I did yoga every morning at 5am for 7 days in a row — here’s what happened

As the founder of Hack Spirit and an avid practitioner of mindfulness, I’m no stranger to the transformative power of yoga. But while my practice has always been consistent, I’ve never tried weaving it into the early hours of my morning. So, in the spirit of exploration and self-improvement, I decided to take on a new challenge: daily yoga at 5am for a week straight.

Now, before you start wondering if I’ve lost my mind, let me assure you there is method to my madness. There’s been a lot of talk about morning routines and their supposed benefits on productivity and well-being. But how much of this is substantiated and how much is just trendy wellness jargon? As someone who has written extensively about Eastern philosophy, I thought it was high time to put this hypothesis to the test.

So, I set my alarm for 4:45am and embarked on a week-long journey of sunrise salutations and quiet meditation. Here’s the thing: what I discovered throughout this experiment was quite surprising and not what you might expect.

This is the story of my week doing yoga every morning at 5am — here’s what really happened.

Embracing the challenge: My week of 5am yoga

Now, let’s dive into the heart of the matter. Every morning, the shrill sound of my alarm would pull me from my slumber at precisely 4:45am. I would groggily roll out of bed, slip on my yoga attire, and prepare for my early morning practice.

I decided to keep my routine simple yet effective. The sequence I chose was a blend of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) poses and some calming Pranayama (breathing exercises). Here’s what it looked like:

  • Start with a few moments of calm and quiet meditation.
  • Perform 12 rounds of Surya Namaskar A and B.
  • Follow this up with 10 minutes of Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing).
  • End with a brief Savasana (Corpse Pose) to unwind and absorb the benefits of the practice.

This routine took me about 30 minutes to complete each day, giving me a good chunk of time before I had to begin my usual work routine. It was challenging, especially for someone who isn’t a born morning person. Yet, I persisted.

The first couple of days were tough, really tough. But as the week progressed, I started to notice subtle changes. But more on that later. For now, let’s just say that this experiment was eye-opening in ways I hadn’t anticipated.

The unexpected outcomes of my early morning yoga experiment

After a week of early morning yoga, I was surprised by the results. The initial struggle of dragging myself out of bed at 4:45am slowly subsided. By day four, I found myself waking up naturally, often just a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off. My body had quickly adapted to this new routine.

But the physical benefits were just the tip of the iceberg. I also noticed a significant shift in my mental state. Prior to this experiment, my mornings were often rushed and somewhat chaotic. Now, I found myself starting each day with a sense of calm and clarity that stayed with me throughout the day.

It was as if the early morning yoga practice had sparked an inner tranquility that spilled over into my day-to-day life. I found myself more focused and productive during work hours, and I seemed to handle stress more effectively.

Interestingly, I also observed that I was making healthier choices throughout the day. Instead of reaching for that mid-afternoon coffee, I’d opt for a herbal tea. And when it came to meal times, I found myself naturally gravitating towards nutritious foods.

But here’s the thing: before I started this experiment, I had certain expectations about how it would unfold. And let’s just say — reality was quite different from what I had anticipated. Up next, let’s delve into what those expectations were and how they compared to the actual outcomes of my 5am yoga challenge.

Expectations versus reality: The surprising truth of my 5am yoga journey

When I embarked on this week-long experiment, I expected to struggle. I thought the early wake-up calls would leave me feeling exhausted throughout the day. I was bracing myself for a dip in productivity, a constant need for caffeine, and perhaps even a few mood swings.

However, much to my surprise, the exact opposite happened. Rather than feeling drained, I found myself energized after each morning session. My productivity didn’t wane — instead, it soared. And as for the mood swings? They were nowhere to be seen.

Instead of dreading the sound of my alarm each morning, I started looking forward to it. The quiet solitude of the early morning became a sanctuary for me — a peaceful start to what would often turn out to be a bustling day.

The results of this experiment were nothing short of a revelation for me. It challenged my preconceived notions and proved that sometimes, stepping outside our comfort zone can yield unexpected and rewarding outcomes.

So what’s the key takeaway from all this? Well, let’s just say that it’s more profound than just becoming an early morning person or mastering a yoga routine. It’s about the power of habit and routine — and how they can profoundly shape our lives in ways we least expect.

How to harness the power of routine in your own life

My week-long experiment with 5am yoga taught me a valuable lesson about the power of routine. But here’s the thing — you don’t need to wake up at the crack of dawn or be an expert in yoga to reap similar benefits.

The key is to find a routine that aligns with your lifestyle and personal preferences. Maybe it’s a brisk walk during your lunch break, a quick workout session after work, or perhaps even a few minutes of mindfulness before you go to bed.

Whatever it is, commit to it consistently. Make it a non-negotiable part of your day. It might feel challenging at first, but remember, it takes time for a new habit to take root. Be patient with yourself.

And most importantly, pay attention to how this routine impacts your life. Do you feel more energetic? More focused? Less stressed? These small changes can provide valuable insight into what works for you and what doesn’t.

My 5am yoga experiment was an eye-opening experience that transformed my mornings and had a profound impact on my day-to-day life. And I believe that with the right routine, you too can tap into this transformative power and bring about positive changes in your life. So why not give it a try? You might be surprised by what you discover.

A wider perspective: What this means for you

My 5am yoga experiment taught me more than just the benefits of early morning exercise. It was a lesson in self-discipline, resilience, and the power of routine. But what does this mean for you? Here are the key takeaways:

  • Building a routine can instill discipline and structure into your day.
  • Challenging yourself pushes your boundaries and fosters personal growth.
  • Small changes to your daily routine can have a profound impact on your overall well-being.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone’s journey is unique. What worked for me might not work for you. And that’s okay. The goal isn’t to replicate someone else’s routine, but to find what resonates with you and aligns with your personal lifestyle and preferences.

This flexibility is crucial. As I explore in my book, “Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego,” the ability to adapt and maintain a sense of freedom and flexibility is key to living a fulfilling life.

In this sense, it’s not just about waking up at 5am or doing yoga. It’s about finding what works for you. It’s about embracing mindfulness – being fully present in each moment, valuing your mental well-being, and nurturing healthy relationships.

So as you embark on your own journey of self-improvement, remember this: It’s not about perfection, but progress. Embrace the challenge, be patient with yourself, and most importantly, enjoy the journey.

And if you’re curious about how I’ve integrated these principles into my life, feel free to check out my book here. It’s not a how-to guide, but rather a collection of insights and reflections that might inspire you on your own journey.

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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