Yoga-lovers will tell you that doing yoga in the morning will start your day off right, but are there actually health benefits to your 5 a.m. sun salutation? Here's how yoga can help your body get up and running, even when it's obscenely early.
First of all, there may be benefits to any kind of exercise practiced first thing in the morning. A Belgian study published in 2010 found that exercising before eating breakfast (as opposed to exercising after breakfast) helped counteract the negative effects of a high-fat diet, reported the New York Times. So even if you have to drag yourself out of bed, early morning exercise may be worth it in the long run.
Yoga specifically comes with special health benefits that serve your body well in the morning. According to the Mayo Clinic, "A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety." That means that a few sun salutations in the morning can help you start your day in a low-stress way.
According to the American Osteopathic Association, some of yoga's benefits include "improved respiration, energy and vitality," and "cardio and circulatory health." Yoga in the morning can wake up your heart and lungs — what more could you want at the start of your day?
Of course many of yoga's benefits exist no matter what time you practice, but combine the positive health effects of yoga with the proven benefits of morning exercise and you'll start your day off right.