Have you ever thought about practising yoga first thing in the morning? Trust me, it’s the best time to do it!
If you work a stressful 9-5 job, or if you’re a ridiculously busy person like I am, morning yoga is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a successful day.
Besides, if you wait until the evening, it’s highly likely that you’ll have too much on your plate and you’ll slack off (believe me, I’m speaking from experience).
There are so many amazing benefits to be experienced from practising morning yoga. It encourages a healthier sleeping pattern, it sets your mental state for the day, and it literally leaves your whole system feeling fresh and ready to go!
Not to mention the amazing effects it will have on stress and anxiety level! (Check out this article I wrote regarding yoga for stress and anxiety)
It’s time to start prioritising your practice and getting it done first thing. It’s a great way to get into the habit of getting on the mat, too. This was something I initially struggled with.
I’ve put together this quick and easy morning yoga routine which will kick-start your body and leave you feeling energised and invigorated.
I generally begin every routine with the Mountain Pose, especially when I’m doing morning yoga. It’s a great way to ground yourself and really get into the right mindset for the rest of the routine.
You want to evenly distribute your weight across the bottom of your feet, and outstretch your arms by your sides. If you want to, you can outturn your hands, so your palms are facing in front of you, rather than facing your thighs. I personally feel like this really allows me to attune myself with my surroundings.
I remain in this pose for a good 30 seconds or so, in order to get the full effect. You can shorten this to around 10 seconds though if you’d prefer.
The Warrior poses are designed to give us strength, hence the name! Which happens to be exactly what we’re looking to gain from our morning yoga routine. From the mountain pose, take a fairly large stride backwards with one foot. Turn your back foot slightly out to the side.
Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and extend your arms directly up towards the sky, with your chest out, nice and proud.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds, or for 5 steady, deep breaths.
From the Warrior I pose, turn your torso to the side (the same side your back foot is pointing to) and stretch your arms out, directly horizontal to your body. Have them pointing directly to the front and back, in line with your legs.
Hold your core in tight and keep the front knee over the ankle again. Try and distribute your body weight across both of your feet this time, rather than leaning all of your weight onto your front foot.
Remain here for 30 seconds, or for 5 deep breaths.
From the Warrior II pose, straighten your lead leg, so your legs are now both straight, standing in a wide stance. Bend at the hips like a hinge (don’t bend the whole spine) and place your hand on your knee, or shin if you’re flexible.
Reach directly up towards the ceiling with the other arm, keeping your whole body ‘flat’ and in-line, as though you were squished between two narrow walls.
Same duration again – we’re going to hold this pose for 30 seconds or 5 deep breaths.
Downward Facing Dog
This is a fantastic pose to implement into your morning yoga routine. From a standing position, lean forward and place both of your hands on the mat. Step backwards and place your feet together as you come into the Downward Facing Dog position.
Drive your bodyweight down into your palms, lengthen your torso and keep your core nice and tight. Stick your bum up in the air and slightly ‘out’ as you try and keep your back as straight as possible.
At first, you probably won’t be able to keep your back perfectly straight, especially if you’re a guy… but that’s okay! It gives you a starting point to improve on. It’s also okay to bend your knees if necessary.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds or 5 breaths.
The good old plank! From the Downward Facing Dog pose, drop to your hands and knees and place your forearms on the mat, parallel with each other. Keep your body nice and straight from your head to your feet.
Keep your abs engaged (you’ll have no choice, trust me!) and try and hold this position for a minute. You can increase this duration as you progress. You want it to be challenging but don’t kill yourself – this is yoga, not a circuit!
Upward Facing Dog
From the plank position, drop down to the floor so that your entire body is flat, facing down. Now take your hands, and place them by your sides, nice and tucked in as if you were about to perform a push-up.
Now, while keeping your lower body extended and flat along the floor, press up through your arms until they’re straight. Keep your shoulders strong and face forwards. Your back will bend, but don’t go out of your way to ‘try’ and bend it – this way you’ll only end up getting hurt. Let it just sit in a natural bend.
This pose is surprisingly challenging considering it looks so easy. But it’s perfect for a morning yoga routine because you’ve been laying in bed, completely still, for hours on end, Your back is probably quite stiff! It’s also a nice way to stretch out your abs after the plank.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds or 5 nice deep breaths.
The Child’s Pose is a great way to end your morning yoga routine as it stretches your body out so well!
This is a great pose to follow the Upward Facing Dog, as you just bend your hips and bring your bum back over your heels, with the tops of your feet flat along the floor. Keep your hands stretched out and feel the stretch down each side.
Hold this pose for as long as you like – I tend to hold it longer than all the rest, as it’s actually my favourite pose in terms of the way it feels. I get a great stretch down my sides and down my entire back.
I hold this pose for a couple of minutes while breathing super deeply and getting ready to begin my day!
You’ve done it! Good job!
Now you’re ready to start your day with energy, focus and clarity. Challenge yourself to do this every other morning for 30 days and you’ll be surprised how well the habit will set in.
If you’re getting into yoga with the aim of losing weight, I strongly suggest you check out the Brilliant Yoga system. It’s an effective program to boost your metabolism, drop body fat and tone up your body using yoga. Plus, it’s packed with useful information!
Check it out below…
What are your favourite morning yoga poses? I’d love to know – I’m always looking to improve my practice!
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I appreciate your time, see you in the next article!
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