Practice 10-Minute Morning Yoga For a Clearer Mind and Intentional Day
It is so commonly and correctly said that your body is a temple, so it must be true that treating your body as one makes you the god or goddess of it. It’s important that we preserve our respective temples both mentally and physically. What better way to do so than to kill two birds with one stone? Incorporating yoga into your morning routine is one of the most advantageous ways to protect your temple, and all it takes is ten minutes. Here’s how (and why) you should start your day with 10-minute morning yoga for a clearer mind and intentional day.
- Yoga is a practice that anyone can enjoy that encourages diligent, careful breathing, movement, and peace of mind.
- Morning yoga is beneficial for happy hormone release, your digestive system, muscle stiffness, mental clarity, and concentration.
- There are no prerequisites or requirements for starting yoga, and all you need to get started is your body.
Why practice morning yoga?
Starting new habits or adding fresh tasks to an already well-established morning routine can be daunting, seemingly inconveniencing, or downright unappealing if you’re a stickler for a routine like me. However, when the new habit is known to enhance mental clarity, promote relaxation, and generally make your body a more *comfortable* place to live, it can’t hurt to at least give it a try.
The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which means union. The concept behind yoga is a mind and body exercise that encourages scrupulous breathing, movement, and peace of mind. One of the many pluses of yoga is the idea that anybody, anywhere, irrespective of gender, lifestyle, or age can practice and reap the benefits.
There is no denying that we all deal with stress regularly, as no one is immune to the daily headaches and aggravations that arise in life, and unfortunately, the statistics agree. The American Institute of Stress indicates that the already high-stress levels of Americans are rapidly rising in 2022. Not to mention, we all know how it feels to jump out of bed in the mornings after pressing ‘snooze’ one too many times; waking up stressed sets the tone for equally stressful days.
10-minute morning yoga might just be the habit we all need to switch off our sympathetic “fight or flight” responses first thing in the morning and explore the benefits of the parasympathetic, peace-promoting nervous system to increase the health of our bodies and minds.
Practicing yoga has no prereqs; despite the unfair stereotypes connected to those who practice yoga, there is no need to be strong, thin, flexible, vegan, or spiritual to get started. Yoga isn’t about attaining the bragging rights of performing majestic postures. It’s about connecting with your ceaselessly conversing mind and getting in touch with your tired, aching body to take care of yourself.
Combining yoga, meditation, and intentional practices encourages a happy mind, body, and soul, and who knows? Maybe you’ll become a morning person.
The benefits of morning yoga
In order for the body to feel great and be optimally healthy, it’s critical to get moving at the start of your day. Here are some of the benefits of adding ten minutes of yoga to your morning routine.
- Setting a daily intention
At the start of most yoga classes, you’re offered the chance to set an intention for both the practice and the rest of your day. It’s basically like picking a New Year’s Resolution for the next 24 hours.
Setting daily intentions is quick and easy, and helps to keep you connected to your goals, desires, and needs. This can look like practicing patience with your mind and body, developing self-trust or confidence, or staying present throughout the day. Thankfully, these are usually much easier to keep than New Years' Resolutions.
- Getting rid of muscle stiffness
That urge you get every morning when you wake up to let out a big stretch is just itching to be satisfied via morning yoga. The urge comes from a fuzzy build-up between your muscles. Without moving and stretching it out, the “fuzz” can build up, causing chronically tight and stiff muscles, commonly accompanied by varying aches and pains. Get rid of that morning muscle stiffness for your short and long-term benefit!
- Releasing your happy hormones
Dopamine and endorphins are known to encourage feelings of happiness and positivity. Studies have linked morning mediations and stretching to increased dopamine and endorphin production, ultimately regulating moods and playing vital roles in the body’s processes. Further research shows that significant proportions of morning yoga participants with anxiety felt that it helped significantly. Yoga is a great way to ensure that you’re waking up on the right side of the bed!
- Kickstarting your digestive system
The digestive system is commonly referred to as the body’s “second brain” due to how much influence it has on the rest of the body’s systems. You can eat all the organic foods, try all the green powders, and eat all of the probiotic goodies you want, but if your body is missing the power to effectively absorb and use those nutrients, you’re missing out on the true benefits.
Morning yoga kickstarts your body’s metabolism, massaging your internal organs and causing circulation in your systems. Thus, your digestive system will work more efficiently and effectively to absorb all of the nutrients from your food.
- Boosting focus and concentration
Research has found that practicing yoga has a great impact on the neural connections in your brain, improving your ability to focus and concentrate. It has been observed that yoga can shift your attention, allowing you to better focus on purposeful tasks. Before a long day at work or school, it can’t hurt to wake up your brain and prepare it for a full day of productivity.
- Meditating for mental clarity
Yoga isn’t all about bending, stretching, and holding. Meditating, a yoga practice, is one of the best things we can do for our minds. Simply becoming aware of your thoughts (both positive and negative), rather than getting tangled in them, makes you capable of deciding if the respective thoughts are necessary, thus making it easier to tap into this idea throughout the day.
Observing your thoughts is one of the best habits to have, as it helps with calming and grounding throughout the day and has a direct influence on your actions. Personally, calmed and grounded me makes better decisions than a stressed me.
10-minute yoga videos
Despite the only thing needed for yoga is your body, getting started can be intimidating. Complicated and confusing names of poses, timing up your breathing with your movements, and trying to focus on mental clarity simultaneously? Following along with a guided yoga class can be a great place to start (and finish) if you’re new to yoga. I’ve gathered a few videos to help you get started with the new addition to your morning routine. Happy stretching!
If I haven’t mentioned enough how beneficial it is to start your day with morning yoga, Yoga With Adrienne agrees. The goal of this quick flow is to “release tension, clear the mind, and connect to what matters most.” This is the perfect way to get your day started off on the right foot.
Designed specifically for beginners, and specifically with boosting energy in mind, this yoga flow is perfect to do right when you hop out of bed. This full-body stretch will target all the pains, aches, and crooks that could have built up overnight. No props are necessary!
The comment section raves about how perfect this stretch is, especially for first thing in the morning. Release tension, stretch out your muscles, and start your day by caring for your mind and body with this quick ten-minute video.
Written by Morgan Taylor
- Photo by madison lavern on Unsplash