Why I do yoga in the mornings and MY rules for doing yoga in the mornings

“Early to bed and early to rise makes man healthy, wealthy and wise”

 is a universal adage
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Morning Yoga

Every since starting yoga and experiencing all the unbelievable and uplifting benefits that yoga can hold, I’ve tried to make a point of doing it once or twice a day. However, this year I’ve been trying to do yoga a lot more, 2-3 times a day, sometimes even four. But my main goal is to do yoga every morning.

Why? You may ask. Well for me it’s simple.

It makes me feel less anxious and throughout the day. I find that if I can burn a certain amount of energy in the morning, I have a better handle, a better control over my anxiety and depression. I feel like I’m able to push the bad away easier, making it near impossible to attack me.

I did say near impossible.

Doing yoga in the morning hasn’t cured me of my depression or my anxiety but it has helped me gain more confidence in my control over it, I feel as though I have been given a new tool in life to help and now all I want to do is take full advantage!

But I still have to remember to pace myself, not just because for most of my life I have lived the life of a slob but also because of my eating disorder. When I say slob, I mean when I was able to bring to myself to eat something it was usually a piece of chocolate, or a piece of pizza, crisps, more chocolate, ice-cream, and basically everything you are warned not to eat a lot of due to health problems in the future. I despite my “pig outs” when I could, I was still extremely under weight, I still am.

And so because of that I have made a few rules up for myself to follow when doing my yoga practice, which are the following:

No breakfast? Then no yoga!

Breakfast - breakfast cereal - cereal
Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast has always been a BIG no, no for me. Mainly because for five years of my life I spent every single morning with my head down the toilet throwing up stomach acid due to the emptiness of my belly contents and not only by then was food FAR off my mind, but I also believed that food would make me feel worse.

I’m honestly amazed at how untrue that is! I only eat (not every morning, it’s still a work in progress) small things in the morning, such as; A yogurt, a bowl of fruit, yogurt and a bowl of fruit, half a bowl of cereal or what I usually ended up eating more than anything else for breakfast, a banana.

When having a banana before yoga, I notice that my muscle are more relaxed, and are easily to bend and sway to my will. Stretching has become a breeze! I also notice I have lot more energy to hold myself up in certain positions and throughout the day. My moods are usually a little higher and I feel the control that my anxiety and depression have over me slip slightly.

I know a lot of people like to do yoga on an empty stomach but again due to my issues, I get more benefits when I before than I do when I try doing yoga on an empty stomach.

TAKE BREAKS!

yoga break
yoga break

One of my problems when doing something is I like to get it DONE. Which means I really don’t like taking any breaks and the same applies with yoga but with all the energy that yoga can take up, it’s easily to quickly run yourself down.

So, now, I like to remember to throw in 5-10 minute breaks into my sessions.

And I ALWAYS take at least 10-15 second break before going into a new pose.

A lot of my breaks will consist of cuddle time with one of my cats, as I am never alone when doing yoga. I like having my cats around me when I’m doing yoga, they are great reminders that a break is always needed.

Always stretch first.

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Yoga stretches

I always make sure to stretch my body before doing yoga, with some of the poses I like to do it really helps stop any cramps from attacking.

Stretching before and after yoga practice can really benefit you and your body. It can lend a helping hand in increasing our strength and prevent a lot of injuries from occurring while doing yoga.

Not to mention that it helps loosen up your muscles and body, helping you achieve those yoga poses you are trying to achieve.

Yoga Pose
Yoga Pose

Set my self small goals.

Before I do my yoga I make sure I have my small goals in mind. My small goals I like to write up over on the weekends and try to memorise them for the rest of the week, sometimes for the whole month if I’m still not making the kind of progress I am hoping to make.

AVOID CAFFEINE

Now most people who have anxiety know this, however, if you are not aware then I’ll be happy to inform you to help you, help yourself better, that caffeine is terrible for anxiety suffers. (I’ll be writing a post on this in more depth and posting the link here once it’s available for reading).

But yeah, I now try my best to avoid tea, coffee and any caffeinated infused drinks.

Never compare myself to other fellow Yogis.

