Begin your day by practicing these 6 morning yoga poses
Mornings can offer an abundance of energy for some, while others feel lethargic and sluggish. For many, anxiety about the upcoming events of the day can be quite daunting. The possible stressors haunt a majority of us before the day even begins. Preparing the mind and body for the challenges waiting for us can help deliver positive results.
This is where yoga can provide many benefits. Whether you’re a morning person or striving to become one, yoga is a wonderful perfect start to the day. Incorporate this sequence daily and enjoy the effects these morning yoga poses have to offer.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Begin the practice in Tadasana for grounding and waking up your limbs. This pose provides a deep stretch and tone to the entire vertebral column, chest, and overall body.
To Perform: Stand tall on with your feet together or slightly apart if that’s more comfortable. Stretch both arms towards the ground energetically reaching through your fingers. Focus on your breath and the engagement of your entire body for a full minute.
Hastottanasana (Raised Arms Pose)
Feel your body become even more invigorated as your lungs are deeply expanded to facilitate the intake of oxygen. This pose also aids in toning the abdomen and strengthening your spine and shoulders.
To Perform: From Mountain Pose, raise your arms overhead either shoulder distance apart or with your palms together. Keeping the feet firmly planted, gently curve into a gentle backbend in the center of your spine feeling a stretch in the chest, abdomen, belly, and back. Commit to an even deeper breath pattern.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
This one of the most effective morning yoga poses and a staple in most asana practices. Downward dog efficiently lengthens and strengthens the spine while rendering tone to the hamstrings and calves.
To Perform: Move into either tabletop or plank pose and lift the hips upward and straighten your legs with a minor bend in the knees. Reach your ankles in the direction of the ground (they don’t need to touch). Press firmly through your feet and hands, externally rotating your shoulders and internally rotating your inner thighs. Increase the duration of your breath and hold for anywhere from 5-15 breaths.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana (Equestrian Pose)
This intensive low-lunge opens the quadriceps and iliopsoas and strengthens the thorax. This is incredibly helpful if you know you’ll be sitting for long stretches of time.
How to Perform: Step your right leg back into a lunge and lower the shin to the ground. Your right toes can remain tucked or you can press the top of your foot into the ground. Support your body with the fingertips pressing into the ground or onto blocks. Open your chest wall forward into a minor backbend and point your chin towards the ceiling.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Cobra pose is high on the list of excellent daily morning yoga poses because it regulates blood circulation and strengthens the spine and triceps. It also expands the lungs and opens the shoulders.
To perform: Lie on your belly and place your hands near the top of your ribcage. Keep the palms under the shoulders. Gently lift the upper body without over-exerting the arms. Let the core do most of the work. Look forward with an even breath pattern or up towards the sky or the ceiling.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold Pose)
Uttanasana instills positivity and releases anxiety to prepare you for the day ahead. The bending forward motion opens the hamstrings and lengthens the spine. The reverse flow of blood to the head facilitates a shift in perspective. It’s also one of the best poses to aid in digestion.
To perform: Stand tall on the mat with your feet together or several inches apart. Raise your arms overhead and gently bend your body forward at the hips. Bend as far as possible while keeping your spine elongated. Test out a deeper breath pattern.
Easy Early Morning Yoga Tips:
- Set aside 10 minutes for morning yoga poses during your first week of practice. You may decide to gradually increase the amount of practice time.
- Drink a glass of lukewarm water after waking up to hydrate.
- Practice yoga on an empty stomach.
- Focus on aligning the breath with the movements during each asana for optimal benefits.
- Pay close attention to the alignment of each posture.
- Practice without distraction.
- Provide ambiance with candles, incense, and chanting if that speaks to you.
Welcome a few minutes of yoga daily into your life. The benefits will keep growing!