Don’t discount the importance of basic yoga poses
Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Most of us have seen or heard this quote before, but for many of us, being a ‘morning person’ is a difficult task. I certainly used to struggle with it, snoozing off alarms and getting up at the last possible second. Things changed due to different responsibilities, so I had to develop the habit of getting up at 5:30 in the morning. It was hard, but gradually I realized the benefits of waking up early and establishing a morning routine.
How you begin the morning will largely influence your activities for the rest of the day. It’s essential to establish a routine that enables you to kick-start your day with energy and positivity. When you think of all your morning routine options, there’s nothing better than yoga to begin with a fresh start.
There are multiple benefits of practicing yoga in the morning. It nourishes the mind and body and instills positivity. Practicing prepares you to face the challenges of your day in a calm and composed manner. If your creative thinking is blocked, then yoga can help get the juices flowing. Research shows people who practice yoga in the morning feel happier and better able to combat stress and anxiety. To better understand and experience the benefits, let’s have a look at five basic yoga poses that will help kick-start your day with a happy jolt:
Upward Facing Dog
The chaos around us can hinder our imagination and creativity. Yoga can help clear your mind allowing you to think far outside the box and bring your vision to life.
Lie on your belly with your legs stretched behind you so the tops of your feet touch the ground. Bend your elbows and spread the palms alongside your waist. Press your hands onto the floor and with an inhale, straighten your arms while raising your torso, thighs, and knees off the ground. Firmly press your shoulder blades down your back and glide the shoulders away from the ears. Stay in the pose anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds. Then with an exhale, lower your entire body back down onto the mat.
Yoga poses such as legs-up-the-wall can help boost immunity and alleviate soreness in the legs.
Lie down against a wall on your mat with your hips as close to the wall as possible. You can use a blanket or towels to support your neck and torso. Next, swing your legs up the wall and adjust your position so that your body forms an L-shape. Breathe slowly and evenly, making any adjustments necessary to make the posture more relaxing.
The Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
The asana is excellent for beginning your day being relatively easy to perform. It relaxes the body and mind, allowing your hips to open without any pressure. Consider sitting on a bolster or block if you feel even the slightest discomfort. Sukhasana can help you achieve peace, serenity, and happiness.
Sit in a cross-legged position with your weight supported by the hip bones. Form a mudra with your thumb and the fourth finger, lifting the crown of your head with your chin tucked towards your chest. Take deep breaths inhaling positive energy and releasing any mental and physical stress. Next, stretch your neck a little while moving the shoulders down the spine, circling your head from side to side gently.
Besides providing you with an overall feeling of relaxation, yoga can also help stimulate your metabolism. It can offer you more energy than caffeine. One of the basic yoga poses that is most helpful with this is bridge pose.
Lie on your back so that your feet a hip-width apart. Place your arms alongside your body and your palms facing down. Press your feet onto the mat and with an inhale raise your hips. Bring your tailbone towards the pubic bone; your knees should be slightly squeezed towards each other. Press the shoulders down underneath your body and straighten the arms. While keeping your thighs and feet parallel, balance the weight across the corners of your feet. Continue the pose for 5 to 10 breaths and gradually roll your spine back onto the floor with an exhale.
Tree pose is an excellent asana that encourages balance. It’s particularly beneficial for relieving sciatica and can help with the development concentration. It’s also great for building strength.
Begin by standing tall and gently bend your right leg at the knee. Place your foot flat against the upper left thigh or calf. Maintain your balance and slowly inhale while lifting your arms above your head. Stay in the pose for several breaths and repeat with the other leg.