Opening your morning with yoga is a powerful way to connect to your breath and set a peaceful, grounded tone for what will follow in the hours ahead. Without leaving the warmth and comfort of your bed, flow through these eight energizing poses upon awakening (or keep your eyes closed if you like). I like to use yoga as a softer, easier way to wake up.
On mornings when I need the extra boost or have early commitments, I use the Yoga Wake Up app, which is an alarm that wakes me up with an audio-based yoga sequence by teachers I know personally, like Jen Smith and Derek Beres. After a sunrise practice, I feel rejuvenated, calm and ready to take on the day! Try these eight poses and see how they can help you start your day right.
1. Wide-Legged Child Pose (Balasana)
From a kneeling position, extend your knees so that they’re hip width apart from one another. After lowering your bottom between your feet, extend your torso and arms out in front of you, between your thighs. Allow your forehead to rest on the bed. Breathe and hold for thirty seconds to a minute.
2. Cat Pose to Cow Pose (Marjaryasana to Bitilasana)
Start with your hands and knees on the bed, ensuring that your wrists are in line with your shoulders and your knees are under your hips. Inhale and then exhale, gently rounding your spine into Cat, while keeping your abdominals engaged and allowing the chin to drop to your chest. Inhale, and then exhale into Cow by arching your back, lifting your head up, and letting your belly relax. Flow back into Cat Pose and repeat, warming up your spine.
3. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
While lying on your back, bring your right knee into your chest and gently lower it over the left side of your body. Draw your right arm (and your gaze) out to your right side and place your left hand on your right knee. Hold for five to ten breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.
4. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
From a seated position, extend your legs in front of you and flex your feet. Lift your arms up and then reach for your feet or ankles, making sure to remove any curvature from your spine. Breathe and continue to bend forward, maintaining relaxed shoulders and a flat back. Hold for thirty seconds to a minute.
5. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
Begin lying on your back with your legs together and your arms close to your body. Bend your elbows in, lift your palms up to the sky, with your fingers pointing up. Exhale, push into your elbows, lift your chest into the sky, and place the crown of your head down onto the ground. Keep your legs active, and on your exhalations, squeeze your shoulder blades. Continue to breathe, expanding your chest, for thirty seconds.
6. Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)
From a low lunge with the right leg forward, extend the left leg back (allowing all of your toenails to touch the floor) and then bend the right leg and lay it on the bed, squaring off your hips. Lengthen the spine and exhale, folding forward over the front of the leg with your arms, chest, and head. Breathe for one minute to three minutes, and repeat on the other side.
7. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
From lying on your back, bring your knees into your chest and gently take hold of the edges of your feet. As you release into your hips, allow your lower back to spread onto the bed, ensuring your ankles are stacked over your knees. Try to touch the tip of your tailbone to the bed. Breathe and hold for one minute.
8. Easy Pose (Sukasana)
Sit on your sit bones with your legs crossed and feet relaxed. Lift your spine straight to the sky and allow your hands to rest on your knees with the palms facing down. Practice breathing and savor the peace and tranquility of the moment.
What’s your favorite asana to practice in the morning? Share it with us on Twitter with #myphilosophie!