6 ways to get to your yoga mat in the morning
What gets you on your mat in the morning?
As a yoga retailer, I have many yoga mats - one mat is hanging by the front door folded away with blocks, eye pillow and brick, and my yoga pants ready to leave the house to go to class. That's the easy part!
My daily home practice takes more effort for me and i have often struggled to maintain a daily practice over the years. Sometimes, daily practice does not mean an asana practice but generally, I like to move my body every morning and whether that means rolling around the floor, dancing or an asana practice, these are the things that help me to get on my mat in the morning, notice what's happening in my body, mind and life, and how to transition into my day with awareness.
- My favourite oldest and worn yoga mat is laid out in my room - its not exactly a dedicated yoga space, and not very often outdoors in a stunning landscape but its enough space that I can leave it out for a daily practice so its easy to step on and start. If you don't have enough space to leave a mat out, turn the act of unrolling your mat into a ritual
- Choose a pose (posture/sequence/or breathing exercise) you love - you don't need to think about what you 'should' start with, just go with the first thing that comes to mind
- As you move into your first practie of the day, notice where you are feeling most tension or tightness - feel into some ways to warm up and move your body in any way that works for you, it doesnt' have to be 'yoga postures'. Then do the first pose again and stay with this for a numbe of breaths, say 10 breaths if that's appropriate.
- choose a posture or practice you find challenging - test it out as above, notice where you need to warm up, move around, and do it one more time. Hold the posture for 10 breaths
- Make this a daily practice - one pose you love, one you find challenging and over time, increase the number of breaths you stay there, depending on how much time you have.
- When you have finished the two poses, stop and stand/sit/lie still for a minute and notice how it makes you feel - ask yourself what you love/find challengingabout the pose. Ask yourself what it is you need today and use your intention to inform your next step - more asana, pranayama, restorative, reading, journalling, doing a good deed...and when you're ready, step off your yoga mat and into your day - treat the ground as your yoga mat.
Judy Hirsh Sampath is one of the founders and directors of Yoga United Ltd where you can find great quality yoga mats, mat bags, and props, made in the spirit of yoga.
She is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist practicing and teaching in North London and South India.
You can find Judy's details on her website http://www.yogaheadspace.co.uk