5 Yoga Poses for Your Best Morning
Updated: Apr 20, 2021
1. Supine Twist - Supta Matsyendrasana
Stimulating and detoxing for your abdomen, this gentle twist also wrings out your spine. A great way to gently wake up your body. While still laying in bed, on your back, inhale and draw your right knee in towards your armpit. As you exhale, gently guide your knee across your body with your left hand. Let gravity do the work to bring your knee closer to the earth. Take your right arm out to the side in a T or goal post position and gently take your gaze to the right. Take 3-5 rounds of breath. Gently return to center as you inhale and repeat on the other side.
2. Supine Figure Four - Supta Eka Pada Utkatasana
This pose gently awakens your hips, low back and thighs. With both knees drawn in toward your chest, take your right ankle and place it on your left thigh. Place your right hand through the hole you created to grasp the back of your thigh. Bring your left hand to meet your right. Inhale and use your hands to pull your left thigh towards your chest, press your right knee away from you to feel a deeper hip stretch. Hold this stretch for at least 3-5 breaths, or longer. Exhale and gently release. Repeat on the left side.
3. Seated Side Bend - Parsva Sukhasana
I love this pose in the morning because it is so gentle yet helps me begin to start moving my body. It helps to awaken your spine. You can do this in bed too. From an easy seat, or "crisscross apple sauce" as my kids say, inhale and take your left arm up over your head with your right hand resting next to you with your elbow slightly bent. Exhale and reach up and over to the right, finding a side body stretch. Hold and breath. 3-5 rounds of breath. Inhale and return to center. Repeat on the left side.
4. Forward Fold - Uttanasana
This pose helps to calm the mind and the nervous system. You can do this seated at the edge of the bed or just after standing up out of bed in the morning. Inhale, take both hands up over head. Exhale, and hinge from the hips, take your hands through heart center and extend your hands toward the floor. Hold for 3-5 rounds of breath. When you are ready to exit the pose, inhale and gently roll up one vertebrae at a time with your head the last to come up. This will help you from becoming dizzy.
5. Cat Cow - Bitilasana Marjaryasana
Doing this pose in the morning will help to awaken your spine and provide more flexibility to your neck. It can also help to improve your posture and balance. Extra bonus, for the ladies, this posture can help to alleviate PMS during that time of the month! Win-win in my book. This pose can also be done from seated at the edge of the bed or while on all fours. Begin in tabletop position with your wrists planted on the ground directly under your shoulders and knees below your hips. If seated place your hands next to you on the bed. Take a deep inhale and let your belly drop, take your gaze upward. Pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold for 2 rounds of breath. Then exhale and arch your back like a cat, round your spine, draw your belly in. Hold for 2 rounds of breath. Then repeat one breath for each movement for 3-5 rounds. Inhaling for Cow as you press your belly out, and Exhaling for Cat as you arch your back.
Wake Up Refreshed
Try these poses on one at a time or put them together in the morning to help you wake up body for a beautiful day ahead! As you breath you could say to yourself, "Inhale peace. Exhale love." Or anything else that speaks to your heart. Remember, mindset is everything. It sets the tone for your entire day. Why not start as soon as you wake up? You could also repeat your favorite Mantra as you breathe or speak an affirmation aloud as you conclude this practice. Make it your own, and share below.
photos by Jake Westfall from On Twelve