More of a night owl than an early bird? Learn to love early morning practice and transform your fitness in the process with my 10 simple tips to get you out doing and loving your Tai Chi.
Here are 10 tips compiled to help you slide from beneath your warm cosy sheets and into Tai Chi mode.
1. Find your special training place before you start.
Having a special place will enrich your experience. Maybe under a big old tree away from the traffic. A pleasant view will lift your spirits and boost your training workout. Try to find somewhere easy to get to that is both safe and practical. A little scouting around to investigate potential places before hand will be well worth the effort.
2. Early to bed, early to rise
It might seem obvious, but going to bed at a decent time is the key to feeling fresh when you wake up. If you’re a night owl, try to gradually bring your bedtime earlier.
3. Snooze control
Don’t put your alarm by your bed. It’s too tempting to just press the snooze button and go back to sleep. By putting your alarm on the other side of the room, you’ll be forced to get up and switch it off. That’s the hard part out of the way!
4. Don’t think – just do it!
Early in the morning, it’s way more likely you’ll talk yourself out of practicing. Decide the night before exactly how it’s going to play out. As soon as you wake up, say to yourself: ‘Out of bed, kit on, out the door and of to training’ (or whatever routine you have decided on). You want to be able to do most of it on autopilot.
5. Reward yourself
Promise yourself a small treat if you get up and work out. If you have something to look forward to after your tai chi, you’re way more likely to do it. How about a tasty breakfast you wouldn’t normally allow yourself if you hadn’t already burned those calories? Or book yourself a massage?
6. Get your clothes ready the night before.
Again, the easier you make it, the more likely you are to do it. Set your clothes (and everything else you need for the workout) by your bed, ready to go.
7. Let there be light
Turning on the light is the best way to wake up your body. Open the curtains if it’s light out, or switch on the bedroom light. It works better if you gradually increase the intensity of the light. Try a light box or switch on a bedside lamp first, and then the main light.
8. To eat or not to eat?
You should be fine to practice up to an hour in the morning without needing fuel, unless you are working out very intensely. Just make sure you eat a nutritious meal the night before, with some slow-release carbohydrate, such as brown rice or wholemeal pasta.
9. Make it so you have to workout
Make it so you HAVE to workout in the morning. For example, if it’s possible for you consider enlisting a training buddy from your class.
10. Green Tea
Green tea, jasmine or similar is a practitioner’s best friend. Have a cup before heading out and if it’s cold out a thermos of hot tea is sublime to reward yourself with after finishing your workout.