Warming Winter Morning Routines 

Colder, darker months don’t always inspire us to leap out of bed and roll out the mat. But, with a few tips, you can build a routine for healthy, happy mornings whatever the weather. 

Waking up is hard to do 

It’s true that colder mornings can be hard work. But before you reach for the ‘snooze’ button, remember that waking early can allow you to get the most from your mornings. Making time to move your body can alleviate those seasonal aches and pains, and raise your energy levels. Exercise may help to release dopamine and serotonin too, which is important for keeping your mood lifted in winter. 

Many of us suffer with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) in the darker months. A natural sunlight alarm clock is said to help with this, as it enables a gentle awakening, as opposed to being rudely awakened by a loud alarm in the darkness! 

Once awake, you could start your day with a drink of hot water, perhaps adding lemon or turmeric to boost immunity – and stave off winter colds – as hot water is kinder on the digestive system. 

Roll out your mat

A few minutes of movement each morning will chase away lingering stale, or stagnant energy and feelings of sleep. Move through some sun salutations if you’re feeling energised, or some slow and relaxing yin-influenced asanas to gently ease you into your day. There’s something delicious about a home practice – pop on a playlist, practise in your PJs, if your savasana is a nap, we won’t tell… But you won’t regret making time for yourself each day. 

Practising yoga in the morning: 

  • gives you a caffeine free energy boost 
  • helps to release ‘Happy Hormones’ 
  • eases tight, stiff muscles
  • sets the tone for the day ahead
  • gives you some much needed ‘me time’ for mental clarity and balance – on and off the mat!

If you need the extra motivation and structure to get going in the morning, Yoga on the Edge offers a program of early morning classes that enable you to ‘get up and glow’! All you have to do is show up, and a good morning is sure to follow.  

Routine and ritual

Small routines can bring joy and warmth to your mornings. Waking early to create small moments of peace before the chaos of the day can support your wellbeing, and build fortitude for the day ahead – warm water in the morning, daily yoga practice, and a little self care. Self care looks different to everyone, so consider the things that bring you joy. That first coffee of the morning, before anyone else awakens, or taking a few moments for gratitude journalling as the sun rises.

In Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, a warming ritual is abhyanga. It’s a lovely practice for winter skin care. It’s a self massage using warm oil, and it is one of the most popular and attainable ayurvedic practices. Traditionally, abhyanga involves warm oil applied in long, firm, clockwise strokes all over the body including the scalp and and soles of the feet. Then rest for a few minutes, before gently cleansing to remove the oil. If you research, or know, your dosha (your ayurvedic body type) different oils can be used to create further benefits for your body. 

Benefits include: 

  • Skin health. This is a major benefit as oil is used to hydrate the skin, which is prone to dryness in colder temperatures – in part down to indoor central heating, contrasting with cold conditions outdoors. 
  • Lymphatic drainage. Massage is often associated with encouraging the lymph nodes to drain. If you struggle with lymphedema and other lymphatic conditions, be sure to consult with a doctor or health practitioner first. 
  • Reduce stiffness and muscle aches. Upon waking, using massage to work loose any tension or stress from the muscles can be beneficial. 

Just breathe

Take a few moments to practise some deep, even breathing upon waking. If you have an established pranayama practice, it might be a good idea to include some Kapalabhati. This pranayama is a breathing practice that can warm up sluggish digestive systems, stimulate your agni (your internal ‘fire in the belly’) and release tension and brain fog. If you aren’t sure how to do it, make sure you consult with an experienced practitioner before attempting it. 

Enjoy your day! 

*As always, the tips here are personal reflections, and do not replace the advice of a medical professional. Always consult your doctor or health practitioner before embarking on new exercise and wellness regimens. Yoga on the Edge is not responsible for any outcomes that may arise from following the information above. 

Recommended Posts