A couple of months ago, I wrote about wanting to get up early and incorporate more exercise in my morning routine, sometimes I have done on and off in years past but
hated every minute never particularly enjoyed . I got some great comments on this post, but one in particular stayed with me – my friend Katie (who writes the very fabulous and witty Quick Cook Rice) commented:
Morning yoga is one biggest joys in my life. Though I do agree down dog is much more awkward in the morning than later in the day. But the pros outweigh the cons every morning. I’m so much happier when I practice in the morning.
Two months and 23(!) 7 am yoga classes later, I get it.
And believe me, I never, ever thought I would say that.
I used to think 7am yoga was more difficult and awkward, and I think it still is at first, but I got used to it. More importantly, I find it easier in other ways – I seem to build muscle faster with morning yoga, my chaturunga practice has improved more quickly, and, once warmed up, I seem to be more flexible in the morning (I know, totally counter-intuitive). I do still enjoy practicing at 8pm at night, but I have found myself wishing that the yoga studio where I practice offer 7am yoga 5 days a week instead of just Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
I still do not get endorphins from exercise, but I am significantly less crabby about exercising in the morning than I used to be. The sense of accomplishment seems to outweigh the crabbiness. And somehow, 7am yoga also seems to make me crave more yoga, or exercise in general – twice this month I have done yoga at 7am and again in the evening, and once last month I did yoga at 7am, and went to the gym in the evening. Long-time readers may remember that I used to be far from naturally inclined to exercise.
As for the green juice stains on my yoga? Well it seems that green juice was one key to finding a way to stay hydrated and keep my blood sugar stable. Mornings used to be a tough time for me in those two areas if I wanted to work out. I always struggled with eating before or after working out, and never seemed to find the right balance. While my fasting blood sugar has always been optimal when doing bloodwork, the reality was that my blood sugar did not stay even no matter what strategy I used to workout in the morning (eat before, eat after, snack during, drink tons of water, drink moderate amounts of water and a sports drink). I was that much more phased by trying morning exercising again this time since I also take thyroid medication when I first get up, and cannot consume anything other than water for an hour after.
Somehow, though, making green juice the night before has solved that. I do not know what it is about it but it works – lack of sugar, instant nutrition but easy digestibility, or just the fact it is cold and contains some calories, but it is the perfect during-yoga snack, along with some water before yoga and after. My backup is coconut water for mornings I don’t have green juice made. I do fill the jar with green juice to the very top (to avoid air causing oxidization of the juice) and I sometimes spill a bit, hence the stains on the yoga mat.
I have considered trying to incorporate going to the gym in the morning on mornings I do not go to yoga, and may eventually, but for now I really do enjoy the three 7am yoga classes I get to most weeks. I also hope that I can continue to make the habit last into colder months, where early exercising means dark cold mornings, but for now I am just enjoying the feeling of accomplishment of the last couple of months.
General Disclosures & Disclaimers