Yoga can be performed at any time of the day, but starting your day with a simple yoga routine is a great way to get you going on the right foot. After a long restful night's sleep, you can wake up feeling a little tight, yoga can be the perfect way to get loosened and ready to go!
One of biggest problems individuals run into (in the morning) is the race against the clock. Our mornings can sometimes be slightly limited in time, especially if you have a long travel, or maybe you're just not the morning "type" person.
Related Article: Good Morning Yoga! Here is a Quick 15-Minute Morning Yoga Routine!
A recent survey completed, included 981 full-time employees. The survey was implemented to learn how these individuals manage work and exercise. Some interesting finds came about from it. People who exercised "before work" compared to other times of the day, indicated that there energy, focus, productivity, problem-solving and creativity were elevated. Yoga specifically, was noted as most likely to improve focus before work, on performance at work, and it was also a "fan favorite" for post-work exercise routines.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, yoga has the ability to help increase concentration, and reduce stress. Who doesn't want to do these 2 things before a long day at the office, right!
So, what are some good yoga maneuvers for those who don't have a lot of time, but still want to experience the benefits and impact yoga can make by doing it daily?
Start this simple 10-minute yoga stretching
routine with the child's pose. A beginner friendly pose and a staple in restorative styles of yoga. This pose is a great way to stretch out your neck, upper and lower back, shoulders, knees
and legs after a long restful night's sleep.
The child's pose is done in the prone "type" position.
1. While kneeling down on the floor, touch your big toes together, and sit your butt, almost on the backs of your heels.
2. While your big toes can be touching, your leg's (or knees) should be about hip width apart.
3. Remember to focus on your breathing, inhaling and exhaling.
4. As you rest your back-side on your heels, attempt to allow your lower back and sacrum to really stretch.
5. Now bend forward (pictured above) while stretching your arms and letting your
forehead rest on the floor. You may also allow your hands to rest beside you (hands toward your feet), palms facing upward.
6. Hold this pose for roughly 30 seconds - 2 minutes.
After holding a child's pose, it makes sense to bring this into the Table or Table-top yoga pose. This is another beginner yoga pose, done often in restorative yoga. Bharmanasana can benefit the arms, shoulders, lower back (spine), biceps and triceps. The tabletop position is a
great pose that will help you clear your mind, stretch, and focus on balance.
1. You can either do this directly following the child's pose as you begin to lengthen the torso and lift the tailbone, or you can do it from a stationary position as well.
2. If stationary, move to your hands and knees first.
3. Your palms should be flat (palms-down) on your mat, roughly shoulder width apart. If you have a wall in front of you, your fingers should be pointed direct in-front, towards it.
4. Focus on placing your weight equally on your palms and knees, relax your muscles.
5. As you look down with your eyes, your neck should be flat as well as your back, (like a table-top), then imagine yourself pressing down into your palms, redirecting your tailbone backwards to get that good stretch and length.
6. Inhale and exhale as you sit deeper into this pose for 1 - 3 minutes
7. This is a great started pose to then transition into many other asanas (like cat-cow) for your 10-minute morning yoga routine.
The next step in this simple starter routine of morning yoga stretches, is to transition into the cat pose. The cat pose, another beginner friendly asana, as well as used within many experienced yogis routines, is a type of forward-bend. Another great asana for the lower, middle back, shoulder, and neck region.
1. You can easily transition out of the Table pose into the cat position.
2. Your knees should be below your hips, hands below your shoulders, palms-down. Fingers should be facing the wall in front of you.
3. The upper and lower body should be in straight alignment. Your eyes should be gazing downward towards the floor.
4. Upon exhaling, attempt to pull in your belly, and round-out your back. Your knees and shoulders at this time should remain as stationary as possible to get the best stretch.
5. Your head may come forward slightly, but don't deliberately attempt to tuck it downward.
6. Bring it back to the "tabletop" position. Perform a few cycles of this asana while focusing your attention on the stretch and your breathing.
After holding the cat pose for a few breathing
cycles, oftentimes it is then paired with the cow yoga pose, as these are two yoga poses typically work in conjunction with each other.
A type of "back-bend" asana, done again in the prone position, focusing on benefiting your lower back (spine) and neck. Another great warm-up asana for many yoga routines.
1. To perform the cow pose, release the
tension from your back following the cat pose or begin from the "table top" position.
2. Your body should remain in alignment, with your hands underneath your shoulders, knees under your hips, eyes down.
3. As you inhale your breath, attempt to draw your tailbone upwards, towards the ceiling. Simulatensouly, your belly button should drop towards the floor
4. As you focus on pressing your palms into the mat, arch your neck gentle upward, now facing forward.
5. You can perform the cat-cow based on breaths, or simply hold each position for a varied amount of time.
Now that you have a workout going, as your back, abdominal's, shoulders, arms, legs have all been a focus, we can also hit on some side-bend stretches.
Since we've done these asanas on the mat, let's continue this trend. This may be a beginner pose, like several of the others listed, but we really want you to focus on the mind-body connection, focusing on breathing and staying present. This easy pose variation side-bend, benefits the lower, middle back, shoulders, neck, chest and lats.
This pose is a take on the easy yoga pose or Sukhasana, which is a very commonly used pose for meditation and breathing exercises. We're putting a side-bend twist on it, however.
1. First let's get into the easy pose. Seated, extend your legs out in front of you, and then bring them in, to a cross-legged pattern at the shins.
2. Place each foot beneath the opposite knee. Your body, from your head, to your shoulders & down your torso should be centered in good alignment. Look straight ahead. This is the easy pose.
3. From here we add in a simple side-stretch. Gently take your right arm & extend it over your head, lean to the left.
4. Your left forearm and hand may rest on the mat, as you fall deeper into this stretch. You may continue to gaze forward or even attempt to pivot the head to gaze upward toward you extended arm.
5. Come back to the middle and repeat with the opposite side. Alternate a few cycles, focus on inhaling and exhaling to complete this asana.
Check Out Some Additional Morning Yoga Stretches in the Video Below:
Morning yoga is no doubt a fantastic way to start your day, whether before work or over the course of a relaxing weekend. It gets your blood flowing, muscles stretched and can help you mind and body become more balanced and focused for your days endeavors.
We hope this will give you the start you need to develop and follow your own 10-Minute Morning Yoga Routine. Start simple as a beginner, and move to more challenging poses as you become more comfortable with your 10-minute morning yoga routine!
Please share your success stories and offer any advice for bettering yoga results in the morning!