What’s your morning routine? Are you an early riser who jumps straight into exercise to get your blood moving as you start your day? Or are you the type who clutches a cup of coffee while trying to get going? No matter what your morning style, working in a few yoga stretches is a great way to have some me time, stimulate your body, and awaken your mind to face the day ahead. Here are a few to get you started.
- Child’s Pose: This restorative pose stretches the hips, pelvis, thighs, and spine. Staring on all fours, knees under your hips and big toes touching, inhale, feeling your spine grow longer. Exhale as you sit back on your heels and tuck your chin down to your chest, then bend forward until your torso is on your thighs, and forehead on the ground, arms outstretched or next to your body, palms up. Take five deep breaths.
- Cat-Cow: These two poses done together can increase the circulation of your spinal fluid, stretch your back and torso, and massage the abdominal organs. Go from child’s pose to all fours with the tops of your feet flat, hips directly over your knees, and your shoulders directly over your wrists. Inhale and drop your belly, looking slightly upward while allowing your back to arch, keeping your shoulders back and down, for the Cow pose. On the exhale, move into Cat by pressing your hands into the ground and rounding your upper back. Keep arching and rounding for five breaths.
- Downward-Facing Dog: This mild inversion resets your nervous system, energizes the body, and quiets the mind. Starting on all fours, push into your hands and straighten your arms by raising your hips and straightening your legs. You can move your feet and hands a little farther apart to make it more comfortable, and don’t worry about touching the ground with your heels. Exhale, pressing into your hands while rolling your shoulders down and back, keeping your spine neutral. Take five deep breaths, bending one knee and then the other, to open the back, then settle into the pose by taking two deep breaths with your legs still.
- Warrior 1: This power pose can increase flexibility in your hips, boost your confidence, improve your focus, and energize your whole body. From Downward Dog, lift the right foot, bending your knee toward your nose. Put your right foot down between your hands or behind your right hand. As you inhale, rise to standing. Both feet should have their toes pointing toward the top of the mat. Inch your foot forward if you’d like, and when you feel stable, pivot your backfoot to about a 45 degree angle. With your back leg straight and your front leg bent, knee over your ankle, sink your hips a little bit to deepen the stretch. Inhale, lifting your arms above your head, shoulder-width apart, with palms parallel and facing each other. Take three deep breaths.
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