Do you have a morning routine? I’ve found that following a morning routine makes the rest of the day seem more doable. It helps me feel more organized, mentally relaxed, and alert.
One of the most important components of my morning routine a quick yoga routine. It’s the first thing I do after stumbling out of bed. My morning yoga routine takes anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes, depending on how I’m feeling and what I need to take care on a given morning. I change it up a little bit—sometimes I’ll do yoga with a video or just do a few of my favorite poses on my own. Nothing is super intense, but it makes such a difference in the way I feel! After just a little yoga, every part of my body feels awake. I feel like I’m occupying my entire body—not just my head!
If you’re looking to incorporate exercise into your morning routine, the following are a few poses to get you started. This set make take between 5 and 10 minutes, so it’s not a huge time commitment.
Twisting in Cat/Cow
On your hands and knees, ease into Cat Pose with your inhale, as you drop the head, round the spine and lift away from your shoulder joints. As you expel your breath, arch your back, look up at the ceiling, into Cow Pose. Repeat for a few rounds. Then, with a neutral spine, begin drawing a circle with your abdomen, twisting in and out of Cat and Cow. Repeat for a few rounds then reverse direction.
Walking out the Dog
From the previous position, inhale as you lift your torso and straighten your arms. Remain on the balls of your feet. Exhale, sending energy down your legs as you press your heels towards the mat. For a few breaths, shift your weight between your feet as you “walk” in place and open up your calves.
Rolling up to Mountain Pose, Swinging Arms
From Downward Dog, walk your feet to the top of your mat and slowly roll up to Mountain pose. Take a few moments to breath and make a dedication for your day. Sometimes, mine is just “getting through the day, hopefully with grace.” Sometimes it’s more specific to what I’ve got coming up. Keeping your feet grounded, relax your torso and swing your arms freely from side to side, twisting at the core with each swing. Allow your arms to be dead weights as you twist. Feel free to “unground” your lower half after a bit and shake out your legs or bend your knees.
Holding Plank while Alternating Knee-to-Elbow Touches
From Mountain Pose, go through a vinyasa (Chaturanga, Upward Dog, Downward Dog). From Downward Dog, lift one leg, opening the hip if you’d like. As you bring your leg closer to the ground, shift into Plank. Bend your lifted leg and bring it to touch your elbow (on the same side). If you’d like to take this position a step further, you may bend your elbows, use your elbow as a shelf for the bent leg, and lift the standing leg and balance. Alternate each side for a few rounds.
Recentering in Anahatasana
From Downward Dog, return to your hands and knees. Walk your hands away from you, towards the top of the mat (as you would in Child’s Pose). Slowly lower your heart toward the mat, touching your chest to the mat if possible. If you’d like to open your hips simultaneously, spread your knees and sink your hips towards the mat. If Anahatasana is too intense, you may rest in Child’s Pose. Take a few moments to breathe deeply here. Reflect on your dedication and how you will approach the rest of your day.
Ease out of Anahatasana and spend a few more moments in meditation or in Savasana.
More yoga tutorials: Energizing Morning Yoga Sequence
Yoga to Correct Rounded Shoulders
Hip Opener Poses to Beat Anxiety
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell