Sunday, September 13, 2015

The importance of a morning yoga practice by Nathalie de Haaij

Good morning everyone!
I just wanted to share a beautiful article written by my friend Nathalie de Haijj about the importance of a morning practice. Nathalie de Haaij is a certified Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga teacher (Primary Series) and also a qualified Masseuse.

She will be leading the daily morning yoga practices and guided evening meditation sessions during our Bali Surf, Yoga & Wellness Retreat in January 2016.

This is a unique 10 day retreat in beautiful Bali, hosted by a professional all female team from Seasoul Shelter, MALEKAI & From Where you'd Rather Be.

More information about the retreat and dates available here. For bookings & plus info please contact info.malekai@gmail.com 

Hopefully this article will get you motivated to jump into your mat everyday!
Here you go the article!

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The importance of a morning yoga practice 

by Nathalie de Haaij



Easy steps to get you motivated and started.
Finding it hard to do your yoga practice in the morning? Here are a few good reasons, why and how you can get started!

For most people getting up in morning is just plain difficult. That extra 5 – 10 minutes in bed before getting ready for work is sacred.  The very thought of any form of movement, let alone 20 mins or 1 hour of yoga (that could potentially send you back to sleep) is often unbearable. So hitting the snooze button, usually feels like the better option.

Sure you can practice yoga any time of the day, but here is why an early bird yoga session is worth getting out of bed for:

Gets you to your mat every day
Practicing in your lunch break, or in the evening, you are less likely to cultivate a regular habit, as you will be more prone to distractions. Waking up early each morning, this is YOUR time, you give yourself.

Sets you up for the day
Morning yoga can help you set your intention(s) for the day. A combination of mediation, breathing and yoga postures, calms the mind and prepares you to handle the stresses of the day more easily.

Play by your rules
A morning yoga session, allows you to choose the length of your practice, where that be just 10 mins or a full-on 1 hour power session.  You decide, you set the standards, but you still get the practice in.


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HOW TO START A MORNING YOGA PRACTICE?
It is ALL about the preparation, wait for it…. the night before! Yes, to ensure that you actually get on that mat when you wake up, you need to make sure you have everything ready in the morning. The more prepared you are, the less likely you find excuses for not to get out of bed. Before you know it - well, we all know it takes 21 days for the habit to kick in - you will be wondering what all the fuss was all about. So here is what you need. You can do this!! : - )

Choose Your Space
Find a space that you can comfortably do your practice. Move some furniture, clear some stuff, you need to create an environment where there is plenty of room for you to move around and is free from distractions.

Start Small
Decide on the length of time you want to dedicate to your morning yoga practice. I recommend that you start doing less than what you used to eg. 10 – 15 mins, it will be easier to achieve at the start and motivate you to do it more regularly. Then slowly begin to increase the time by 5 mins until you find the length of practice that works for you.

Select A Sequence.
If you are new to yoga, then selecting an online class would be your best option to help guide you. If you are more experienced, deciding on a sequence ahead of time can help you structure your practice. You can either stick to the same sequence every day or mix it up a bit, up to you.

Handy Props
Apart from your mat, have a pillow, bolster or towel handy, in case you need them to prop yourself up on your hips or shoulders. Yoga straps, blocks and blanket are also good to have around.

Outfit Ready
Make it easy for yourself and have your clothes laid out in the morning, one less thing to think and worry about.  Remember no matter how great you think you look, your yoga outfit should be hassle free and comfortable to do your practice in. (Yoga in PJs, is not a good look).

Set The Alarm
Give yourself enough time. The worse thing is to feel that you rushing your practice, whether it is a short or long session.

Head to bed early
Try and get as many zzzz in as you can, ideally 8 hours. Not enough sleep, will make it harder to get up and do your practice. The more energy you have in the morning, the more you will get out of your practice and greater you feel for the rest of the day.

Wake up, Get On Your Mat & Practice
Well done if you managed to get this far. With all that preparation, this would be easy- peasy! Embrace the morning and enjoy your practice!



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