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3 Reasons to Rise with the Sun

By: Gaia Staff  |  July 30, 2013

As a recent college graduate, these past four years I have found myself seeping into the night owl routine of dancing, drinking, and snacking late into the evening. This usually involves making few plans for the next morning. While I still cannot deny my affinity for those hours of darkness, I discovered my body craving the light. In the recent past, my job as a yoga instructor teaching early morning classes has made this much needed transition a reality. Here are three reasons to switch on the early morning sunlight.

  1. Less UV Exposure

There are two types of cancer-causing UV rays: UVA and UVB. Both are present when the sun is in full force, but only UVB is the product of direct sunlight during peak hours of the day (10am-4pm). By enjoying an early morning walk or swim around sunrise, your body can soak up some Vitamin D without the presence of damaging UVB rays. That reducing your exposure to the effects of ultra violets by half!

  1. Jump Start that Metabolism:

Our eating habits are largely shaped by the schedule we create for ourselves. Studies have shown that breakfast is the most essential meal because it stimulates the metabolic process. When we wake up late, we tend to eat breakfast and lunch in succession (leaving little time for digestion) or skipping breakfast all together. Eliminating meals over time promotes fat storage as the body attempts to hold onto fuel unsure of when it will be fed next. Rising in time to indulge in a power breakfast will stimulate both your energy levels and your metabolism.

  1. Enhance Productivity:

Procrastination is a human tendency, but let’s admit it, we all lose steam as the day wears on. For many, getting up early is a great chance to be productive, leaving the evening to provide a sense of winding down. Productivity doesn’t always have to mean dreaded tasks either. Try being personally productive in a way that will enhance the rest of your day. For me, getting up early sets the tone for my mood.  It means time for writing and those extra sun salutations to center and ground before taking on the day.


Leigh Stewart

Taking her first yoga class at the age of 12, Leigh found the greatest challenge on the mat to be the stillness of savasana. Four years later, she was introduced to power vinyasa yoga and found the invigorating practice and breath-work energizing beyond any exercise she had experienced before. Throughout her college years, Leigh explored yoga to compliment her time spent on the basketball court.  Finding greater physical and mental balance between studies and social life, and experiencing the healing power of yoga; upon injuring herself during her sophomore season, Leigh set out to share the benefits of yoga with others in 2011. Certified through Yoga to the People, Leigh began bringing power yoga to her fellow students at Wesleyan University.  Additionally, she started offering free yoga workshops to explore topics at greater depths. During her collegiate years, Leigh introduced kid’s yoga to a local arts education center, Green St. Arts in Middletown Connecticut. In 2013, she completed her kids yoga certification at It’s Yoga Kids in San Francisco and her Street Yoga Training in Portland, Oregon. In February 2013, she and her yogi partner in crime, Shira Engel, led a free kids yoga teacher training, certifying 20 individuals to brings kids yoga to underserved populations. In Spring 2013, she and Shira also co-taught Yoga Theory and Practice, a student led Wesleyan University course.  The two launched their blog Sequence of the Day this July, which offers a daily yoga sequence to the online yoga community. Leigh currently resides in Fiji’s Yasawa Islands and teaches sunrise, kids, and sunset yoga daily at Paradise Cove Resort.
Website: www.leighstewart.com
Blog: www.sequenceoftheday.tumblr.com


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