We all experience mornings differently. Some of us identify with the label “morning person” and others have a very different view of those first hours of the day. However you handle mornings, some morning yoga can help you get a jump start for the day. Tuning into your breath as well as moving and stretching your body will aid in the transition from a night’s sleep to the start of your day. Here are 5 different poses that will give you a boost before that first sip of coffee and it only takes about 10 minutes!
Yoga Poses to Help Wake You Up
Start while you are still in bed. You’ve just turned off that pesky alarm clock, now take a deep breath and a full body stretch. Extend arms up overhead and reach through those legs and toes. Yes, you may already do this each morning! This first extension of arms and legs wakes up those muscles and gets your blood moving before you even get out of bed.
Next, take a big supine twist! Laying on your back, bring one leg into your chest and gently take it across your body. Gaze over the opposite shoulder, and hold for 3-4 breaths, then move into the other side. This nice twist mobilizes the joints of your spine, gives your internal organs a massage, and revs up blood circulation.
Time to sit up! Keep your legs straight out in front of you and fold forward at your hips. Remember, these are the first movements of the day, so keep it easy and start to find length in your hamstrings and spine. After a few breaths, stand on up and fold forward again, reaching towards your toes.
Now for a more active pose. Place your hands on the floor and step your feet back to a downward facing dog. You are going for an upside down “V” with your body. Start by slowly bending one knee at a time to find a stretch in the calves and hamstrings. Then with both knees as straight as you can make them, push your hands down and forward while sending your tailbone to the sky to find more length in your spine and arms. This mild inversion will energize you, bring more oxygen to the brain, and stoke the fire in you to start your day!
Finally, stand all the way up. With feet hips distance apart (or together for more of a balance challenge), bring your arms up overhead and clasp your hands. Take a big bend over to the right and hold for 3-4 breaths before moving to the other side. Your knees can be bent or straight, and feel free to explore different planes with the body while bent to the side. This will open up the sides of your body.
Remember, in all of these poses, the idea is to wake up and energize your body. Breathe through each pose, and be gentle. You are ready to conquer the day!
About the Author:
Emily is the Studio Manager and Assistant Director of Training at Dancers Shape. She completed a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification from The Yoga Institute in Houston, TX in 2012. In summer 2014, Emily wanted to expand her knowledge and completed another 200-hour yoga certification with Austin yogi, Gioconda Parker. This inspired her to continue her education and she is currently working through an advanced teacher training for the 300-hour level with both Christina Sell and Gioconda Parker. Read more about Emily here.