Yoga is growing in popularity across the world as never before. This can be attributed to the ease and flexibility that yoga provides, and the multiple benefits it brings to its practitioners. No wonder that many yogis and yoga teachers are enrolling in advanced Yoga Instructor Certification courses to teach at yoga studios and a variety of recreational centres that offer yoga classes.
If you indulge in some form of focused physical activity in the morning – be it yoga or something else – you’re more apt to continue in a healthy vein all day long. If you cultivate it as a daily habit, you will soon notice many changes in body, mind, emotions and your life in general.
And what better choice than smooth and invigorating yoga poses that can help you fully wake up, stimulate the body’s blood flow, balance the hormonal system and kick start the daily detox process?! A mere five-minute practice window can change your whole day and ultimately your life for the better. Utilized well, even a few minutes can boost your mood, solidify your commitment to eating healthy, and increase your overall energy levels for the day.
A regular yoga morning practice can be the most energizing, enlightening and transcending experience. It can recondition your muscles, ease stress and tension and help you deal with any challenging situation that may occur. People suffering from depression and anxiety, or those with eating issues and other health problems can benefit from the healing properties of yogic “innercizes”.
A Good Start
Instead of rushing off soon after waking, start your day in a calm and leisurely pace. In short, allow time for some contemplation and me-time.
Pencil in the time you have to yourself before you start to go about your daily chores. Allow yourself sufficient time to slowly arise and ease into your morning practice and daily routine.
The Goddess Pose – Supta Baddha Konasana
As you wake up from sleep, while still lying on your back, place your feet together with your knees to the side. You want to create a wide diamond shape with your legs. It may help to have pillows placed under your knees and lower back for additional support.
Place your hands on your lower belly and chest as you draw in slow, deep breaths. Expand your body as you breathe in – feeling the hands rise in the process. Retain the breath for a couple of seconds, then exhale naturally for a few counts. Contract your belly to gently let the remaining air out of your lungs. Return your arms to rest beside your hips and repeat 10 times.
The Plank – Phalakasana
Once you have completed the goddess pose switch to your yoga mat. Lie down on the mat with your hands under your shoulders and toes resting on the floor. Lift your whole body off the ground, as you would in a push-up. Balance with both hands aligning your shoulders with your toes.
Hold the pose that looks like a long plank for thirty or more seconds. This will fire up your arms and legs, keeping them engaged and strong. You can drop your knees to the mat to make it easier.
Urdhva Mukha and Adho Mukha Svanasana
Or as more commonly known – the Upward/Downward Facing Dog, a pose that feels great any time of the day, but particularly satisfying when done early in the day.
The upward facing dog position will have you lying on your front, from where you will rise up lifting head and shoulders, while opening up your chest and your gaze directed straight ahead. You need to gently arch your back, with the tops of your toes resting on the ground.
From this pose you can flow into the downward facing dog position. Make a triangle with your body by bending at your waist and engaging the abs with the floor as the base.
Engage your thighs and keep palms pressed onto the floor. Pull your tailbone towards your heels to protect your back. Lift your buttocks towards the ceiling as you gaze at your navel. Your heels need not be in full contact with the floor.
Ensure that your hands align with your shoulders and the inside of your elbows face each other. You can space out your feet or make other adjustments to feel comfortable in this position. Needless to say, this pose gets easier under the guidance of a Certified Yoga Instructor and gets even better with practice.
The Warrior Pose – Viirabhadrasana
This pose works on balance and flexibility helping address the stress that your legs and back go through during the day. The Warrior One pose is like a high lunge, strengthening and stretching your lower back, hips and legs.
Step to the side, lift your arms so they are parallel to the floor and make sure your wrists are aligned with your ankles. Turn your right foot out to the side and slowly assume warrior two pose. From there, swivel your arms sideways, and lift them over your head, while interlocking your hands in Uttara Bodhi Mudra. Direct your gaze towards your hands.
Press the outer edge of your foot into the mat while you turn your left foot outward at a 45-degree angle. Ensure that your knee and ankle are in one direct line and take care not to hyperextend your muscles.
Resume the starting position and repeat the pose with your left leg.
The Warrior Two pose is a similar pose but with arms stretched out, one in front and one behind you, thus forming a “T” with your upper body.
Wind up with Meditation
Complete your morning yoga practice with a meditation. This helps you get rid of distracting thoughts, instills more energy and makes you more focused during your daily routine. Let your mind wander, allow thoughts to come and go, thus letting go of things that you can’t control.
Practicing yoga in the morning is to exercise your mind and body simultaneously balancing and leveling your nervous system enabling you to function at your optimal level. Rhythmic breathing in and out while practicing the above poses helps regulate every system in your body, the central nervous system in particular.
Then it’s time to Arise and Greet the day with an open and shining heart. All ready to face whatever challenges that may come your way!
Final Thoughts:- If you find it difficult to adhere to a regular personal practice on your own, you may want to join a yoga studio or school that has experienced teachers with appropriate Yoga Instructor Certification credentials.