Are you getting too worked up by your usual morning workout routine that involves a lot of jumping and strenuous moving? Sure, it does give you energy but your cortisol levels (stress hormone) probably increase too!
Want your exercise goals achieved but want to have a change of pace while still boosting your energy levels for the day ahead?
If you are looking for an alternative, then you are in the right place because yoga might be just what you are searching for! “But yoga is a slow workout, how could it energize my mornings?” Oh, we are telling you, yoga is more than just a slow workout.
In this article, we will go through seven (7) easy yoga poses to kick-start your day but not at the expense of expending all your energy first thing in the morning.
Also there is a few bonus leveled-up poses for you to try. Ready? Then let us get stretching!
Benefits Of Doing A Morning Yoga Flow
If someone has not told you yet, it is okay to start your mornings slowly. This does not necessarily mean that you are lazy or unproductive — taking your time and keeping clam is often best in order to be in your optimal state all throughout the day.
Letting yourself adjust on your own terms is a form of self-care all of us should discover and practice. We have to listen to our body and not resort to beating ourselves up just to keep pace with the people around us.
Some of us just like to start our mornings all in high spirits and then there are also some who prefer the serenity and quietness of a new day. Well, it is all about preference, really.
A few of the benefits you can get from doing yoga in the morning are:
- Relieve and release muscle stiffness
- Have a “me-time”
- Align your focus and mind for the day
- Gather your energy
…and a lot more!
Dedicating even just a few minutes of your early morning hours to yoga will definitely contribute to your fitness goals and will make you happier. Like, scientifically, since your dopamine (reward chemical) and endorphins (happy hormone) levels are elevated as (1) you achieved your daily fitness goal, and (2) you have grounded and readied yourself for the day, come what may!
For some, the exercise portion of their daily routine might be a heavy task. By doing yoga in the morning, you already ate the frog and you will not think of it as a hindrance to the other things you’ve scheduled for the day.
Yoga mornings also allow your mind and body to break away from yesterday’s stress or even overthinking the day ahead. There always has to be a balance.
As you meditate through the workout, remember to keep the positive thoughts in and let the negative ones move through you and out. In yoga, we will welcome the negative emotions and thoughts in a sense of acknowledging them, but also let them go because only positivity is welcome to stay.
Breathe: Inhale the “good”, exhale the “bad”.
Yoga Poses to Kick-Start Your Day
In this flow, we recommend you change into light, comfortable, and airy clothes. You do not need to put on your usual workout clothes — it is entirely up to you.
Choose an area where there is good ventilation, whether it is outside in the garden, or even just in the comforts of your own bedroom, perhaps with the window open and a circulating fan on, as long as it doesn’t cause you any disturbance.
You will need a yoga mat, or even any sort of mat will do, as long as it is not too slippery or rough. You can put on a piece of calming music or drop some energizing essential oils such as peppermint or lemon oil into your diffuser, light a candle, or even get the coffee brewing.
Let us incorporate yoga slowly into our mornings, focusing on your breathing and bring your mindfulness intact.
Start on all fours or in a tabletop position. Widen your knees and bring your big toes together. Then, slowly push your lower back down to your heels, at the same time stretching your arms forward and palms flat on the floor.
Stabilize your breathing, inhale and exhale. This stretch is a good way to start your yoga morning session as it slowly works your hips, lower back, and shoulders. Retain this position for up to 30 seconds.
Downward Dog Pose
This next pose is a classic and may look easy to do, but a lot tend to do it and end up stretching the wrong way. From the last pose, slowly transition back to the tabletop. Then, push your feet back and lift your tailbone up.
Remember not to tighten your knees as this will cause unnecessary discomfort and keep your soles flat on the ground (this can be hard at first, but rest assured you will get more flexible over time especially if you are doing it the right way).
Right now, your torso must be lifted up and supported by your limbs. There should also be enough space in between your arms for your upper body to stretch into. Bring your shoulder blades forward as you push the soles of your feet flat and upper body back, and your lower back up. Repeat this a few times for 30 seconds.
If this exercise feels too much for you just yet, then you can always substitute an easy one like the Cat-Cow pose. No worries!
Stand up and assume a supine position (palms facing forward). Lift both your arms up to the sky as you ground your feet steady. Inhale when you lift your arms, exhale when you lower them.
