Early Morning Yoga Regulates Sleep Rhythms & Balances Hormones
An early morning practice commitment motivates you to set a regular bedtime and to wake up at the same time each day. Regular bed/waking times help establish a strong circadian rhythm essential to deep, restorative sleep you can count on, night after night. Once practicing yoga in the morning becomes a habit, your body becomes accustomed to getting up at the same time each day and will begin to wake up naturally on time, without an alarm (a much more pleasant way to start the day). You will awake feeling more energized and alert, the feeling of confusion upon awakening due to widely changing sleep times disappears. While practicing yoga, the attention to breathing, meditation and asana stimulates the endocrine system, which is responsible for long-term body maintenance through glands and hormones, which helps keep your hormones balanced. Certain Bikram yoga poses stimulate the pineal gland that excretes the melatonin hormone, regulating sleep patterns as well.
Early Morning Yoga Helps to Build a Healthy, Consistent Routine
Studies have shown that 90% of those who exercise regularly, as in more than three times a week, are morning practitioners. Having an established morning routine encourages you to stick with it and the odds are in your favor for creating exercise and self-care habits that endure. Most of us live busy lives, our days are busy and time is valuable. It’s understandably tough to fit in a yoga class during your busy day and by evening distractions arise that prevent you from practicing, or you’re just feeling too tired. Practicing first thing in the morning can be such a relief — just imagine having your yoga practice and your exercise completely done before 8am! The feeling of self-empowerment that comes from being disciplined in your routine brings increased mental strength into other areas of your life as well. Health, well-being, longevity, strength, stamina and productivity are all increased.
Early Morning Yoga Creates a More Peaceful, Calm & Grounded Day
An early morning practice can help set the tone for your entire day ahead. The importance of being calm and grounded before heading out into the chaos of daily life should not be underestimated. That traffic jam, rude person, negative co-worker – that’s not a problem for you as you remember to connect with your breath, to control your breathing.
Early Morning Yoga Increases Metabolism, Allows You to Eat More That Day
This yoga helps to speed up your metabolic rate, which means that you can eat more and burn calories quicker. Practicing yoga first thing in the morning, you improve your digestion and help more nutrients move through your body. Once the body has a sufficient amount of nutrients moving through, it will begin to metabolize fats and carbs faster, which allows you to eat more.
Early Morning Yoga is a Great Caffeine Alternative
The specific type of breathing done during your early morning Bikram Method yoga practice stimulates your entire body and mind. All of that fresh oxygen helps wake up the brain and it can feel like a jolt of caffeine, yet unlike coffee or tea, the energy boost you feel from deep pranayama breathing lasts all day long! Early morning yoga helps you to feel more energized, yet grounded at the same time, thus helping you to accomplish more and be more productive during the day. Even on the days when I feel a little tired or less energy upon waking up, that certainly always changes after my hour long morning yoga practice. You start to feel alive, with clarity and purpose, and you go about your day with absolutely no caffeine required!
If you’re not an early morning person, or you have not yet tried to incorporate a consistent early morning yoga practice, I highly encourage you to give it a go. Perhaps try it out for a week, or a month, and see if you notice any of the benefits listed.
By Cassie Aitken, Hot Yoga Jupiter Director, Yoga Teacher & Global Hot Yoga Lead Teacher Trainer