If you’re one of those people that feel stiff every morning this is the post for you. I don’t know what it is but I always feel like a tin man doing yoga straight as I wake up. However, I find that taking just as little as 5 minutes to warm up your joints, get the blood flowing helps out a lot.
It doesn’t have to be anything extreme, you can just go for a quick walk around your house, do some jumping jacks or jog in place. On the other hand, if you have more time in the morning, try foam rolling before doing yoga. Foam rolling beforehand is great because it relaxes the muscles and improves mobility and flexibility. Therefore, it will be easier for you to get into the poses.
Doing yoga in the morning can be very beneficial to your body. It will boost your energy, improve focus for the day ahead, lower your stress levels and improve flexibility. Like I mentioned, you might feel like a tin man at the beginning of your practice but as you go through poses your muscles become warmer and it gets easier.
By the end of your practice you will be able to go deeper into each pose you try. The best thing comes after you’re done with your practice. It’s that feeling of ease. All those sensations throughout your body: feeling flexible, pain free and good about yourself.
Things that you do when you first wake up are more likely to stick to your routine so give it a go. We should all take time out of our day to tend to our bodies and our health. With our crazy busy, stressful lives it’s more than necessary. Here are my favourite morning yoga poses to set you for the day and make you feel energised and awesome!
Top 5 Morning Yoga Poses To Feel Energised
Cat – Cow
How to perform:
Begin on all fours. Hands in line with the shoulders, knees in line with the hips. Spread out your fingers wide to form a good, strong base. Firm down through the tops of your feet. Keep a soft bend in your elbows, don’t lock them. Make sure your head is in neutral position and you’re looking straight down on your mat.
Once you feel like you have a good support begin by moving into cow pose – inhale as you drop your belly towards your mat. Lift your chin and chest. From here move into cat pose – draw your bellybutton in towards your spine as you exhale and round your back. Release the crown of your head towards your mat and gently stretch the back of your neck.
Now repeat, inhale as you go into cow pose and exhale as you come to cat pose. Do this as many times as you want. Listen to your body and pay attention to what it needs. The reps can go from 5 – 20 times.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
How to perform:
Downward dog is actually a perfect pose to move into after doing Cat – Cow. So after you finished doing Cat – Cow, come back to Table Top position. This means hands directly below shoulders and knees directly below hips.
From here move your hands slightly out in front, curl your toes under and lift your hips up and back. At this point you want to keep your knees bent and heels elevated. Warm up the back of your thighs by straightening one leg at a time. This is also called ‘Walking The Dog’.
When you’re ready come back to stillness and try to straighten your legs and reach your heels towards the floor. Please do not get frustrated if your heels don’t touch the floor. Whenever I do downward facing dog in the morning my heels never touch the floor. This is a pose that requires a lot of practice and flexibility. However, your body changes throughout the day and won’t always be equally flexible.
Keep grounding down through your hands and reach your naval towards your spine. You got it, now hold this position and breathe. Stay in Downward Dog for about 5 – 10 breaths. To come out of the posture simply lower back down to your knees.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
How to perform:
Get in the plank position. That means hands are directly below shoulders and legs are extended with heels reaching towards the back end of the mat. Head is neutral and whole body is in one straight line. Exhale and bring the left foot forward.
Place your foot between your hands. Align the left knee so it’s above the left ankle. DO NOT let the knee go past your toes. Lower your right knee down to the mat. Keep the left knee in place and move the right knee back until you feel a nice stretch in the top of your thigh and hip flexor. Place the top of your right foot on the mat.
Make sure to keep firming down through your feet and stay light on your fingertips. Hold the position for 5-8 breaths and when you’re ready repeat the same on the other side.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
How to perform:
Begin by standing on your mat, placing your feet wide apart (like you’re about to do Wide – Legged Forward Fold). From here turn your front foot out 90 degrees so your toes are pointing straight forward at the top of your mat.
Keep your back foot in place. Make sure you’re pressing your feet into the ground so the weight of your body is equally distributed through both feet. As you inhale lift your arms up so they’re parallel to the floor. Exhale and push your front arm forward while tilting your hips slightly backwards at the same time.
Continue the movement by bringing your front arm down so your hand touches your shin/ankle/floor (this will depend on your flexibility). In this position tuck your tailbone in, lift your chest up and reach as far as you can with your top arm. Your arms should form one straight line. You can keep your head in neutral position or turn it sideways so your gaze is at the top hand.
Keep taking in long deep breaths and try to relax your body more with each exhalation. Hold this position for 5 – 8 breaths. To come out of the pose, inhale and press firmly through your front heel as you lift your torso. Release the arms back down and repeat on the other side.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
How to perform:
Start by standing in Tadasana or Mountain Pose. This means your feet are close together and your arms are at your sides. Press firmly into the ground with your feet to ensure stability.
Begin by shifting your weight onto the right leg and slightly lifting your left leg up bending at the knee. Reach down with your left hand and clasp your left ankle. Move your left foot up and place it so the sole of your foot is touching the inner thigh of the right leg.
Your left foot should be pressing into your right inner thigh and your right inner thigh should be pressing into the left foot. This will create resistance and it will make it easier to balance this pose. Make sure your pelvis is in neutral position and your tailbone is lengthening towards the floor.
Your hands can be either in Anjali Mudra (prayer hands) at your heart or reaching high up above your head. Since you’re balancing on one foot it can be quite difficult to stay still or not fall out of the posture. To make balancing easier, fix your gaze on one unmoving point in front of you.
Make sure you’re taking in long, deep breaths and stay in this pose for 30 – 60 seconds on each side. To come out of the posture gently release your top leg down and come back to Mountain Pose.
NOTE: If you’re not a morning person you can do these yoga poses whenever it is best for you. All that matters is that you do something for yourself, your body. Listen to it and tend to any aches, pains or emotional discomfort.
If you’re suffering from lower back pain check out these yoga stretches that will help you with it.
Stay safe and happy stretching,
P.S. Sorry about the bad quality photos but nothing went right while I was taking them :/