An hour-long yoga class or a quick gym session before work? Yeah, right. The morning routine, for most people, barely holds enough time to shove down a proper breakfast. And whilst the first meal of the day gives you fuel to get going, exercise will always get that blood pumping.
Centre your day with an easy 10-minute morning yoga routine that’ll leave you feeling alert, energised and ready for the day. And it’s great for strength, flexibility and balance. Set your alarm just a little bit earlier (let’s admit it, most of us are guilty of hitting that snooze button anyway) and quickly feel the benefits.
So, don your best pair of gym leggings and follow these 5 simple morning yoga stretches to energise your day and build strength. Breathing is at the centre of yoga so begin by slowly inhaling and exhaling for a minute or two then relax into the poses.
1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
An easy one to start, this yoga posture makes you feel relaxed, stretching the muscles at the spine, ankles, hip and shoulders whilst stimulating digestion.
From kneeling, bring your chest down onto your thighs and your forehead to the floor. Either lengthen your arms by your side, or if more comfortable, stretch them out above your head. Breathing is important here. Take a deep, controlled breath in through your nose and feel your chest expand and ribs widen. As you exhale, press your buttocks down towards the heels and feel your spine gently curving over your thighs. Stay here for 5 breaths.
2. Cat / Cow Pose (Bidalasana)
A great posture to stretch your back and open up your whole spine.
Begin on all fours with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and knees beneath your hips. As you inhale, gaze up at the ceiling and drop your back down toward the floor. As you exhale, look down toward your belly button and arch your back up like a cat. Let the breath lead you to ensure your movements flow smoothly and feel your entire spine being massaged. Breathe through 5 sets of the sequence.
3. Tree pose (Vrksasana)
A standing yoga posture, this will help cultivate balance, and stretch and strengthen your leg muscles, whilst concentrating the mind. A good one to focus for the day.
Stand straight and put your weight on your right foot, bringing the sole of your left foot up to your right inner thigh. If this isn’t comfortable, rest your foot on your right calf instead. The most important thing is to keep your balance. Hands are held in a prayer position at the chest, or if you want to stretch further, hold your arms above your head with hands clasped together. Try to hold the pose for a minute and then switch to the other leg.
4. Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)
This posture stretches your lower spine and strengthens leg muscles, whilst allowing fresh blood to flow to the brain.
From standing, exhale and fold forward at the hips, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Allow your knees to bend and try to slowly bring your chest towards your thighs. Relax your neck and let the head hang heavily. If you want to deepen the stretch, straighten your legs. Stay here for 10 deep breaths, your hamstrings will thank you for it.
5. Warrior 1 ( Virabhadrasana I)
This final yoga posture will really set you up for the day as it signifies and stimulates strength and power. It’ll stretch the back and lower body, strengthen leg muscles and leave you feeling energised to take on the day’s challenges.
Begin by standing straight then step your left leg back. Bend your right knee so it’s directly above the ankle, then turn your left foot in slightly. As you inhale, raise your arms directly above you and reach strongly, looking up to the ceiling to deepen the stretch. Inhale deeply into the belly and chest, and as you exhale, press into the feet. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the other leg.
So, get ready to feel stronger and more energised. And make sure you do it in style with our yoga clothes that’ll have you looking as good as you’ll feel after your new morning yoga regime.