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Yoga in the morning: Why you should do it and how to do it best

If you are a yoga practitioner, you are probably wondering how you can integrate yoga into your daily life to maximize its effects.

Doing yoga in the morning is one of the formulas most recommended by experts, and in this article, you will discover why.

You will also find out which postures are most useful at this time of the day and how you can do them to increase their effectiveness.

Read on and don’t miss a thing.

Why it’s important to do yoga in the morning

Starting your day with yoga can significantly impact your mental and physical well-being.

Eases muscle stiffness

Morning yoga gently stretches and warms up the muscles, reducing stiffness and discomfort that can accumulate during sleep.

Boosts circulation

Engaging in yoga first thing in the morning enhances blood flow, delivering oxygen and nutrients more effectively throughout the body.

Sets a calm, intentional tone

Starting the day with yoga establishes a peaceful mindset, helping to manage stress and maintain focus on the day’s tasks.

Enhances flexibility and strength

Regular morning yoga improves physical flexibility and builds strength, contributing to overall health and well-being.

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Promotes better stress management and focus

The calming effect of morning yoga aids in stress reduction and improves concentration, making daily challenges more manageable.

If you decide to apply it to your daily life, it can be an important change in your way of life, as you will notice these positive points on a daily basis.

Recommendations for doing morning yoga

To integrate yoga seamlessly into your morning routine and reap its full benefits, follow this structured approach:

Step 1: Establish a consistent schedule

Select a specific time each morning for your yoga practice. This helps in forming a habit and ensures that yoga becomes a non-negotiable part of your morning routine.

Begin with a short duration that feels manageable, such as 10-15 minutes. As your habit solidifies, you can gradually extend your practice time.

Step 2: Prepare your space and equipment

Place your yoga mat, blocks, straps, or any other props you use in a designated spot the night before. This reduces friction in starting your practice and makes it easier to begin without delay.

Ensure your practice area is inviting and distraction-free. Consider aspects like:

  • Lighting
  • Temperature
  • And noise levels

to create a conducive environment for yoga.

Step 3: Start with meditation or deep breathing

Begin each session with a few minutes of meditation or deep breathing exercises.

This helps to center your thoughts and brings your focus to the present moment, enhancing the quality of your practice.

Step 4: Listen to your body

Recognize that flexibility and energy levels can vary from day to day.

Modify poses according to your body’s needs, using props or adjusting the intensity of stretches to avoid strain.

Especially in the morning, when the body might still be stiff from sleep, emphasize gentle stretching to awaken your muscles.

This approach helps in gradually increasing flexibility and preventing injuries.

Step 5: Cultivate mindfulness throughout your practice

As you move through each pose, keep your attention on your breath and the sensations in your body.

This mindfulness aspect of yoga is key to reaping its mental health benefits.

After completing your yoga session, spend a moment in reflection or gratitude. Acknowledge the effort you’ve made for your well-being, setting a positive tone for the rest of your day.

By following these steps, you can establish a morning yoga practice that not only enhances your physical health but also promotes mental clarity and emotional balance, setting a foundation for a productive and peaceful day.

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10 Best yoga poses for the morning

Incorporating specific yoga stretches into your morning routine can maximize the benefits of your practice. Here are some recommended poses:

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Start your morning by gently stretching your back, hips, and thighs with the Child’s Pose.

This pose helps you to ease into your day by releasing tension in your body.

  1. Start on your knees: Sit back on your heels with your knees together or slightly apart.
  2. Reach forward: Extend your arms out in front of you on the mat, lowering your chest towards the ground.
  3. Relax: Let your forehead touch the mat, and relax your entire body, especially your shoulders and back. Breathe deeply and stay in this position for a few breaths.

2. Cat-Cow Stretch

This simple yet effective sequence is perfect for waking up your spine.

  1. Get on all fours: Position yourself with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Inhale for Cow: Drop your belly towards the mat, lift your chin and chest, and gaze upwards.
  3. Exhale for Cat: Round your spine up towards the ceiling, tuck your chin to your chest, and pull your belly in.
  4. Flow: Alternate between Cow and Cat, moving with each breath for several rounds to gently wake up your spine.

This movement helps to increase flexibility and relieve tension in the spine.

3. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transition into Downward Facing Dog to stretch your hamstrings, shoulders, and hands.

  1. Start on hands and knees: Make sure your wrists are under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Lift hips: Press into your hands, and lift your hips up and back, straightening your legs to form an inverted V shape.
  3. Adjust: Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and feet hip-width apart. If your hamstrings are tight, keep a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Hold and breathe: Press firmly through your hands, lengthen your spine, and hold the pose for a few breaths.

