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!

Coping with Anxiety Outside

Anxiety is something that has taken over and ruled my life from a very young age, I’ve tried many methods to rid myself of it or lesson the effects and hold that it has on me. There was a time I wasn’t able to leave my house, frozen by anxiety with even the thought of going near a door that lead to the outside world, loosing friends, feeding my depression and making my health both mental and physically terrible.

I’m so happy to say that’s no longer my life. I still suffer from sever anxiety and depression but I am now able to leave the house from time to time for shopping, going out somewhere with my boyfriend and friends, I’m now able to do what I used to love doing most when I was a child (beside climbing and writing), taking walks through nature and exploring old area’s. I know have some control back over my life.

Some techniques have worked where other have failed, none of them have be able to rid me of this however a few techniques have helped me through the worst of my anxiety.

I thought I’d ask the wonderful people on twitter what tricks/ techniques they use to help deal or cope with their anxiety while outside and here were they responses:

Exposure therapy. Smelling lavender oil. I have pills if it gets really bad but my goal is to never have to take them again. – @girl_importance

Oftentimes I’m anxious about failure and disappointment. I tell myself it’s okay if I fail, or if I mess up. Life is too short to be distracted from happiness by success/failure. I have to keep reminding myself to be present with myself, or else I’m quick to forget. – @AGPetersen2

Diaphragmatic breathing. –@MorbidParamour

I use Rescue Remedy. I wrote a post about it. – @Imdatgirlx (CLICK HERE to be directed to her post on Rescue Remedy)

I now feel better, but I suffered PTSD and… the only way I found was to write…It did help. – @KaceyKells

When I start overthinking everything on the earth in my life I take a nap. Not the best advice for serious anxiety but it’s like a little reset button. – @AllieVegas

Make sure I always have some backup little things to ground me. Peppermint, soft-mints, eg, which helps calm guts going into hyper-drive when I’m getting anxious. And I feel an attack coming on, have some safe place songs on my phone & quick free flow writing on my phone notepad. So a lot of stupid little things like that really. So if you have anything you make a routine out of when recovering from an anxiety attack, make a portable equivalent. Also recinnebd Fearne Cotton’s Calm book. There’s techniques in there that have been life changing for me! @Chromosoner

I always found that asking myself this question help to disrupt the anxious thoughts and get you back to being present when you can enjoy the day you’re having. ‘What, at this moment, is lack?’ Think about it deeply and look around at what you’re doing. Bonus tip; Write ‘NOW’ in biro on your finger or hand. Then every time you see it throughout the day, you’ll be reminded to ask the question. –
@_mikearnold

I have started using breathing to help control my anxiety. 4 Seconds in, 7 seconds hold and 8 seconds out. I repeat that until I begin to feel better. It works sometimes, other times it’s a struggle. – @Nyxiesnook

Deep breathing to keep calm – @PagePlacePlate

Trace The image of a square in your head. Breath in for 4 second as you are imagining drawing the top line of the square, hold your breath for 4 seconds as you trace the vertical line down, release breath for 4 as you trace the bottom horizontal line, then hold for 4 seconds. – @Katyroseblogs

I find relaxation helps but mainly practised indoors and regularly to start with. Mindfulness also helps, in my experience. – @Steheadspace

Yoga, Music, Aromatherapy, muscle relaxation. – @Just_Jess_18

My way of coping with my anxiety disorder was to stop fighting my intrusive thoughts and just allow them to run their course. They lost a lot of power over me once I started doing that. – @UnwantedLife_Me

Breaking everything up into time chunks helps me a bunch. – @Valkyriesblog

I would count as many things that I could see that were a specific colour, so how many things can I see, something blue etc. – @RebeccaJGibson

Deep breathing. Affirmations. Visual boards (on my phone/online) – @adwaita_one

Stopping and looking into the distance for something like a tree and then gazing at it with soft eyes and notice what you can see to left and right of the tree without moving your eyes to focus on them. It’s a great technique and distracts you. – @Vampybear

Click their user names to be directed straight to their twitter accounts!

(Click here to be directed to the YouTube video) I really like this GIF to help. – @PagePlacePlate

For me I haven’t been able to find anything that really works for me. I still struggle to leave the house, I’m always with a friend, family member or I usually have my boyfriend by my side talking me through any anxiety attacks that I may get when being outside. He has helped in teaching me to control my breathing at times for the short period of times I am outside on my own for whatever reason so I don’t go into a panic attack.

I also use the Alphabet to control my anxiety during those rare moments I am out alone, repeatedly going through the alphabet in my head until I reach my destination. And I count my step when walking or try thinking about the book I’m currently reading, I try and do anything I can think of that can help take my mind off being outside.

I hope that these tips from other’s who suffer anxiety can maybe help you from time to time. Remember that everyone anxiety levels are different, sometimes it worse for others where it isn’t for some. And not every tip or trick is going to help you, everyone is different and what works for some people may not work for others. That doesn’t mean you are worse off, or can’t be helped. It just means you need to keep trying out different technique that can help you.

If there is anything you’d like to add or have something that wasn’t mention on here please leave it in the comments below, I’d love to hear what helps you! I will also be doing a follow up post on this, adding in any new comments/techniques that you leave in the comment section.

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