Waking up with yoga has been my favorite way to start the day ever since I began taking Janie Gibson’s 7 a.m. ‘Morning Blend’ class on Mondays and Thursdays at Yoga from the Heart. Hitting the yoga mat early in the morning first thing in the morning gives the body, mind, and spirit a super-sized wake-up call more satisfying than anything from Starbucks’ barista counter. Recently I sat down with Janie to talk about just why practicing early morning yoga gives me such a boost. Here’s what I learned:
What are the major benefits of Early Morning Meditation and Yoga?
Beginning your day with Yoga helps you set a positive tone that can follow you throughout your day. It energizes your body and leaves your mind with a sense of accomplishment that will also follow you through your day. It has been said that morning Yoga is stress prevention…and who couldn’t use that these days? As for early morning meditation, ancient Yoga philosophy says that the Amrit Vela or “time of ambrosia” (just before dawn) is a powerful time for spiritual practice. Starting the day with meditation is a natural time to set an intention for how you’d like your day to unfold. Plus, it helps you handle whatever happens that was NOT in your plans.
What inspired you to offer an early morning meditation and yoga class?
I have a busy schedule that is mentally and physically demanding. I love the early morning hours when it is quiet and serene. It is my preparation for giving my Personal Training clients and Yoga class participants my best self. Yoga from the Heart studio is a beautiful backdrop to share my love of morning practice with others who are also early risers or those who would like to begin practicing in this way.
When not teaching this class, do you do this at home?
Yes, I do this as my personal home practice as many mornings as possible. It prepares my body for the physical demands of my day. I like to read a short spiritual teaching before practicing – One of my favorites books is Journey to the Heart – Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul by Melody Beattie
Do you have recommendations of Yoga poses to do at home in early morning?
These are some of the poses that I like to include to get the energy moving and the positive thoughts flowing:
Purring Cat & Angry Cat flow to warm up the spine
Child’s pose to loosen hip and knee joints
Downward Facing Dog 3-4 times with Child’s Poses in between
Kneeling Lunge, with arms reaching up and then clasping hands behind back to stretch the front of the hips, shoulders & chest
Standing Mountain Pose creating postural awareness and grounding our bodies and minds before our day begins.
“Every morning is a fresh beginning.” Dan Custer
Author and Editor: Dianne Ochiltree is a writer and 200-hour RYT with Yoga Alliance. She is a proud graduate of the Teacher Training program at Yoga from the Heart, where she can be found teaching chair yoga in addition to her duties as Teaching Assistant for Lynn at Parkinson Place in Sarasota. Dianne is also a published children’s author. For more information on her books, go to dianneochiltree.com.