, so I decided to get up early and make it to the 7:30 a.m. Early Warriors Vinyasa class. There are a lot of things I want to do in the morning, but being an early-morning warrior is not high on the list. The name of the class itself almost kept me from going.
I made it to class, but let’s just say the beginning of class was not a love fest. My body wakes up tight in the morning, and it wasn’t having anything to do with those downward dogs. My energy supply seemed deficient, and I wondered if I could even make it through the class. After a few sun salutations and positive reinforcement cues from the yoga instructor, my muscles finally decided to cooperate, and I really started to get into the yoga flow. My back even started talking to me: “Hey, Maria, this is good stuff. Why don’t you get your butt out of bed every morning and do these stretches for us?”
The morning yoga experience was completely different from my evening yoga sessions. It’s hard to get that body moving at first, but once you do it feels amazing to get those muscles warmed up so early in the day. The best part of morning yoga, I think, is that you can come into class with a clear mind. All those daily distractions and to-do’s haven’t had time to rear their ugly heads yet, allowing you to be present and focus fully on your practice (unless you have a feisty back that likes to talk to you).
If you decide to give morning yoga a try, I will give you two warnings. First, make sure you eat something and drink water before you go to class, or you won’t have enough fuel to get you through. Practicing yoga will get your metabolism going, so get ready for a healthy appetite the rest of the day. Second, you’re going to have an incredible yoga high for the rest of the day.
Are you a morning yogi or an evening yogi? When do you get the best yoga high? Let me know what time of day is best for your yoga practice.
Sunrise Photo: Jefferson Noguera
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Tags: alternative medicine, back muscles, Daily Downward Dog, Downward Dog, exercise, LifeSource Yoga, Meditation, metabolism, mind-body interventions, morning person, morning yoga, my journal, spiritual practice, sun salutation, sun salutations, Vinyasa Yoga lass, Yoga, yoga flow, Yoga High, Yoga instructor, Yoga Poses