While getting out of bed ten minutes early might seem like the least appealing task on a dark, chilly morning, there are benefits to creating this space to slowly reconnect to yourself before jumping in your daily routine.
Here are 5 yoga poses to move through slowly as you wake yourself up and fill your mind and body with positive energy.
1. Seated twist
Finding a comfortable seated position on your mat, allow yourself to root your sit bones into the floor as you prepare to become reacquainted with movement after a night’s sleep. On the inhale, allow your arms to rise above your head. On the exhale, twist to the left side, allowing your right hand to rest on your left knee and your left hand to find the mat behind you. Stay here for 3 deep breaths. On the next inhale, let your arms rise again above your head. On the exhale, twist to the right side, allowing your left hand to rest on your right knee and your right hand to press into the mat directly behind you. Stay here for 3 deep breaths. Continue this movement a few times and slowly wake up your body.
2. All fours to child’s pose flow
From your seated position, move into all fours on your mat. When here, insure that your hips are directly above your knees and your shoulders are directly above your wrists. Stay here for three breaths, feeling your hands firmly pressing into the mat and flattening your back. On the exhale, push back into child’s pose, allowing yourself to sit back on your heels while your arms reach out in front of you. Stay here for three breaths and feel the stretch through your upper body. On the next inhale, slowly come back to all fours. Continue this movement for as long as you like, ending in all fours.
3. Downward Dog
From all fours, tuck your toes and lift your hips as you push back into downward dog. This is the pose that will cause your body to feel the most awake. You might be feeling tight after laying in bed all night, so give yourself a few breaths to peddle out your legs, bend your knees, and settle into the pose. Be sure not to hyperextend your arms and keep your shoulder blades drawn together, slightly lifting your chest and pulling your shoulders away from your ears.
4. Low lunge
From your downward dog position, take a deep inhale and let your right leg rise up behind you. On the exhale, bring your leg into your chest and place it down between your palms. Allow your left knee to come down to the mat with your toes untucked. After insuring your knee is above your ankle, take a deep inhale and let your arms rise above your head. Stay here for 5 deep breaths. On the inhale, let your hands back down to the mat and on the exhale, step your right foot back to meet your left and move into downward dog. Repeat these steps on the left side.
From downward dog, bring your knees down to the mat as you transition into a seated and then a lying down position. Lay flat on your back and then bend your knees and plant your feet on the mat, bringing them close to your sit bones. Once comfortable, press your hands into the mat and on the inhale, raise your hips as high as feels comfortable to you. Remain here, or if you would like, bring your hands to clasp underneath you. Hold for 5 breaths.
The beauty of devoting energy to a morning yoga practice is that it allows you to re-center your thoughts and emotions before the day officially begins. Moving through this flow will allow you to stretch and awaken your body while also calming your mind, focusing on your breath, and replenishing your spirit.