This pose is one of the easiest yoga poses to kick-start your day and for general grounding. It is a fundamental starting point for more standing yoga poses and it is also known as the mother of all poses!
Continuing with the mountain pose, we will now add a little bit of variation. As you put your arms down, slowly bend your torso as your hands reach for your feet. Remember to keep your legs straight but your knees are not locked, meaning they can still bend but only a little.
Feel the stretch on your lower back, hamstrings, shoulders, and the back of your neck. The breathing pattern recommended here is to inhale when your arms are up, exhale as you fold forward and down, and hold for a couple of breaths, then repeat. Do this repeatedly for 30 seconds.
In this pose, we will still continue with the last variation but this time, get into a high lunge position. Make sure that the knee of your front leg is just leveled and not leaning too far forward. Keep your back leg straight and find your balance.
Once you do, lift up your arms up as you inhale, exhale as you bend forward, and your arms down. Remember to ground on your front foot and lift using the toes of the leg on your back. Repeat this up to 10-15 times, take it slow and controlled, then do the same on the other side.
Revert to a standing position as we start the cool-down and we are down to the last two yoga poses to kick-start your day! Lift your left leg up and plant the sole of your feet just the toes above the knees and beside your thigh.
Find your balance first before bringing your arms up in a praying position and down just in front of your chest.
Practice breathing. Hold this pose for a few seconds and do the same with the other side.
Going back to the standing position, bring your feet a bit apart and your hands in a praying pose. Bend your knees then squat down low on the ground and feel the stretch on your inner thighs.
Your feet must not remain to point forward but away as you squat down; it pivots. Your knees should also be wide apart to enable the stretch.
Hold this pose for a second or two and repeat for 30 seconds.
Bonus Yoga Poses for You to Try
As promised, below are three (3) more yoga poses you can incorporate into your flow. Do not worry, these are beginner to intermediate-friendly ones..
Lay flat on your back on the mat, arms at your sides, palms flat on the ground, and bend your knees. Lift your lower back and feel the stretch. Similar to earlier, inhale as you lift, and exhale as you go down. Do this in a slow and controlled manner for up to 30 seconds.
The next pose is a deep stretch and may feel too hard right now. But there is no harm in giving it a try. Kneel on your mat and bend your torso backward with your arms reaching your heels. It is perfectly okay if you cannot reach your heels right now, you will get used to it over time.
Practice this pose every day to improve your flexibility. This is good for opening your chest and helps enhance your lung capacity. Stay in this pose for up to 30 seconds or only for as long as you can.
This pose is good to do as either one of your flow starters or enders. Sit down on your mat, bend your legs, and lay them flat sideways as the soles of your feet come together, but not necessarily completely closed together, and stretch. Use your arms to push your legs further to the ground. You can lean forward to make this possible.
This pose helps relieve tight hips and stretches your inner thighs. Stay in this pose for up to 30 seconds or only for as long as you can. This can be hard on the first try.
Discover More of Yoga Now!
If you had fun and find a calling to continue yoga, connect with a community near you now and find all the support you need.
Also, there are more ways to discover yoga than just the traditional mat based yoga forms. One such way we mentioned briefly earlier is with swing yoga or aerial yoga as it’s more commonly known as.
This is where you use the aerial hammock or yoga swing to assist with your asana and even creates a whole new way to experience yoga, as many of the poses can be performed suspended from the ceiling and supported by your aerial yoga prop. Keep in mind, the entire above flow can be adapted into an aerial yoga flow!
Aerial yoga has the same benefits as regular yoga, and comes with some additional ones too, such as increased propreceptive awareness and development and can help strengthen your stabilizing muscles and expand your range of motion throughout your body.
Some people may feel quite intimidated by the thought of using a yoga swing and being off the ground while doing yoga. But you shouldn’t be! It is very beginner friendly and accessible to almost anyone.
Also, it can be quite fun and has a wide range of application settings, such as increasing the engagement with children or assisting the elderly among others.
So why not try aerial yoga poses to kick-start your day!
Have A Great Day!
There would really be days when we just do not feel like getting out of bed and that is okay but it should not be a habit. It is true that we should allow ourselves to rest from time to time, but we also should not forget to hustle — continue hustling for a good life.
Let yoga be a part of how you will help yourself in your life and at the beginning of every day try to take the time to elevate your energy levels without excess stress and exertion, and still maintain your health routine long into the future.