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5 Tips for setting up an early morning Yoga practice….(especially in Winter)

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

If you're not a morning person and struggle to get out of bed... OR you wake up with a million things on your mind, dart out of bed and get to 'work' before you've even had your first coffee, then this blog is for you!


It's also for you, if you just want to create a morning Yoga practice that sets you up for the day, helping to support your needs and emotions and perhaps leading to your day running a little smoother! Of course Yoga won't take away the challenges of life, but it can help you respond to whatever comes your way in a clear and calm way, rather than reacting suddenly and perhaps causing more harm or disturbance to yourself or others.


Your Yoga practice helps you find mental clarity & reduce physical tension, which we can be prone to during the colder seasons.


So, let's get into my 5 top tips to creating a morning Yoga practice....


  1. Warmth & Comfort! It’s never easy leaving your warm cosy bed in Winter, so making sure you have layers at the ready is essential; Jogging bottoms, thick socks, a jumper and a blanket (or dressing gown!). Along with practicing in a warm room - oil burners where you can set the timer are great as they can quickly heat up one room, are fairly energy efficient and even have eco settings on them. For extra warmth, grab a hot drink, I recommend a lemon & ginger tea, so you can warm yourself up from the inside out and use your mug as a hand warmer during meditation.

  2. Make your space inviting. You might want to dedicate a space to your practice, or have a ritual to help you set up and prepare. Laying your mat down, lighting a few candles or having a dim light so it’s not too bright or stark, using incense or aromatherapy oils, playing some music (nothing too distracting), sitting with your hot drink for a few moments to help you arrive, and even brain dumping any immediate or intrusive thoughts on a piece of paper to get it out of your head, and come back to it later!

  3. Check in. When you arrive on your Yoga mat, really make sure you check in with how you’re feeling, especially if you’re about to do some Yoga Asana. What kind of sleep did you have? How is your body feeling at this time? What’s the kind of class you’ve arrived at? How can you adapt to your needs today? We aren’t always ready and rearing to go in the mornings, especially when it’s colder and darker, so pace yourself. ease yourself in, especially if you’ve only just got out of bed. Remember your forward fold isn’t going to be the same at 7am as it is at 7pm! Don’t force it.

  4. Keep checking in! As you move through your practice, tune into sensations, emotions and thoughts and keep adapting based on what’s coming up. If you need to rest, take a rest, if you want more energy, bring a bit more movement into it. I encourage people in my classes to make these choices for themselves, whether that’s in-person or online. It’s easier online, as you feel like people aren’t staring at you if you take a break. But don’t worry what others are doing, this is still your practice, despite sharing space with others and who knows, this might inspire others to do the same.

  5. Prepare the night before & pick a time to practice! If you can, stick to the same time for your practice everyday. Make a commitment to that time as if it's an important work meeting, your kids swimming lesson or whatever else is super important. This is just as important - if not, MORE IMPORTANT. If you’re not a morning person, or struggle with mornings when it’s darker, have all of your stuff ready the night before! Before you get into bed, set up your space (except lighting candles!!), put your clothes next to your bed, set a few alarms and remember that your practice is there to HELP YOU, not hinder. It’s a way of regulating your emotions, preparing you for whatever lies ahead (the known and the unknown!), building strength and releasing tension in body and mind.


My current morning practice is 30 minutes which includes checking in with how I'm feeling and what I need in that moment and for the rest of the day. Breath awareness to help me settle in and calm my nervous system (I often wake up with a million things on my mind!), followed by some Yoga Asana; depending on how I'm feeling this could be very slow, gentle or restorative or it could be more energetic and dynamic, before taking a few minutes at the end to meditate, do a breathing practice and let my body be still and rest. Sometimes I start moving and then realise it's not what I need and I will sit and meditate.



If daily feels like a challenge, then start off slow with one or two morning sessions.


My YouTube channel has a few short practices to help you on your way...

Click the link for a gentle morning practice....

https://youtu.be/JpUq0Nx8SoY


Good luck with your morning practice! Remember it takes around 90 days to create a new habit, so stick with it and don't worry if it doesn't stick straight away. These things take time. I've been practicing for nearly 10 years but it's taken a long time to get a regular at home practice going. It's not a race, or a competition, it's a way of life and life isn't a straight line!


With Gratitude,

Sophie xx


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