5 Ways to Create an Inspiring Morning Yoga Practice
1. Set up an inviting, warm space.
Whether your space includes an altar, candles, gentle music, or dim lighting, create an environment that makes you feel comfortable and at ease. When I arrive in a new city, I do whatever I can to set up my practice space – to make it feel like home. I set up my personal altar in a new bedroom each week, but it always carries the same energy regardless of location.
2. Check in with yourself upon waking up.
How is your body feeling? Where is your mind wandering? Do you need movement, stillness, or a combination of both? Ask yourself: what do I need right here, right now?
3. Hold yourself accountable.
For example, I know that my meditations are much more powerful after I’ve moved through an asana practice. I also know that I feel and function better when I meditate, so I commit to at least 12 minutes of meditation in the morning, no matter what.
4. Turn your phone off or set to “do not disturb.”
It’s very easy to jump right into work mode upon waking. This one can be a struggle for me. But, when I do this, I am able to show up much more intentionally both in work and relationships.
5. Remember that your practice doesn’t have to “look” a certain way.
So much about yoga is learning about ourselves and our needs. There is no “right” way to do this. There is only what feels right for you. The work is to honor those needs, and stay consistent in your efforts to nurture them.
Suggestions for a Morning Sequence
- Start with Sookshma Vyāyām
- Boost your energy levels with a couple of Breathing Exercises
- Take a few grounding breaths in Bālasana before making your way to hands and knees.
- Begin to link simple movements with the breath, moving through 5-10 rounds of Majariāsana
- If it feels desirable, add in some hip and neck circles before pressing back into Adhomukh Shvānāsana.
- After a few rounds, Walk your hands to the back of the mat and align them with your feet
- Take an easy elephant trunk curl to release any tension in the neck.
- Slowly walk your way back to the top of the mat to prepare for 3-5 rounds of Surya Namaskār
- Prepare for Shavāsana
- Spend 5-20 minutes in seated Dhyana