Sometimes our biggest demon is comparison. We can’t help but compare ourselves to other’s sometimes and in yoga that still stands, especially when following along with a yoga Youtube Video and comparing how more far along they are than you.

yoga -yoga poses - yoga life - yoga girl

It can make you question yourself a lot which can be both good and bad. Good, because it can give you more motivation to do it and to it more often but bad, because sometimes once that little part of your brain is switched on…it can be hard to switch it off again. You start to question if you are doing the poses right, is your breathing in line? Should I use my block, they don’t need one?

Being an overthinking, it’s hard to shut these thoughts off and so I limit myself to what videos I watch and when. There’s no point in watching a Youtube video for yoga beginners if I am going to spend most of that time focusing on questioning myself rather than focusing on what my body is doing.

And so I make a conscious effort not to let myself “fall down the rabbit hole.”

EAT AFTER or have a protein shake/ smoothie

As well as making sure I have something to eat before I do yoga, I like to make sure I have something a little more filling afterwards. Sometimes doing yoga can set off that little alarm in your body that tells me I’m hungry (Something I seriously struggle with, I don’t get many warnings that I’m hungry because my body is so used to running on nothing) and so I’ll be ABLE as well as WANTING to eat after my morning yoga practice.

I hope this post can help inspire you to take the journey that yoga has to offer and maybe some of my rules can help you!

Do you do yoga? Do you have you’re own rules? I’d love to hear about them down below in the comments. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week, and makes the most of this summer weather!

Starting Yoga

I originally looked into and started yoga last year in February. I had heard so many great things about yoga, had watch documentaries on it changing people’s lives, helping those who have been through some sort of accident that has left them in pain and unable to move as they once had. About how it’s restored people confidence in themselves.

I had also been following a really amazing and inspirational woman @Charity.grace on Instagram for a few years. Charity Grave is a certified make up artist and fitness enthusiast who is best known for her all her make up and hair tutorials on YouTube, she also shares her yoga practice and poses with her children.

Watching her Instagram and YouTube videos had really inspired me to take up yoga as well as a healthier life style and a lot of my yoga inspiration flows from her.

Now when I got into yoga I went into with one goal in mind, strength. But being so low in weight and energy I needed somewhere to begin. Something that wasn’t too physically demanding and easy on the body.

Upon doing a little research I came across Iyengar Yoga. Founded by B.K.S Iyengar and focuses on three aspects: alignment, sequencing and timing. Some of the benefits I had read where:

  • Improve physical and psychological health
  • Alleviate postural/structural problems
  • Release emotional tension
  • Increase focus and concentration
  • Increase your energy
  • Reconnect with your body and breath
  • Bring intelligence and clarity to all parts of the body and mind.

It’s great for everyone! Beginners and intermediate/advance students. I also read that it can be really good for those with injuries and need to work slowly and methodically.

Iyengar yoga’s attention to alignment and use of props to help you into the poses means that it is ideal for beginners to gain optimal alignment and it can be really therapeutic for people with postural issues.

The first year, I didn’t really take it very seriously, I won’t lie. I have never, ever had any motivation what so ever for any kind of excise. The only thing I enjoy doing in the terms of that is taking really long walks.. that’s it. So it did take me a while to get into and to notice any benefits it was providing me.

I’m not really one to take much notice of myself, it was one of the main reasons I had let my health get so low and so I didn’t start to notice anything until my family and friends spoke up and told me what they had notice. It still took me a little time to really notice anything still as I really am sceptical of anything that can help me. But when I did… it was probably one of the best feelings in the world. This was something that could actually work and help me.

So, I did EVENTUALLY notice the difference in myself, I had an appetite in the first time since I was probably a teenager, I was starting to get more energy to do things, move things and do a longer yoga practice. I went from doing 10 minutes of yoga maybe two-three times a week to doing 20 minutes and then half hour.

My main benefits have shown this year as I’ve started to take it more seriously and put a lot more work, a lot more research, time and practice into it. I still do Iyengar Yoga practise everyday (though I have stopped using my props – but I’m going to be bringing them back into my practice soon I think) but I have started to expand my yoga and I’ve started doing Restorative, Kundalini and Yin Yoga.

My little sister has decided to join me on my yoga journey this year after finding out that she’ll be needing a surgery for her scoliosis and I think with my sister doing yoga and all the talk I give my mum and other sisters about it, they too might be joining us on our yoga journey!

Here is a small list of a few yoga YouTube videos that I watch while doing yoga at home:

I’ll soon be doing a post on the different types of yoga out there available to you! As well as the benefits they can bring. I hoped you enjoyed reading today’s post!