This pose energizes the body and helps to calm the mind, making it a great addition to your morning routine.

4. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Step into a Low Lunge to open up your hips and stretch the front of your thighs.

  1. Step forward: From Downward Facing Dog, step one foot between your hands, keeping the other knee lowered to the ground.
  2. Raise your arms: Lift your arms up towards the ceiling, keeping them either shoulder-width apart or palms touching.
  3. Sink into the lunge: Gently push your hips forward to deepen the stretch in your hips and front thigh. Keep your front knee over your ankle.
  4. Hold and breathe: Stay in this pose for a few breaths, then switch legs and repeat.

This pose is excellent for improving flexibility and focus as you breathe deeply and stretch.

5. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)

Sit on your mat with your legs extended in front of you and fold forward from your hips, reaching for your feet.

  1. Sit and extend legs: Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Keep your back straight.
  2. Reach forward: Inhale and raise your arms above your head. As you exhale, hinge at the hips and reach towards your feet.
  3. Hold your feet: If you can, hold your feet with your hands. If not, reach as far as comfortable.
  4. Relax into the pose: Keep your spine long and avoid rounding your back. With each exhale, try to deepen the stretch. Hold for a few breaths.

This pose stretches the spine and hamstrings while helping to calm the mind and relieve stress. It’s a peaceful way to bring attention inward and prepare mentally for the day.

6. Supine Twist

End your morning practice with a Supine Twist to relax your spine and refresh your mind.

  1. Lie on your back: Keep your legs extended or with knees bent and feet flat on the mat.
  2. Bring knees to chest: Hug your knees into your chest, then let them fall to one side, keeping your shoulders flat on the ground.
  3. Extend your arms: Stretch your arms out to the sides in a T shape, and turn your head away from your knees to complete the twist.
  4. Hold and switch: Stay in this twist for several breaths, then bring your knees back to center and twist to the other side.

This pose helps to release tension in the back and shoulders, promoting a sense of relaxation and well-being.

7. Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)

Warrior I is a powerful pose that energizes the body, improves focus, and strengthens the legs, shoulders, and arms.

  1. Start in a standing position: Step one foot back, about 3 to 4 feet, depending on your comfort.
  2. Bend your front knee: Ensure it is directly over the ankle, forming a 90-degree angle.
  3. Raise your arms: Extend your arms up towards the ceiling, keeping them parallel to each other.
  4. Face forward: Keep your torso facing forward, and if comfortable, tilt your head back slightly to gaze up at your hands.
  5. Hold and breathe: Maintain the pose for several breaths, then switch sides.

8. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Triangle Pose stretches the sides of the body, legs, and muscles around the knee, promoting balance and concentration.

  1. Stand wide: From a standing position, step your feet about 4 feet apart.
  2. Turn your feet: Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly.
  3. Extend and tilt: Extend your arms to the sides and tilt at the hip, reaching your right hand down towards your ankle, and your left hand up towards the sky.
  4. Gaze upwards: Turn your gaze towards your top hand, keeping your chest and hips open.
  5. Hold, then switch: Stay in this position for a few breaths, then come up and repeat on the opposite side.

9. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra Pose is a gentle backbend that strengthens the spine, opens the chest and shoulders, and invigorates the heart.

  1. Lie on your stomach: Place your hands under your shoulders and hug your elbows back.
  2. Lift your chest: Straighten your arms to lift your chest off the floor, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
  3. Open your heart: Draw your shoulders back and down, opening up your chest.
  4. Hold and lower: Maintain the pose for a few breaths, then gently lower back down.

10. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose serves as a foundation for all standing poses, improving posture, balance, and calmness.

  1. Stand tall: Keep your feet together or hip-width apart, distributing your weight evenly.
  2. Raise your arms: Inhale and lift your arms overhead, palms facing each other.
  3. Ground yourself: Engage your legs, core, and glutes, standing firm and tall.
  4. Breathe: Hold the pose for several deep breaths, feeling grounded and centered.

Yoga in the morning, add it to your routine

Incorporating yoga into your morning routine is a powerful way to start your day with intention, vitality, and peace. By selecting poses that resonate with your body’s needs, you can create a personalized practice that fits into even the busiest schedules. Remember, the goal of morning yoga is not perfection but presence. Allow yourself to be fully in each moment, and carry that mindfulness throughout your day. With consistency, morning yoga can become a cherished ritual that enhances your overall quality of life, proving that even a few minutes of practice can make a significant difference.

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