You like yoga.
You know how amazing your mind and body feels after practice.
And you 100% understand that consistency is key to improving your practice.
But...some days you're so damn tired. No matter how much you love your practice, there's days that you wake up feeling tired or weak, and you choose more sleep (or simply lying in bed) over practice.
Low energy levels have a direct impact on your motivation, and that's normal. The lower your physical and mental energy, the less likely you are to go to practice. The higher your physical and mental energy, the more likely you are to get yourself onto the yoga mat.
So, what's a yogi to do?
Below are our five top strategies to feel more energized in the morning!
Full disclosure: it's not rocket science. But, don't be fooled by the simplicity of these strategies. More often than not, one or two of these factors are off balance and bringing them back into balance can work wonders.
Needless to say, this has to be your starting point. No amount of green juice or loud dance music is going to lift you out of your funk in the morning if you barely slept the night before!
If you're not getting enough sleep, first address your sleep hygiene. That means:
- Not looking at a screen after 9pm (the light from the screen disrupts your sleep hormone, melatonin)
- Getting into bed by 10 or 10:30pm at the latest
- Setting a consistent bedtime
- Sleeping in pitch black darkness, or with an eye mask
- Improving your environment e.g. humidifier, light clothes, cool temperature
- Creating a relaxing, unwinding routine
If you've tried all of the above and you're still struggling to get deep, restful and refreshing sleep – the kind that makes you actually jump out of bed in the morning – consider using a natural sleep aid like Sleep Like Buddha.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Do you feel parched when you wake up or have a mild headache? That means by the time you wake up dehydration has already set in and is affecting your energy levels.
Research has shown that even mild dehydration can have a drastic impact on your energy levels and brain function. For example, in one study men who had lost 1.59% of their fluid levels had poorer working memory, increased fatigue and anxiety. Yikes. (1)
Some telltale signs of poor hydration are:
- Bright yellow urine
- Low urine output
- Dry mouth and skin
- Feeling tired all the time
Swap caffeine for green energy
In desperate times, coffee can be a life saver. But taken before a yoga class, it can leave you feeling acidic, dehydrated and a bit queasy overall. Want to skip coffee and still have caffeine? Unfortunately, we wouldn't recommend pre-workout powders either as they're often filled with artificial flavours and sweeteners, plus a big dose of caffeine that can leave you feeling a little too wired. (Note: jitters and mindful meditation do not go hand in hand!)
Rather, if you're looking for a stable, steady source of pure, clean energy in the morning, we would recommend drinking cold pressed green juice (either homemade or from a store), or using a greens powder mix like Niyama's Pre-Vinyasa Energizer. Green energy and mindful
Go for a power walk
We know, it's the last thing you want to do when it's cold outside. But the mixture of fresh air and greater blood circulation will help get more oxygen to your brain, improving alertness, mood and overall energy levels. The key is to make this a brisk walk as opposed to a relaxed stroll.
If you're not a breakfast person or have it post-practice, try to have a small piece of fruit when you wake up. The natural sugar in the fruit along with fibre will provide a steady stream of energy that isn't as overwhelming as caffeine or as heavy as a full breakfast...plus it'll make sure your muscles get a little added support and fuel during class.
We've spoken about this at length in our article on adaptogens and burnout, but if you're chronically exhausted every morning no matter how much sleep you get, take a look at your stress levels. Our adrenal glands regulate stress and if they're overburdened, it can lead to fatigue and also weaken the thyroid gland which is directly related to energy.
Energy boosters like green juice and fruit are helpful boosts, but addressing underlying issues such as poor sleep and hormonal imbalances caused by stress have to come first!