With the exception of the rare unicorns known as “morning people,” most of us crawl out of bed and shuffle our way to the coffee pot to start our day. However, you may want to lose the cup of joe and pick up a morning yoga practice. Practicing yoga first thing in the morning can be great for your mental, physical and spiritual health. Here are five reasons why I started integrating yoga into my morning routine:

Better Sleep

Once you make your morning yoga flow a habit, your body will get used to waking up at that specific time. This will help to regulate your circadian sleep cycles. Which we often throw out of whack by varying when we go to sleep and wake up.

Sets Your Day

If you start your day with yoga, you’re sending yourself a mental cue that taking care of yourself is important. This can help you make healthier choices throughout the rest of your day, from opting for a salad over that burger joint for lunch to heading to bed 30 minutes earlier instead of watching one last episode on Netflix.

Boosts Metabolism

Morning yoga will wake up your body and rev up your metabolism for the day. Incorporating a few twists into your morning yoga flow will also help stimulate your digestive system. Helping get rid of any bloating from last night’s dinner and setting you up to feel great. You can really kick your metabolism into high-gear if you opt for a power or heated yoga class in the AM.

Helps You Consumer Less Caffeine

If you’re trying to cut back on caffeine, practicing yoga first thing in the morning can help. Certain poses, like sun salutations, backbends and twists, can help energize you and wake you up, without any post-coffee jitters or comedown.

Boosts Focus

As you breathe through your yoga flow, you’ll be providing your brain with loads of fresh oxygen. This will help sweep away any last bits of sleepiness and increase your mental clarity for the day ahead.

If you’re not a morning person, a relaxed yoga, such as a restorative, will likely be the best option. Those who don’t struggle with sleepiness and grogginess upon waking up but want an extra jolt of energy to kick-start the day, might enjoy a sculpt- or power-oriented class. Many yoga studios offer up to four classes prior to 10:00AM. So, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of morning yoga.

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