If you’re anything like us, waking up in the morning isn’t your favorite time of the day. It’s often much more appealing to stay snuggled up in bed than get up and get moving. One thing that really helps? Morning yoga. Try these poses first thing to awaken your body and keep your energy levels up all day long.
Dolphin Pose: Stretches & strengthens the shoulders, back, hamstrings and calves.
From downward dog, lower your elbows down so that your hands, forearms and elbows are on the mat, and your hips and legs still look like downward dog. Your ears should be in line with your upper arm bones. Stay for 10 breaths.
Chair Pose with Twist: Strengthens your legs, core and back.
Stand with feet together, hug your outer thighs together, pull your navel into your spine and sit back in your invisible chair. Place your hands in front of your heart in prayer pose, twist to one side from the lower belly and place the opposite elbow on the other knee. Stay for 5 breaths.
Navasana: Helps hip flexion and core strength.
When in your boat pose, think about balancing on your two sitting bones. The goal is to straighten the legs and lengthen the torso and spine so that your upper body is straight. That might not happen at first, so it’s ok to bend your knees while you build strength. Pull your navel into your spine, broaden across the chest to help engage upper back muscles and engage your quads to lengthen your legs. Stay for 10 breaths.
Warrior II: Aids quad strength, hip opening and shoulder/arm strength.
Position your feet so they are splitting the center of your mat, with your front foot pointed
forward, and your back foot at a 45-degree angle (outer knife edge of your back foot rooting into the floor). Keep your hips open to the side of your mat and think about plugging your front thigh bone back into your hip socket, while your back leg Is externally rotating open. Stay for 10-15 breaths.
Parvitta Parsvatasana: Stretches outer hips, hamstrings and shoulders. Twists the spine.
From Warrior II, straighten your right leg and step your left foot forward (to 45 degrees) and straighten both legs. With a tall spine, lean your chest forward and down. Reach your left arm to the outside of your right foot and twist from the navel so that your sternum begins to open up towards the sky in the twist. Stay for 5 breaths.
Fallen Triangle: Opens your chest and core. Builds shoulder strength.
Starting from high plank pose, thread your right foot under so that it lands at about 90 degrees from your left foot, outside your mat. Raise your left arm to the ceiling and lift your hips by engaging your outer thighs and core. Stay for 5 breaths.