I often get asked, what’s the best yoga to practise in the morning?
Well, the best yoga for you and your body and mind will ALWAYS depend on how you feel at that given moment.
But, if I had to give an answer, I would say ‘Yin to Vin’. Or, in other words, starting slowly and passively with long holds before transitioning into a flowing sequence of movements.
For some strange reason, this practice isn’t that well known but, in my opinion, it makes so much sense to move this way in the morning. In fact, it is the way I start my morning every single day.
Want to know why? Of course you do!
Ease into flexibility
Even though I love getting up early to enjoy the peace and quiet, between you and me, I am not really a morning person.
Rather than leap out of bed ready for action, I enjoy a slow transition from sleeping into waking – which is where yin yoga comes in.
In contrast to the high-energy of a Power yoga practice, yin is a quiet and gentle way to get moving.
Furthermore, it is really good for your body and mind.
One study showed that after just five weeks of yin yoga, participants experienced physiological and psychological improvements including a reduction in stress, anxiety and depression.
On a physical level, yin yoga increases mobility and flexibility by working with the joints and ligaments.
Since the connective tissues are coolest in the mornings, this is the perfect time of day to include a grounding yin practice in your daily routine.
In my personal practice, I choose 4 or 5 yin poses and hold each for about 2-3 peaceful minutes while waking up slowly.
I like to move it, move it!
Although the idea of lounging around all day is kind of appealing, for most of us that isn’t possible – or healthy for that matter.
That’s why I always add some ‘vin’ or Vinyasa after my yin practice.
Vinyasa is a flowing style of yoga where we move with the breath to stretch, strengthen and energise the body.
Most days, for me, vinyasa doesn’t mean challenging arm balances and deep backbends; it simply means moving dynamically with the breath through poses like Cat / Cow or performing some Sun Salutations.
As with any good yoga practice, I always finish up with a short Savasana – although not too long or I’ll fall back to sleep!
The best yoga is sometimes less yoga!
Finally, remember starting a new habit can be challenging. If you don’t already do yoga in the morning, start small with a 10-15 minute practice. You’ll be amazed at how dedicating even this short amount of time to yourself can create a positive start to your day.
Not sure where to start?
Try this 20-minute yin to vin yoga class on YouTube which includes my absolute go-to poses for the morning.
Let me know how it goes!
May you be happy and healthy!
Check out the on-demand library at Happy Yoga Wales for many more yoga classes and meditations.