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5 benefits of doing yoga in the morning

I’m a big yoga fan. The movement and breathing wakes my body up and forces my mind to start working, without the added stress of work or life’s challenges. Even a short five or 10-minute practice is enough to to wake me up and send positive vibes throughout my day. While many people say doing yoga at night is advantageous, I think doing it in the morning has just as many benefits.

Here are five benefits of doing yoga in the morning:

Peace of mind: People often start their day by thinking about all the tasks they have to complete before 5 p.m. And then we think about what we need to take out for dinner and who is going to be home and who is going to take out the dog. It gets crazy. Instead of starting your day off stressed out, a 10-minute yoga routine can help you slow down and be completely in the present. Whatever you need to do can wait. These 10 minutes are yours alone.

Focus: The peace of mind you get from practicing yoga can help you set an intention for your day. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to feel? Whether you want to maintain positive thinking, despite a meeting-packed day, or if you want to be confident during a presentation or networking event, an intention will help you create the frame of mind first thing.

Helps digestion: Practicing yoga in the morning can help your body metabolize food throughout the day. By doing gentle stretches, especially twists that massage the internal organs, the body becomes more capable of releasing toxins from the body. It also allows for the body to better absorb nutrients in food.

Better posture: Many yoga poses focus on muscles in your back, forcing you to push your shoulder blades back and breath deep into the stretch. Once you start actively thinking about how your head connects with the rest of your spine, there will be no going back. These type of exercises are ideal for those with a desk job.

Overall fitness: While yoga may not burn as many calories as running a 5k, it can help you strengthen your muscles and tone your body. Through the movement, you are essentially supporting your entire body mass using your own muscles. Whether it’s a simple downward dog or something more challenging like a balancing practice, every movement activates your core. If you are looking for something to supplement your cardio — yoga is the perfect routine.

Do you practice yoga in the morning? Let us know your favourite poses in the comments below!

CONTEST: Barre class with 889Yoga

CONTEST CLOSED!

Women’s Post has partnered with 889Yoga to reward our rewards with some free Barre Class Passes! What is a barre class you ask? It’s a ballet-inspired fitness class that mixes dance with strength training and balance. By the end of the class, not only will you have completed a full-body workout, but you will feel more grounded. After a few classes, you may even see an improvement in your posture and energy!

889 launched their barre classes in June of this year, and are eagerly looking for new recruits. There are eight different class times to choose from, which means they should be able to work with everyone’s schedule! To find out more, go here.

Sign up for our newsletter by Oct. 15 and enter to win a pair of class passes. Women’s Post has three pairs to give away, so make sure to tell your friends!

Sign up here:

The good, the bad, and the ugly of going braless

I remember getting my first bra. I was 12 years old and my mom took me to the store. I was embarrassed and excited at the same time. I wanted to be a ‘grown-up’ and equated being an adult woman with wearing a brassiere. But in all honesty, bras are really just a pain in the…back.

Lately, the media has been buzzing over women in Toronto going braless and I decided to join the trend for a week. I wanted to know how it felt to let the ladies roam free and during this experience I learned a lot about myself and my body.

Going braless made me feel insecure initially. To be honest, I felt a bit of internal shame for my reaction amidst a feminist world of ‘free the nipple’ campaigns and bra burning predecessors. Why did I feel so thrown off my not wearing a simple undergarment? Full disclosure: I often opt in for hot shorts (popular name for very short shorts) instead of underwear because they are comfortable. I am not bothered at all by this change, yet not wearing a bra nearly set me into a full-blown panic attack.

I pushed through the anxiety and left my house feeling ready to tackle the world with my found fashion sense. I ride my bike to work every day and was worried that it would be an issue, but found no one cared. At all. The insecurity that comes with wearing a bra is an invention of the mind. Wearing a bra or not, people are so busy staring into the abyss of their phone that they are too busy to notice a pair of knockers swinging by.

I also found that weather impacted my comfort level. When it is really hot outside, it is surprisingly uncomfortable to go braless. It just doesn’t feel nice. A bra helps to lift the breasts and cool the body down. It is also uncomfortable to have no covering layer with cold air as well. However, on a nice mid-weather, warm fall or spring day, it is wonderful to feel the breeze and be unencumbered by a bra. Some women are comfortable with the effects of fluctuating weather patterns on the breasts, but I found this anxiety-provoking.

My back and ribcage felt much better while I was going braless. I also started to notice my body more often, meaning the way I moved or if I was sitting and standing straight up. Bras give us an excuse to slouch because our over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders give extra support that allow for bad posture. Going braless doesn’t allow for slumping at all.

Certain styles of clothing and materials are more compatible with the free flowing look as well. Avoid itchy and tight cotton shirts. I had a very bad day wearing one of these tops. Instead opt in for satin, which is smooth on the nipples, or other soft materials like velvet. I also found cinched dresses very comfortable. It was loose at the top and tight on the bottom, which gave me a nice shape and also gave the ladies room to breathe.

I would recommend going braless for a week. It forced me to look at my body in a whole new light and to love the more natural elements of the female physique. I also realized the bra gives breasts an unrealistic shape and is systematic of the patriarchal ideal of the woman’s body. Round soft curves are beautiful and I’m glad I celebrated that this past week. I will also admit though that I will wear a bra here and there in my future. Sometimes bras can be comfortable depending on your outfit and other times they are not. Do not forget though, they are an option and only need to be used when desired. Try taking one day off a week with no bra and check out #nobrathursdays and #nobrarevolution to get involved. Enjoy the freedom ladies — it feels great.

Try going braless and let Women’s Post know how you felt in the comments below.