Start the day off right with some yoga! It is hard to get a workout in with a busy schedule so these five yoga poses in a sequence will give you a flexible way to start the day.
This posture wakes up the spine and gets you to stand up out of bed.
Start in a standing position with your feet about hip distance apart.
Inhale as you lift the palms to meet overhead, fingertips reaching the sky.
Exhale as you hold and relax the shoulders down the back.
Stay here for the next posture.
Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)
This posture is great for waking up the sides of the body.
Start by standing in Mountain pose (Tadasana) with palms together overhead.
Inhale and shift the hips slightly to the right.
Exhale as you arch the upper body over to the left side.
Inhale and come back to center.
Exhale as you slightly shift the hips to the left and begin to arch over to the right side.
Come back to center bringing the palms down to heart center.
This posture helps to gain balance for the rest of your day.
Start in a standing Mountain pose with palms together at heart center.
Begin to ground down through the left foot without locking the knee.
Inhale as you lift the right foot up to the left ankle, calf, or thigh but avoid placing it on the knee.
Hands can stay at heart center for balance or be lifted overhead for more of a challenge.
Exhale as you release the right foot back down to the ground and hands find their way back to heart center.
Ground down through the right foot without locking the knee. Inhale as you lift the left foot off the ground and place on the right ankle, calf, or thigh avoid placing on the knee.
Hands can stay at heart center or rise above head for more of a challenge.
Exhale, release the left foot back down to the ground. Hands come back to heart center.
Standing Squat (Utkatasana)
This pose is helpful to get your digestion going in the morning.
Start in Mountain pose with hands together at heart center.
Inhale and sweep the hands out in front of you palms facing the ground (Zombie arms).
Exhale as you begin to bend into the knees and engage the glute and thigh muscles. Allow the butt to lower and check in with your knees, are they aligned with the tips of your toes?
Hold this posture and feel the life-force energy (prana) begin to activate.
Inhale to come back to a standing posture and relax the arms down.
Forward Fold (Pada Hastasana)
This is a great posture to stretch the spine and low back.
Start by standing with the feet hip distance apart. Inhale and feel the spine elongating while standing here. Find a micro-bend in the knees.
Exhale and begin to slide the hands down the front of the legs as you fold forward. Take a nice bend in the knees for a deeper fold. The goal is to release the spine and find a gentle stretch in the hamstrings but not to pull the hamstrings.
Allow the head to nod gently while hanging here in this forward fold.
Inhale as you slowly unfold by stacking each vertebra up the spine. Allow the head to come up very last.
You are now ready to accomplish the day!
About the Author
Lauren is a Kripalu Yoga Teacher. She studied her 200 hour teacher training in the Berkshire Mountains of Stockbridge, MA at the Kripalu School of Yoga and Ayurvedic practices. She is also a health coach with a background in nutrition and biology at Ursuline College. She is a writer and an artist. Her dharma or goal in her life is to spread compassion and knowledge.