The morning can be a challenging time for all of us. We are abruptly rustled from a sound slumber in our warm bed and are almost immediately required to begin tackling the tasks of the day ahead. Barking dogs need to be walked, hungry children need help getting breakfast and getting dressed for school...
To fight the fatigue many rely on their morning coffee. The routine of pouring a hot cup of coffee and customizing it with the perfect amount of cream, milk or a variety of sweeteners is essential for many of us to begin firing on all cylinders.
What if there was a better way to wake up and start each day? What if you could participate in a quick and simple practice that would awaken both your mind and body, that got you fully prepared to tackle whatever the coming day had to throw at you? And, what if that new routine had even greater benefits than your morning cup of coffee?
Morning Vinyasa Yoga Routine to Energize and Revitalize
During a typical day, you may be required to juggle a multitude of stressful tasks, many of which occur at the very same time. This can leave you mentally frazzled after a long day.
If you work a desk job, your body is also most likely in a seated position all day. You go from the car to the cubicle to the table and then to the couch, with limited opportunity to move freely. This can leave you with an aching back and neck, tight shoulders, hips and ankles making any movement you make time for uncomfortable.
At the end of the day your mind and body are exhausted. While your morning coffee can provide the fuel you need to power through another day, a short and simple yoga routine will deliver the same energy while also strengthening your body, refocusing your mind and reducing the aches and pains that accumulate during your regular daily routine.
Best Yoga Movements to Start Your Day
Investing just fifteen minutes, practicing the following yoga poses at the outset of your day will improve flexibility, stretch tight muscles and joints and help realign your body and mind. This simple routine requires no special equipment and no big investment (of money or time), but it will produce major rewards when it comes to both physical and mental health. In fact, by adding these movements to your morning routine, you just might be able to give up your coffee habit without losing a step.
Child’s pose is the best movement to kick off your routine. It slowly and gently opens up your hips and puts you in a position to begin elongating your spine. Focus on your breathing and use this movement to get fully into the moment.
Cat Cow Pose
Slowly rise up from child’s pose onto all fours and press your palms into the floor. Engage the shoulders and move your entire spine with fluidity as you transition from cat pose to cow pose. This will completely warm up and elongate your spine and provide additional stretch to your hips
Stand up with feet shoulder width apart, raise your hands toward the sky before folding down at the waist and reaching toward the floor. This provides an outstanding stretch for the hamstrings. Relax your head, neck and jaw as you fold down and continue to focus on deep breathing.
Move your left foot back and lower yourself into a low lunge. Focus on getting a deep stretch to continue to undo the tightness that has built up from sitting all day. Keep your chest and chin high and feel your hips and low back open up.
Transition up from the low lunge into the warrior pose. Reach high to the sky, elongate your spine and maintain a strong base. In addition to continuing to open up the hips, warrior pose will engage and strengthen the quadriceps, stretch the entire posterior chain and open the shoulders. Make sure to work both sides of the low lunge and warrior pose equally.
Close out your morning yoga vinyasa routine by lowering into the plank pose. This final move will strengthen the arm, shoulder, chest and back muscles as well as powerfully engaging the core. At the end of your plank, walk your feet slowly towards your hands and slowly roll up at the waist and reach to the sky for one last, final stretch.
Hold each pose for 45-60 seconds, breathe with purpose throughout and focus deeply on each movement. At the end of this short routine you’ll feel awake and alive and be eager to get on with the new day.