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WELLNESS BLOG

yoga-pose

It can be hard to find the energy to approach the day ahead, but morning yoga stretches can help. Below you’ll find the best morning yoga poses you can use to create an easy morning yoga routine to get you started with your day. The first eleven poses combine into a sequence but can also be done individually, while the last three provide more challenges for advanced practitioners.

Sun Salutation

A Sun Salutation is great for a quick morning yoga routine. This is a beginner/low intermediate sequence designed to get you moving.

1. Mountain Pose

Stand and bring your big toes together, heels apart. Balance evenly on both feet. Bring your shoulders back and down, arms relaxed and open at your sides.

2. Upward Salute

Sweep your arms out to the sides and up, bringing hands together over your head.

3. Forward Fold

Sweep your arms out to the sides. Bend forward from the waist, keeping a flat back. Relax your back, fold over your legs, and bring hands to your shins, toes, or the floor.

4. Half Forward Bend

Press your hands into your shins, feet, or the floor. Lift your chest up and forward while bringing your shoulders back. Arch your back slightly. Ground your feet into the floor.

5. Plank Pose

Relax your back. Bring hands to the floor on either side of your feet. Step feet back, one at a time. Lower hips, bringing your shoulders directly above your wrists. Push equally into hands and feet, creating a straight line from the top of your head to your heels.

6. Low Plank

Bend elbows but keep them tight against your body. Lower your body halfway to the floor. Create a straight line, maintaining equal pressure through hands and feet.

7. Cobra

Lower your body to the floor. Lift your chest and shoulders off the floor without lifting your belly button from the ground.

8. Tabletop

Lower your chest to the floor. Push up, coming to hands and knees. Level your back. Hips should be over knees, and shoulders over wrists. Fingers should point towards the top of the mat.

9. Cat/Cow

Cat pose: Draw your belly up and in as you round your back, pushing through arms into the floor. Relax the neck, looking downward.

Cow pose: Lift your chest and look up as you drop your belly towards the mat, gently arching your back. Draw shoulders back and down, pulling them away from your ears.

10. Upward-Facing Dog

Come back to Tabletop, and then bring hips toward the mat. Pull shoulders back and down, arching your back and looking up to the sky.

11. Downward-Facing Dog

Tuck toes under heels. Push into hands and send your hips up and back. Straighten knees and bring your heels toward the floor. Bring your head and neck in line with your shoulders, creating two straight lines—from hands to your hips and from hips down through your heels.

To complete the Sun Salutation, do the first three poses in reverse order: Forward Fold, Upward Salute, and Mountain Pose.

Next-Level Poses

Here are some quick morning yoga stretches for those who need something more challenging.

12. Camel Pose

The Camel Pose is an intermediate morning yoga pose that gives you energy and opens up the chest and shoulders.

Kneel with knees hip-width apart. Your pelvis should be in a neutral position, stacked over your knees. Reach hands back to your heels as you lift your chest up and forward, letting the head drop back. Press down the lower legs as you continue to reach your chest to the ceiling.

13. Dancer’s Pose

The Dancer’s Pose opens up hips and strengthens postural muscles. It’s a great intermediate pose to get you focused.

Start in Mountain Pose. Bend one knee, lifting the foot. Reach back with the same-side hand to grasp the ankle from the inside. Press the raised thigh back and up, pushing that foot/ankle into your hand. Square your pelvis and lift the other hand out and up. Return to Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.

14. Headstand

Inversions like this help with circulation. However, headstands are only for those that have already mastered them with the help of a trained professional.

Start on all fours, knees under hips and wrists under shoulders. Bring forearms to the floor, clasping your hands together. Your head should rest lightly on the floor directly in front of your hands. Straighten legs and walk them forward. The closer you can come to stacking hips over your shoulders, the better. Lift one leg toward the ceiling and then the other.

Keep Yourself Motivated

Feel free to do the poses in any order. The goal is to keep yourself engaged.

When picking morning yoga stretches, look for ones that open up the body. You might also look for sequences that generate energy, like the Sun Salutation. For more options, check out MyLifeWell’s on-demand yoga classes, coming soon!

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