Have you ever had one of those mornings where it’s nearly impossible to get out of bed? When it seems like you just drifted off to sleep and then suddenly the alarm clock is jolting you awake? These rough and rushed mornings can trickle throughout the entire day and it’s horrible! I usually only have trouble on days that end in “y”, so I knew I had to make a change. How? While reviewing my daily routine to find the root of the problem, I realized that there is a direct correlation between how my day begins to how it flows.
So I decided to change the first part of my day. Now, instead of waking up rushed and flying through my mornings, I aim to get up 10-15 minutes earlier. These extra 10-15 minutes not only help me wake up gently and on the right side of the bed, but they also allow me to get my blood flowing and muscles warmed up with some yoga stretches.
I know what some of you are thinking: “Yoga? I don’t do yoga during the day. Why would I want to do it first thing in the morning?” Or perhaps, “Do these poses involve coffee?” Those are actually some of the same thoughts that crossed my mind when I first started this. However, I found out that when I began my morning with stretching and breathing, my mornings became more peaceful. Yoga not only helps wake up your muscles and get your blood flowing, but it also helps center you. Here are 5 easy and all-around awesome yoga poses to help revolutionize hectic morning routines:
1. Child’s pose, or Balasana: This is one of my favorite poses. Sit on your knees and put your big toes almost touching with your knees wide apart. Lean forward and stretch your arms out with your face towards the ground.
2. Forward Fold, or Uttanasana: Stand with your feet at hip width or wider, whatever is comfortable, and hinge forward at the waist slowly. Put a slight or deep bend in your knees and grab opposite elbows. You can hang here or leisurely sway from side to side. Try to loosen your neck and just hang while inhaling and exhaling deeply.
3. Camel Pose, or Ustrasana: Sit on your knees hip width distance apart with the tops of your feet to the ground. Place your fists in your lower back, or wrap your hands around your waist with your thumbs in the dimples of your lower back. Lean back slowly and breathe. If you want a deeper version, grab your ankles or heels.
4. Legs up on the wall pose, Inverted Lake or Viparita Karani: Lie on your back next to a wall and move up so that your legs are leaning up against the wall. You will be in a sitting position with your back on the ground and the back of your legs pressed up against a wall. If this is intense, try bending your knees with your feet flat on the wall.
5. Side Bending Mountain Pose, or Parsva Tadasana: Begin standing with your feet together. Extend arms overhead while inhaling, interlace your fingers, and twist your palms to the sky. Exhale and lean to one side, inhale and exhale, then go back through center to the other side.
Voila! Early morning yoga! These are just a few of the poses that I love first thing in the morning. Try a couple out and let me know what you think. A few things to remember:
1. Listen to your body. If it hurts then lessen the intensity or alter your position. Yoga should never hurt.
2. Breathe. Inhale love, opportunity, and gratitude for a new day. Exhale everything else.
3. Last but not least, have fun!