Early to Bed - Early to Rise

That's not the only trick to getting up early to make it to a yoga class. In fact, I'd argue that getting to bed early is easier said than done. 

I've been teaching the early time slot in yoga studios since the start of my teaching career. Those are the easy time slots to get when you're starting out as a teacher. No one wants to do it because getting up early is hard!

I LOVE my early yoga classes!

It started back when I was living in Whistler teaching pre-ski yoga classes at 6am at the Four Seasons and Westin Spas. When I moved back to Ottawa it seemed only natural to teach the early class. There was no shortage of offer because it's not every teachers favourite teaching time. 

I've been getting up early for over 10 years and I've learned some tricks along the way. Full disclaimer, I have a gift with sleep, and once I'm horizontal my vestibular system seems to send the signal that it's time to sleep. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, for any length of time I choose. It's impressive. It's a gift, but I would argue, also a curse (sometimes I really want to lie down to watch a movie, but I'm asleep before I know it). If I'm so gifted, I had to ask around.

Now that fall has come, the mornings are cool and dark, and the temptation to stay in bed is even stronger, I thought that this list could be of service.

This list is a compilation of not just my own, but my students tips and tricks on how to get up early.

  • Get to bed early! - For some of us, that's easier said than done. If you slept in on Sunday morning, getting to bed Sunday night for an early Monday class is impossible. For those who don't find sleep as effortlessly as me, there are tons of things you can do to improve your chances of catching some early Zzzs. Try dimming the lights, read a pleasant book, have a bath, meditate, let yourself think happy thoughts as you lie in bed with eyes closed (that would be my personal favourite). 
  • Let go of the FOMO - Fear of missing out. Record your favourite show. Plan earlier outings so you're home on time for bed. 
  • Get everything ready the night before - Stack your yoga clothing, maybe your work clothes, pack your lunch, fill your water bottle, heck! fill the coffee maker. Get it all done before bed, then, when you wake up in the morning you can allow yourself to be on auto pilot. You won't have to think of matching your outfit. It easy to grab and go!  
  • Prioritize your to-do list - Your health is important, arguably the most important thing. So do the first thing on your to do list first! Many people agreed that

"if I don't get there this morning, I won't get there at all".

  • It's routine - The more you do it the easier it becomes. I've heard it be said that it takes 40 days to change a habit. So if you're committed to waking up early to take care of you, then start the routine.

Probably the best tip...

  • Don't think about it - Just do it! - This tip came up more often than you'd think in my little survey. To that I add, you made a commitment to yourself the moment you set the early wakeup call. Don't disregard that commitment. Your sleepy self will tell you anything to stay under the warm covers but your smart self made a plan, so stick to it. Just do it! 
"You're never going to regret getting up early to exercise, you'll always feel better afterwards"
  • Have someone waiting for you - This is a no brainer for me. If I don't show up to the yoga studio, no one unlocks the door, no one sets the nice music, no one teaches the yoga class. People are left standing dissapointed/sad/angry at the front door of the yoga studio. The buddy system really works but you have to take it a step further because sometimes simply meeting at the yoga studio/gym/community centre isn't enough. They're already there and they'll get their practice whether you show up or not. Instead, try carpooling. Nothing is more motivating knowing that your friend is waiting for you to pick them up. 

This last tip strikes a cord with me...

If you're willing to honour your commitment to someone else,

why aren't you willing to do honour the commitment with yourself?


Join us at Upward Dog Yoga Centre for more morning options. You no longer have to wake up at the crack of dawn to practice from 6:30-7:30am (though you still can!) but we've also added a 7:30-8:30am class to the schedule

See you in the morning :)