Start off every morning on the right foot by adding to your routine a series of yoga poses, meditation, and stretches.
You know the sayings: “someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” or “somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.” And the gestures and mannerisms are certainly familiar; rolling into the office with matching oversized sunglasses and take-away coffee, staying waspishly silent until 11am.
The mornings are not always easy, especially if you’ve had a restless sleep the night before. But there are things you can do to set the tone for the rest of your day. By incorporating a 15 minute AM yoga workout into your morning routine may be just the thing to sail through the rest of the day more relaxed, stress free, and focused.
Welcome the Day with Sun Salutations
Begin your morning routine by welcoming the sun and the day ahead. Standing with feet hip-width apart and your abs engaged, inhale deeply. As you exhale, sweep your arms out in a large circle, starting pointing down at the ground, moving smoothly out to the sides, and ending over your head, with your palms pressed together.
From here, exhale as your bend over from the hips, keeping your back and arms straight and in line. Continue the stretch into a Forward Bend, with your hands flat on the floor in front of you. You may bend your knees if the stretch is too intense.
From here, come back up until your back is parallel to the ground. Remember to keep your back flat. Exhale and return to a Forward Bend. Inhale as you come back up, sweeping arms out in a circle, and ending with palms pressed together over your head. Repeat this entire series five to eight times.
Relax the Body with Stress Relieving Stretches
Get the kinks out from a bad night’s sleep, relax your body and quiet your mind, so your day doesn’t start off in a frantic dash. Stretching regularly will improve your flexibility, your posture, and will help you sit and stand tall at work all day long.
Hanging Back Stretch
Standing up straight, sweep your arms out to the sides and over your head, with palms pressing together. While exhaling, bend over from the hips, keeping your back flat, and move into a Forward Bend pose. From here cross your arms over, placing a hand on each elbow. Gently hang here, stretching your back and hamstrings. Hold for five breaths.
Align Your Core with the Spine Twist
Stretch your lower back, and release tight hips by holding the Spine Twist for 30 seconds on each side. Lie on your back, and while keeping your left leg straight on the floor, bend your right leg, resting your right foot on your left knee.
Slowly twist your body, bringing your right knee over to the left side, until it rests gently on the ground. Keep your right hand flat on the floor beside you for stability. After you have held the stretch, switch sides and repeat the process.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog is a central yoga pose that strengthens your back, triceps, shoulders, and core. This move also builds stamina and endurance.
Start on your hands and knees, with your knees aligned under your hips and your hands aligned under your shoulders. Tuck your toes under and push up, straightening your arms and legs. Keep your back flat, your core engaged, and slowly bring your chest closer to your thighs, feeling a stretch in your hamstrings.
Upward Facing Dog
From Downward Facing Dog, lower yourself into a plank, or push-up, position, and slowly arch your back, lowering your core towards the ground, as your head reaches towards the sky. As you hold this position make sure your shoulders stay down and your toes remain tucked. Hold for a few breaths, and then slowly move back into Downward Facing Dog.
From Downward Facing Dog, bring your right foot forward and in between your hands. Bring your torso up and hold a lunge stance. Make sure that your front foot points forward, with your knee aligned over your foot, never extending past the foot. Keep your hips straight forward, and your back foot on a slight angle, its sole flat on the ground.
Sweep your arms overhead, pressing your palms together. Look up towards the sky, keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears. Stretch gently in this position for five breaths.
From Warrior One, turn your hips and shoulders to the left. Keep your lunge stance, and ensure your front knee does not go past your front foot. From here shoot your arms out, one pointing to the front, and one pointing to the back. Keep your palms down, and arms parallel to the ground. Keep your eyes to the front, and hold this stretch, keeping your arms strong and lunge stable for five breaths.
End your morning yoga routine by breathing deeply in and out through your nose, as you sweep your arms overhead in a circle, then lower them with palms pressed together in a prayer position. Repeat three to five times, and go on to enjoy your day relaxed, strong, and focused.
Be Strong All Day With These Morning Yoga Poses
Many morning yoga poses focus on strength. Take this strength with you throughout the entire day. Face the world prepared, and with your head up. These moves will engage your core, and strengthen muscles, leaving you feeling powerful and confident.