Rise & Shine Yoga at The 224

Early Morning Yoga Regulates Your Sleep Rhythm & Balance Your Hormones-

Once you make practicing yoga in the morning a habit, your body becomes accustomed to getting up at the same time each day. This means you will awake feeling more energized and alert. While practicing yoga, the attention to breathing, meditation, and Asana has a positive effect on the endocrine system, which is responsible for long-term body maintenance. The endocrine system uses glands and hormones, to help keep you balanced. Certain yoga poses stimulate the pineal gland which excretes the melatonin hormone that regulates sleep patterns. As you regulate your circadian sleep cycles, the feeling of confusion upon awakening from sleep (due to widely changing sleep times) starts to disappear.

Early Morning Yoga Helps to Build a Healthy, Consistent Routine-

Studies have shown that 90% of those who exercise regularly, as in more than three times a week, are morning practitioners.  Having an established morning routine, encourages you to stick with it. Most of us live busy lives, and our time is valuable. It is understandably tough to fit in a yoga class during your busy day, and by the evening, things may come up that prevent you from practicing, or you're just feeling too tired.  Doing your practice first thing in the morning provides outstanding relief. Just imagine having your yoga practice and your exercise completely done with before 8 am! The feeling of self-empowerment that comes from being disciplined in your routine, brings increased mental strength into other areas of your life as well. Early morning yoga can help to build a healthy, consistent routine to your yoga practice.

Early morning yoga may boost your metabolism-

Practicing yoga early in the morning will warm up your digestive system and help nutrients move more easily through the body, causing it to metabolize carbs and fats more quickly. We know how amazing twists can be for wringing out the digestive system and invigorating our vital organs. Practicing these Asanas first thing in the morning, can awaken our bellies, easing any morning aches and pains. 

Early Morning Yoga is a Great Caffeine Alternative-

The specific type of breathing done during your early morning yoga practice, stimulates your entire body and mind.  All of that fresh oxygen helps wake up the brain, and it can feel like a jolt of caffeine; yet unlike coffee or tea, the energy boost you feel from deep pranayama breathing lasts all day long!  Early morning yoga helps you to feel more energized, yet grounded at the same time, thus helping you to accomplish more and be more productive during the day. Even on the days when I feel a little tired or less energy upon waking up, that certainly always changes after my hour long morning yoga practice.  You start to feel alive, with clarity and purpose, and you go about your day with absolutely no caffeine required!

Morning stretching prevents injury and achiness throughout the day-

Yoga lengthens and stretches our tight bodies, preparing us for all movement throughout the day. For those of us that sit at a desk, yoga poses in the morning counter those hours we spend sedentary. Yoga increases spinal flexibility and encourages better posture. The poses we hold when we first wake up, will set our muscle memory into effect for standing taller and walking easier as the day progresses.

Rev. Dr. Shelley D. Best

At the end of every group practice we sit in a comfortable seated postition and bow to those who are in class with us by saying, "Namaste."  The light in me honors the light in you.  Imagine the power of seeing the light of God in every person you meet.  It is about being present in the pressence of God recoginzing that pressence is in you and that presence is in everyone around you.

Amma the Hugging Saint

I met Amma, "The Hugging Saint," just before my 50th birthday when I arrived at her ashram Amritapuri in Kerala, India.  She is now in her 60's but she is a highly spirited and spiritual leader who knows what it is to make something from nothing.  She has taught me the importance of being present in the moment and embodying my ministry.

Who says round women can't?

This is how I first came to learn about the awesomeness of Diane Bondy.  Body confidence and self-acceptance are topics that have grown in popularity over recent years. Why? The fact of the matter is that our world is still filled with stigma, stereotypes and unrealistic expectations. It's time to reclaim power from a society that thinks we should look or act a certain way based on our appearance.

Yoga for All

In the picture are two of my SheRoes, Diane Bondy and Amber Karnes. They are the founders of Yoga for All Teacher training.  I am currently finishing my training with them so I will know how to better reach my round students.  One of the benefits of my yoga practice has been the acceptance of my own body.  For so many years my inner playlist was comprised of comments about what was wrong with me.  I've always been a round brown female but I have lived for many years with a lack of acceptance for my body and shape.  Thanks to yoga I live with appreciation for all God has given me.