It can be difficult to get your “namaste” on in the mornings when all you really want to do is stay in bed. Good news–you can actually do both!
While the benefits of getting up in the morning and doing a few sun salutations are numerous, sometimes actually rolling out of bed feels like it’s an asana on its own. Here are some ways to practice yoga in the morning, without the pressure of getting up and going immediately:
Hit snooze: Seriously. If you feel like you need to sleep that extra 5 minutes, then DO IT. It’s your body and your mind telling you to give yourself a break this morning. In a society that values “the early bird getting the worm,” I am a firm believer of guiltless self-care and preservation. (And coffee).
Meditate right when you wake up: It’s too easy to reach for your phone or tablet and check emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…all the things, in the few blank minutes you have when you blink open your eyes in the morning. Don’t do it! Did you know that most people look at their phones before looking at their partner in the morning? It may not seem like a life-changer, but the frequent “fear of missing out” feeling that people internalize when they check social media and email in the morning can build throughout the week, making your mind and soul exhausted. When you wake up, don’t start doing business immediately. These few minutes are totally and completely yours, so use them to clear your head rather than fill it. Your soul will thank you.
Take a few minutes to cuddle your furry, four-legged friend: The deeper practice of yoga is to love yourself and thus love all the living being around you, so take the time to cuddle or play with your dog or cat in the morning. Not only will it make them feel loved, but the feeling is reciprocated, adding light to your soul. There is a ton of science behind the therapeutic power of holding puppies and kitties, so make sure you spend time with yours each day. Personally, my cat sleeps in the bed with me and actually wakes me up in the morning, so I get my cuddles in bed (which is purrrfect!)
When you are making your mental “to do today” checklist, put yourself at the top of it: Even if you are a very serene person, it is too easy to wake up and make a to-do list each day. If it feels like too much, it probably is. Take these few minutes to check in with yourself–do you want to do this task? Or are you doing it because you feel pressured from an outside source? Do you even feel well enough to do this? Or do you have a subtle migraine that you know will be at full blast by the time you get to your daughter’s hip hop class? What can you ask for help on? Or maybe, you are feeling amazing and you are so ready to tackle all the things plus more today!
Whatever it is, you need to put yourself at the top of your list. If you are cranky or tired or stressed, then it will not be fun for anyone else. Take a break. Treat yourself to that Starbucks crazy drink you have been craving. Wear yoga pants all day. Put headphones on and ignore everyone for 15 minutes. Even though life gets crazy, it is still your life and you need to make sure your body and soul know that.
Mornings are perfect. It’s the time where the past has been wiped clean and the future has not quite started. Treat yourself to your mornings and all will be well.