Trying to jump-start your day with a vigor and energy? You must be thinking of coffee or tea, right? If not caffeine, you may be wondering what else could work! An energizing morning yoga routine can work as a natural stimulant, and set you up with clarity and focus for a productive day.
Yoga and strong breathing practices in the morning, will help refresh your body and give you energy. It is common for people to sleep with their spine and hips rounded in a position similar to the fetal position. This can feel calming while you rest, but can also leave lingering tightness upon awaking. It also takes the mind longer to awake, in unison with the body. Sun salutations, backbends, and even forward bends, stretch and extend the hips and spine, nicely, and provide a counterpose of sorts to this sleeping position.
Simply put, yoga can take you from sleepiness and lethargy, to openness, energy and alertness, both mentally and physically. Yoga can also bring clarity and focus to the mind to prepare for a more productive day. Benefiting from yoga in the morning does not have to be a time commitment either. You can do just one pose, or 10-30 minutes of yoga, depending on how much time you have and what you desire in a practice.
So let's look at 1 sequence and 2 poses that are ideal for an early morning yoga routine and will help you have a powerful and energized day ahead.
1. Sun Salutation - Surya Namaskar
Why does it work?
The Sun Salutation Poses are essential when you want to stretch your body and improve your blood circulation as well. Along with this, if you do 12 sets of this Sun Salutation A poses, it is equal to a total of 288 individual poses in a relatively short amount of time, making it efficient in terms of benefits for a small time commitment. The symbolism of Sun Salutations, is the idea of infusing your body with the energy of the sun, which is vibrant, bright, and full of life giving energy.
Also, this sequence can be considered as a mini cardio workout and will certainly build heat in the body and have you feeling warm, making it even better for a chilly morning.
How to do it?
1. Begin in downward dog and breathe for 5-10 breaths.
2. Walk or hop your feet to the top of your mat between your hands
3. Lift your hands overhead while inhaling.
4. Now, start exhaling and bend forward from your hips till your hands touch your feet or the floor beneath. Remember to let your head drop.
5. Rise halfway so that your back surface becomes parallel to the floor, while you let your hands rest on your shin.
6. Come to a plank position.
7. Lower, than shift to a cobra pose.
8. While exhaling, come back to the downward dog.
2. Dancer's Pose - Natarajasana
This pose improves concentration and balances action and thought. Also, it releases stress and soothes your mind. Furthermore, backbends are the perfect remedy for any sleeping posture and give a feeling of being energized after practicing them.
Please note this is a more advanced posture, so be gentle coming into it, especially first thing in the morning. If you do have extra time, a warm-up pose or two, can make a big difference. If you just have time for this pose, take your time coming into your full expression, and listen to your body.
1. Stand in the Tadasana Pose.
2. Bend your left knee and place your heel towards the left buttock.
3. Bend your left elbow and grab your inner left foot with your left hand.
4. Push the right thigh bone into the hip joint and to pull your kneecap upwards so that your standing leg becomes straight and strong.
5. Keep your spine lengthening to avoid the crunching in your lower back.
6. Start to kick back lift your left foot upwards and parallel to the floor.
7. Maintain this pose for about 15 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat the same steps with the other leg as well.
3. Forward Fold - Uttanasana
With this exercise, you are able to stretch the entire backside of your body. Also, it soothes the entire nervous system and stimulates the internal organs as well. Furthermore, enhances circulation to your pelvic organs. If you wake up feeling overwhelmed with all their is to do in a given day, this pose is perfect for a calm, clear, and energized start. This will leave you feeling not only focused and awake, but a little more calm and centered as well.
How to do it:
1. Stand comfortably with your body weight on both the feet equally and knees slightly bent.
2. Bend forwards with your core engaged and your hips stacked directly over your ankles.
3. Engage your core and pull your abdominals slightly towards your spinal cord. Option to hold your elbows with the opposite hand, while letting your head hang loose for a more relaxed variation that is nice in the morning.
4. Take 5-15 breaths in and out of your nose.
Whether you have time for one pose or all, these poses are responsible for building a connection between the body and mind. So the consequent breath that you are going to inhale and exhale will set you for an amazing day ahead.
By Frey Lowe
Frey Lowe is the Founding Editor at CouponsMonk.com.
Practice these classes for an energized and focused morning!
Morning Yoga Fix with Jackie Casal Mahrou
Morning Yoga Ritual with Elise Fabricant
Signup for info on the latest classes and discounts.
iPod is a trademark of Apple Computer Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.