Ever wake up feeling dragging your body from your bed or snoozing the alarm? If you want to have a fresh morning and become more focused throughout the day here are some of the best morning yoga routine to energize your day.
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I wrote an article about why I wake up at 5 am and minimalist self-care ideas for working adults, this latest post about the morning yoga routine to have an energetic day is also related to it by practicing and having a morning yoga routine you give time to yourself to breath, focus and find your balance. Something that you can do if you are not into running at an early hour and also will help you to limit mobile phone usage.
This morning yoga routine to energize your day is also beneficial to runners and fitness enthusiasts especially on days that you can’t and don’t run.
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Now that you have decided you wanted to wake up earlier and improve your lifestyle why not incorporate yoga before starting your day to work. But first, let’s talk about what is yoga, its benefits and limitations.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a practice that involves the body and mind. By combining stretching, body posture, breathing techniques, meditation, or relaxation you allow your body and mind to be united and focus on the present.
Yoga has been around for more than 5000 years originating from ancient India and it has different classifications.
Types of Yoga
There are different yoga practices that are unique from each other and it can be confusing at first. It is important to consider doing research on which type of yoga you would like to practice and understand it in order to maximize the potential benefits it can do to your body. Here are some of the most common and popular types of yoga.
- Ashtanga Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
- Bikram Yoga
- Iyengar Yoga
- Kundalini Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
Benefits of Practicing Yoga
The benefits of yoga vary from one type to another. But overall it is beneficial to our physical and mental health as per the American Osteopathic Association. Here are the advantages of practicing yoga.
Physical Benefits of Yoga
- With regular practice of yoga, the relaxation techniques it provides can help lessen chronic pain such as arthritis, headaches, lower back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Yoga improves a practitioner’s energy and increases flexibility.
- Yoga can help strengthen and tone muscle groups.
- Yoga can help to protect from injury.
- Yoga improves respiration and energy.
- Yoga is good for your posture and metabolism.
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Mental Benefits of Yoga
- Yoga allows you to practice mindfulness.
- Yoga can help in handling stress, depression and anxiety.
- It is calming and relaxing.
- It allows you to focus.
- It can help enhance well being.
- Yoga can improve confidence.
Cautions Practicing Yoga
Yoga practice can be intimidating at first and it’s important to be mindful in practicing it to prevent injury. If you have a current injury, pregnant or have limited muscle strength it is important to consult a certified yoga practitioner or your doctor before proceeding.
Common Terms In Yoga
- Asana – physical poses / physical posture
- Ashtanga – eight limbs
- Bikram – hot yoga
- Bhakti – love and devotion
- Chakra – wheel (energy center of the body)
- Chaturanga- four limbed pose
- Drishti – focus / concentration
- Guru – spiritual guide
- Namaste – greeting
- Mantra – repeated sounds, word or phrases
- Om – chant use in mantra
- Pranayama – breathing techniques
- Prana – energy
- Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation
- Ujjayi – breathing practice through the nose
- Vinyasa – style of yoga
- Yoga – union
Morning Yoga Routine To Energize Your Day
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Tada means mountain and asana mean pose. The mountain pose position may appear that you are simply just standing on your yoga mat but this pose is about finding your center and creating balance. It is the foundation of other standing yoga poses.
STEPS IN MOUNTAIN POSE
- Start in a standing position. Gently move your feet hips width apart, and *slightly* bend your knees until you have a solid base.
- Lift your toes and spread it widely then gently put it back into the mat.
- Extend and Tuck your tailbone until you find a neutral pelvis, and gently tone your belly button towards the spine.
- Broaden your collar bones, rotate the upper arms back, rotate the palms forward, and lower the top’s shoulders away from ears.
- Draw the top of the head slightly up (as if you were being held by a string).
- Hold the position and take 5 long deep breaths.
BENEFITS OF MOUNTAIN POSE
- Improves posture and balance.
- Strengthen thighs, knees, and ankles.
- It can help reduce flat feet.
- Energetically grounding, especially with bare feet on the earth.
PRECAUTION OF MOUNTAIN POSE
- If you have difficulty for standing long this pose should be avoided.
2. Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)
This pose is part of the lunging standing poses in modern yoga exercise. It is from the word Virabhadra, a mythical warrior.
STEPS IN WARRIOR II
- Starting in standing, step the right foot forward, so that the arch of the right foot is in line with the heel of the left foot, and the front knee is bent.
- The right toes should be rotated slightly towards the top right corner of the mat, to lighten the pressure on the inner knee.
- Stacking your spine over your hips, lift your arms into a T shape, glance back at your right arm to make sure it’s moving straight back behind you, and then look forward over your left fingertips.
