Most people can be placed into two different categories–morning people, and not-exactly-morning people. I tend to be the second, and when I was asked if I would teach a 6am yoga class, I was excited for the opportunity, but less than excited about waking up so early.
Fast forward a few months later, and I am so happy that I agreed, because 6am yoga classes are actually pretty awesome. Here are 5 reasons why you should try a 6am, or any early morning, yoga class.
1. The Sunrise
Getting up early can be tough, especially when it’s still dark outside, but there is something really awesome about starting a yoga class in the dark, and slowly seeing the sun rise and then fill the studio with sunlight–it kind of gives sun salutations a whole new meaning! Technically, according to ancient texts, yogis are supposed to practice between 4am and 6am for this very reason!
Sunsets are beautiful, but afterwards everything is dark–sunrises are way better because afterwards, everything is bright and you have your whole day ahead of you!
2. It’s a Great Start to the Day
During a yoga class, you not only release tension in your body, but often times, we can release emotional and mental distress too! How many times do you leave a yoga class feeling better than when you came? How many times does this feeling stay with you and keep you in a positive mindset for hours afterwards?
Now, imagine how your day would be if you started it with yoga. How would your commute to work change? How would getting your kids ready for school change? Not only that, but imagine how much better your body would feel throughout the day, by releasing tension first!
3. The Community
It can definitely be hard to find the motivation to get up so early and practice yoga, but luckily there are other students in the room to support and motivate you–just by being there too.
Typically, it will be a regular group of students who keep coming to 6am yoga classes; over time they become a tight-knit community that is truly happy to see one another so early in the morning. Getting out of bed and dragging yourself to class before the sun is out can be challenging, but walking into a room full of people who are happy to see you and have you practice alongside them makes it worth it.
4. Healthy Habits
Yoga encourages us to be healthy and make decisions that will cultivate a better, healthier lifestyle physically, mentally, and emotionally. When we practice yoga early in the morning we are more likely to make healthier decisions throughout our day!
Physically, we might make wiser food choices, go to bed earlier and get enough sleep, be more mindful of our posture and what we do to our bodies throughout the day, and just simply breathe a little deeper. Mentally and emotionally, we might be inspired to let go of negative thoughts towards others, let go of road rage, forgive, sort through issues with a clearer and calmer state of mind, and have a more positive outlook on the rest of our day. If you practice setting an intention during yoga class, you might find yourself going about your day with that intention in mind–truly living a more mindful lifestyle!
5. Productivity and Confidence
Any time we start our day earlier, we have the opportunity to get more done, and when we get a lot of tasks accomplished, how do we tend to feel about ourselves?
Probably pretty awesome (not to mention less stressed). Although sleeping late can feel good in the moment, when we get up earlier and get our day started sooner, we are able to accomplish so much more! When we accomplish so many tasks, we are left feeling successful, satisfied, confident, less stressed, and more likely to be organized and feel like we have everything under control, and less likely to procrastinate!
Some tips that help me wake up early to go to class (and to teach at 6am):
-Set your alarm early enough so that you won’t have to rush (and so that if you hit snooze you will still have time and not have to rush then either).
-Get clothes and what you need to get ready together the night before, so that you wake up feeling prepared and ready–no matter how sleepy you might be.
-When you wake up feeling really tired and you think about going back to sleep, remind yourself that you will feel better after doing it.
-Have enough time to eat something (and maybe have coffee too!) before you leave.
-Tell yourself that as soon as you are done, you can go back to sleep–chances are that you will feel so much better and more awake afterwards that you won’t want a nap anyway!