One of my favourite times to practice yoga is first thing in the morning. I’m a mother of two kids and have a busy life, and I’ve realised that if I wait for later in the day to practice, I either run out of time or energy!
I often tell beginners to establish a home practice they can commit to and do daily or at least every other day. Of course, it can be hard to motivate yourself in the morning without someone spurring you on, but morning is the optimal time to get you into the habit of rolling out your mat. It will set you up for a very productive, healthy, and positive day too.
This short 10-minute morning yoga sequence for beginners is wonderful for getting your blood flowing, and your energy focused. The poses will strengthen and lengthen your body and help you feel fit and flexible all day long.
- Child Pose
This is a great pose to start your morning. Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Balasana is a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
- Cat cow stretches
The Cat-Cow Stretch (Chakravakasana) is a yoga essential and for a good reason. It involves moving the spine from a rounded position (flexion) to an arched one (extension). Flexing and extending the spine can help improve circulation in the discs in your back. It’s a simple motion, but one that can be enormously beneficial in supporting the back, easing any pain and maintaining a healthy spine, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting.
- Extended side angle pose
When we wake in the morning, the most common stretch is to raise both arms upward and outward, take a deep breath, and yawn. Practising Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) can give you the same energised feeling. The pose teaches you how to stabilise your legs while you open and expand the sides of your rib cage, training the muscles that support good breathing. It also tones the muscles that run along the sides of your body. Starting from the outer heel to the outer hip, along the torso, and up to the outer arm.
- Downward Dog
Downward Dog is one of the few yoga poses that strengthens and stretches almost every muscle in the body. At the same time, it provides the benefits of other poses, like inversions and backbends.
Press firmly into your hands and roll your upper arms outwards. Lengthen up through your torso and keep your abdominals (core) engaged. Actively use your legs to keep bringing your torso back in space. If you need to bend your knees, that’s ok! Hold here for eight to ten breaths.
- Pigeon pose
Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) is one of my favourite poses to open hips. Pigeon Pose can also help find relief from sciatic and back pain and release built-up stress, trauma, fear, and anxiety.
- Baby Cobra Pose
Cobra pose, aka baby cobra pose or snake pose, is one of the most frequently practised yoga poses. It’s a great beginner backbend that helps lengthen and strengthen the spine, among other cobra pose benefits.
- Spinal Twist
Spinal twists target the upper, middle and lower parts of the spine. These have a unique set of health benefits. These twists gently rotate the spine and give a good stretch to the muscles of the back. This helps to improve the spinal cord’s range of motion.
End this short but effective practise with Shavasana. This pose will help you relax your mind and body. Lie on your back with your legs spread a little wide and keep your hands on your sides with your palms facing up. Focus on your breath and the rise and fall of your chest. Set your intentions for the day, and direct your focus on different parts of your body one by one. Stay in this pose for at least 5 minutes (or longer if you want to). To get up, turn to your right side and sit up.
I wish you all a positive, purposeful and energetic day.
Picture Credit : Anuja Chowdry