- Press into both feet, especially the back leg’s little toe edge of the foot.
- Drop shoulders away from ears, take some deep breaths, and stay for a minute or so.
- When you’re ready step the right foot forward into Tadasana. Step the left foot back, repeat steps 1-5 on the second side.
BENEFITS OF WARRIOR II
- It strengthens legs and develops balance.
- Allows good stretch for shoulders, and gently detoxifies with a slight twist of the spine.
- Increases stamina.
PRECAUTIONS IN WARRIOR II
- This pose is not suitable for people with neck pain, vertigo and high blood pressure.
- Not suitable for people with knee, hip or shoulders injury.
3. Plank Pose (Kumbhakasana / Phalakasana)
Phalaka means plank and asana mean pose, while Kumbak means breath retention, Plank pose is a yoga pose that uses mainly the arms to balance and helps strengthen abdominal muscle.
STEPS IN PLANK POSE
- Start on all fours.
- Place your hands under your shoulders and knees under the hips, and spread your fingers wide.
- *Your hands can be slightly turned out towards the top corners of the mat if it is more comfortable on your shoulders, or come onto fists if wrists are uncomfortable.
- *You can also come onto forearms.
- From here, press into the hands so the space between your shoulder blades is rounded/activated, and then step both feet back.
- Lower your hips so they’re roughly in line with shoulders, drop to knees if this is too intense.
- Take your gaze either between the hands or centered slightly in front of your hands.
- Draw belly button towards the spine.
- Pause here and breathe. Hold pose for 30 seconds to a minute, or until you are ready to exit the shape.
- Release on an exhale while slowly lowering your body into the lying position.
Other plank pose positions
BENEFITS OF PLANK POSE
- Plank pose helps build upper and core body strength.
- It stretches the spine
PRECAUTIONS FOR PLANK POSE
- This pose is not suitable with sore wrists and carpal tunnel syndrome.
4. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
Bhujanga means snake or cobra and asana means pose it is a reclining back bending yoga position.
STEPS IN COBRA POSE
- Start by lying down belly to the mat. Hands will be placed under the shoulders or a wider (to your own comfort level), and forehead on the mat.
- Ensure elbows are close to your sides.
- Inhale and gently lift your chest off the mat by pressing into your hands.
- For your neck alignment – imagine as if something was coming straight at your face, this might give you a slight double chin situation and that’s normal.
- Either stay somewhat low to the earth or press into your palms until your chest and part of your belly come off of the mat. Elbows are still bent in our full expression of this shape. (Straight arms = upward dog).
- Roll the collar bones open, shoulder blades drawing closer together, low belly toning towards the spine.
- Relax the shoulder tops away from the ears.
- You can hold the position for 10-30 seconds and breathe.
- To release: Exhale while slowly lowering back your chest into the lying position.
BENEFITS OF COBRA POSE
- Helps increase spine flexibility.
- Strengthens shoulders.
- Helps to stretch front body.
PRECAUTIONS OF COBRA POSE
- Not suitable if you have carpal tunnel syndrome or wrist injury.
5. Child Pose (Balasana)
Bala in Sanskrit means child and asana pose, this pose is considered a resting post in between any asana and also can be the last pose to do in this exercise. The good thing about this pose is it can be done right after you wake up from your bed before folding your sheets just make sure you don’t fall back to sleep again.
STEPS IN CHILD POSE
- Kneel down on your mat. With big toes touching behind you sit back on your heels.
- Either keeping knees together or spread them open as wide as the mat.
- Take your hands out in front of you as you walk them forward until your chest is resting on or between your legs.
- If your forehead does not reach the ground, take a yoga block and place it under your forehead.
- Stay here taking several deep breaths (5-10).
- To release: Slowly inhale back walking your hands back up, letting the head be heavy – and the last thing that rolls up.
BENEFITS OF CHILD POSE
- It allows you to gently stretch your hips, thighs and ankles.
- It is very calming for the body and mind.
PRECAUTIONS OF CHILD POSE
- This pose is not to be modified if you have knee injury or if you are pregnant.
- If you have sore shoulders you can try to keep your arms into your sides instead of extending it.
Final Thoughts for Morning Yoga Routine
A morning yoga routine to energize your day can help you to set your mood in the morning giving you calmness and control aside from the feeling of being more productive before your day starts. Allot some 15-20 minutes every day and stretch your body. Aside from the benefits mentioned above, morning yoga can also help to loosen up muscles in the morning.
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Caveat: This article is written with the help and guidance of a yoga instructor. Please ensure safety before doing any activity.