You might not even realize it, but it's pretty likely that you've adopted a quirky little habit in your morning routine: Immediately upon opening your eyes, you mindlessly start scrolling through your phone and checking notifications that accumulated overnight. Ring a bell? You're definitely not alone, but if you're trying to break your a.m. screen-staring fest, the best time to do yoga might just be right when you wake up, so you can fill your body and mind with loads of good energy, instead of jealousy, or angst, or annoyance, or anything else that scrolling through Instagram or Twitter might make you feel.
Think about it: How in the world could absorbing other people's perfectly curated lives on social media, before your brain even has time to form its own thoughts first thing in the morning, be good for your mental state in any way? Well, the answer is, it's not: Scrolling right after snoozing should never be part of your morning routine because it can make you feel completely stressed out and overwhelmed, before your day has even had a chance to begin.
Sure, your smartphone might might make you feel "connected" to the outside world, but you'll be doing wonders for your mental health if you replace your screen time with sun salutations.
For chronic sun-up scrollers, the best time to do yoga is definitely in the morning, right when you wake up. The meditative aspects of the practice will be such a refreshing replacement for the mindless media consumption you've come to distract yourself with in the a.m.
Doing yoga in the morning creates an incredibly high vibration of energy throughout your entire being that will stay with you all day long. According to LIVESTRONG, flowing through a morning yoga practice is an excellent way to begin with a totally clean, fresh slate, and "get your body ready for the day."
The combination of breath and movement meditatively soothes and centers your mind, allowing you to cultivate gratitude for the simple things in life, like your ability to inhale, exhale, and move freely. Doesn't that sound like the loveliest way to begin your day? What's more, doing yoga first thing in the morning can be a great way to remind yourself to set an intention each day, one that's centered around cultivating the productivity and mental clarity you need to accomplish all your goals for the day ahead. Does that random meme you stumbled across in the depths of your scrolling saga do any of that for you? Huh? (You don't have to answer that.)
On the physical front, if you've developed any stiffness in your muscles overnight, a morning yoga flow will easily take care of that, according to Ekhart Yoga. Plus, the outlet notes, getting some movement in before you eat breakfast will do wonders for your digestion, not to mention the energy your practice provides you with might just help you feel a little less reliant on your "non-negotiable" cup of coffee (I said "might," OK?).
And BTW, there's no rule saying you have to do a full-out yoga flow as soon as you roll out of bed in order to reap these benefits.
Your morning yoga practice can be absurdly simple; heck, it might even consist of just a single pose — which is more than enough! All that matters is that you're making a point to get on your mat with intention, breathe deeply, and stay present.
To start your day, try flowing through a few rounds of sun salutations, followed by a seated spinal twist, a gentle backbend for energy, and an inversion of some kind (like headstand or handstand) if you're feeling ~feisty~ in the a.m. If those poses feel a little too intense for first thing in the morning, simply resting in easy pose, legs-up-the-wall, or child's pose, while practicing diaphragmatic breathing, will invite so much bliss into your morning, without any added stress.
Above all, always listen to your body and give it exactly what it's asking for. Your intuition knows how you should start the day, and any time at all that you can carve out for mindfulness is sure to be better than wasting your precious morning minutes on a social feed.