Yoga is a great practice to do at any time of day, it allows you to take some time to relax, re-energize and stretch. Morning yoga is particularly good because it’s a great way to wake up and get energized for the day ahead.Yoga poses, also called Asana’s are the basis of the physical part of all yoga practice, but the word Yoga itself refers to the union of mind and spirit, and therefore the benefits of morning yoga are about a lot more than a good stretch!
Doing Yoga in the morning is great because when you’ve just woken up you don’t have any distractions and therefore you can take a peaceful moment before starting your busy day. It’s an opportunity to set your goals and take some time to appreciate what you have.
After just one morning Yoga session you will start to notice a difference in body and mind, and with continued practice it can be really beneficial to your lifestyle.
It’s much better than a morning coffee, and the results will last more than a few hours!
Why Practice Morning Yoga?
Quite simply Yoga will help you start the morning refreshed and energized! After a night’s sleep of 7-8 hours it’s great to get up and stretch out. Yoga will allow you to open your hips and shoulders, lengthen your spine and generally gently stretch your body. It’s also a great opportunity to focus your breathing and take a moment to prepare for the day ahead.
A morning yoga routine will allow you to balance your body, stretch you out, clear and center your mind and give you energy for the day ahead.
Get started with this Morning Yoga Routine
There are countless Asana’s and they all have great benefits, but to get you started we’ve picked a selection of Yoga poses that you can do in the morning to stretch out and prepare for the day ahead.
So place your Yoga mat somewhere that is peaceful, ideally with natural light and fresh air and get practicing!
Sun salutations are traditionally practiced when the sun rises and are a great way to start your Yoga routine as they warm you up and let your body and breath sync up. There are many different variations of this sequence but to get started try this:
Stand tall with equal weight on both feet and bring your hands together in front of your heart. Take a moment to inhale deeply and focus on your breathing. Then on your next inhale take your arms straight up above your head. Bend your back a little to feel your entire body lengthen. As you exhale let one hand slide down the side of your body while keeping the other raised. Keep your head and neck relaxed and feel the stretch down the side of your body. On your next inhale come slowly back up to the centre and exhale down to the other side. Repeat this around 5 times, feeling your body stretch and taking it as deep as you can.
This pose is really great for stretching out your body, and given that many of us spend much of our time sitting at a desk this pose can really help eliminate stiffness. You will feel it working in your lower back and legs. It’s also a great way to improve blood flow and circulation.
From standing simply fold forward from your hips. Bend your knees a little and bring your chest in towards your thighs. Make sure you keep your neck relaxed and simply let your head hang. Take 10 deep breaths in this position before slowly standing back up.
Similar to the forward fold this pose is also great for stretching out your body. You can do this as an alternative to the forward fold, or add both into your routine. This really lengthens your spine and stretches through the hamstrings too. There are several variations of this move but to get started try this:
From standing take your legs out into a wide position. Inhale and stand tall, put your hands on your hips. Exhale while bending forwards towards the ground bringing your hands to the floor in line under your shoulders. Then use your arms to pull your forehead down towards the floor and bend your elbows towards the wall behind you. Ensure you’re pressing into your feet and lengthening your legs to push your hips upwards. When you do this you will feel your spine being pulled in both directions. Hold this for 3-5 breaths before reaching the arms out and inhaling back up.
This pose is all about balance and many people who practice Yoga use this pose as their time to set an intention for the day. It can be a small or big intention, but the time that this pose gives you to breathe and relax means you can take a few moments to be at peace and focus on the day ahead.
Take your feet apart to about hip distance and make sure you plant yourself firmly into the ground. Your hands can be in front of your heart or on your hips, whichever is most comfortable. Then inhale and bring one of your feet up and place it on your calf or thigh. Breathe out, keeping your core engaged and bring your arms up to the sky and breathe in 5 times. Breathe out and put your leg back to the ground and repeat with the opposite leg.
This pose is great for building up energy and warming up the body. It activates a lot of your muscle groups including your core and legs, which is great first thing in the morning to set you up for the day.
Start with your feet together or if it’s more comfortable hip width apart. Breathe in and bring your arms forward with your palms down until parallel with the floor. As you breathe out bend your knees and squat down as though you’re about to sit on the edge of a chair. Ensure your knees point straight ahead and that your hips are not lower than your knees. Press your shoulders down and try to arch the spine before relaxing your shoulders and reaching out through your fingertips to fully engage the stretch. Hold this for 5 breaths before pressing into your feet and straightening your legs.
This pose is great because it gets your whole body involved and will help wake up all your muscle groups! It stretches out the back of the legs and hips and feels really good! You’ll have seen dogs do this after they wake up to give their bodies a stretch and once you try it for yourself you’ll understand why!
From all fours on the mat tuck your toes under and lift your hips up to the ceiling. Lower your head and push into your hands to lengthen the spine. Draw your tummy into to your spine and press into the soles of your feet and fingertips to feel the stretch. Take 5 deep breaths here before bending the knees and lowering back to your starting position on all fours.
Warrior is a pose that is all about strength and power. It’s a great pose to add into your morning yoga routine to help you feel strong for the day ahead.
Start standing up straight before taking your left leg back about 3 or 4 feet. Bend your right knee to above your ankle and turn your left foot in slightly. Raise your arms up above you and look up. Be sure and hold this pose strongly to maximize the benefit of the stretch and hold it for up to a minute. Then repeat bringing the opposite foot forward.
Child pose is a great pose for simply taking a minute to breathe and relax. It’s a nice one to finish on before you get on with your day as it allows you to take that time just to stretch out, relax and gather your thoughts.
From kneeling on your mat, lower your chest down towards your thighs and your forehead towards the floor. Then either let your arms fall down by your sides with your hands next to your feet, or lengthen your hands out in front and put them underneath your forehead. Breathe deeply and as you exhale sink the bum down towards your heels. Stay here for however long feels good to you and be conscious of your breathing simply taking the moment to relax.
Although you may not be able to do all these poses easily the first time, you’ll get better with practice, the most important thing is to enjoy it!
As with any new exercise routine if you have any concerns then please consult a doctor before starting the practice.
We hope you enjoy trying this morning yoga routine and it sets you up for an energizing day ahead!