4 helpful ways to get out of bed for yoga (+ my at home yoga space)
This is me on auto-pilot:
I get up around 7 (after sleeping through my three alarms). It's usually dark still in this part of the country and I'm usually not very awake. I'm naturally a bit of a kicking-screaming-fighting-to-get-my-butt-out-of-the-comfort-of-my-bed kind of person and I won't be able to converse with anyone in anything except grunts, for at least a full 30 minutes. My hips hurt and all. I. Want. Is. Coffee.
This is me on a morning yoga kick:
I hit my alarm around 6 am and I get out of bed and roll out my mat (I used to practice right next to my bed, but these days, I practice in my garage-turned-studio). I put my space heater on right up close to my mat (because who likes to be cold early in the morning) and I get my body moving. Afterwards, I feel less achy and tired and a little more excited about what the day will bring. Whenever I get myself on this daily, am kick, life starts to feel and look a lot brighter.
Do you want to start or rededicate yourself to a morning, home yoga practice too?
Here are my 4 tips to amp up your am yoga routine:
(or what I do when I am on a morning yoga practice kick)
- Set up a yoga space
- Rework your day before
- Have a plan
- Create a ritual of You Time
Set up a yoga space
Having a place to practice has been a crucial part of keeping myself aligned with the goal of an am yoga practice. Even if it’s just a mat + small altar set up beside your bed, having a space prepared will remind you of your intention to practice and help you to get all the pieces in place to get up a little early.
All you really need is a space long enough to lay out your yoga mat. It can be right next to your bed or in another designated spot in your house. You could even create a mobile space, by putting all of the things you need in basket and carrying that to the place you want to practice. Your mat is really the only necessary thing that you need to practice, but there are a few other things that can help set your mind in yoga mode:
- a candle or some other soothing, low lighting
- music (if you like to practice to music)
- a few items that inspire you: art, pictures, flowers, etc. I have a Ganesh statue and Nourishment Yantra and a few special stones.
- You also might want to have a block or two, a blanket and a strap, just as you would at a yoga studio!
Rethink your day before
The day before your am practice will directly effect your success. For me, drinking caffeine too late in the day, eating dinner late, eating too much chocolate for dessert, and/or stay up too late, challenges my well laid plans to get up in the morning to practice yoga. So think about your day before. What can you do to assure you get to bed early enough to wake a little earlier and what can you do to help yourself get to sleep when you do go to bed. A couple of things that help me are:
- avoiding caffeine later in the day
- avoiding chocolate in the evening
- doing a little bit of breathing/pranayama before bed
- journaling before bed (to get out any of the thoughts that might keep you awake)
- putting Lavender essential oil on the bottoms of your feet and pillow
- giving yourself a foot massage (this helps to ground you and alleviate an anxious mind)
- drinking warm milk with nutmeg before bed
Have a Plan
Have a plan for what you are going to do in your morning yoga practice. If I know what I am getting out of bed for, I am 10 times more likely to get out of bed. Decide the night before what you are going to do for your practice. You could pick a sequence out of a yoga or fitness magazine or find some sequences on Pinterest or Youtube (check out my pinterest board for at home yoga practice ideas). I have also used online streaming yoga videos before. Here are a couple that I’ve used and enjoyed:
A plan helps get you out of bed, but it’s also good to be willing to let go of your plan once you are actually on your mat. For example, if your internet keeps cutting out or you are really exhausted and need a slower practice than you planned, it’s important to go with the flow and do what is right for your body and mind in that moment.
Create a Ritual of You Time
I have a lively 2 year old daughter, so as you can imagine, I don’t have a whole lot of quiet, downtime to myself. So the promise of a special time just for me has been a huge motivator in getting me out of bed these days. Inspired by Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning, I created a series of morning rituals for myself that help satisfy my soul, my body and bring my mind into a prime position to start the day. My morning ritual includes:
- Morning Pages with a cup of hot lemon water
- A few minutes of pranayama/breathing exercises
- Yoga practice
- a few minutes at my altar
I don’t always get all of these pieces in everyday and actually, allowing that to be ok is a key part in my success in getting out of bed for any of it at all. Some mornings my daughter wakes up early and I only make it through part of my routine. Other days, I only have time for an abbreviated version of this routine. And that has to be ok.
Release the Drill Sargent and be your own personal soul soother.
Even 5 minutes on the mat is better than no minutes at all. Practice not perfection.