When we wake up in the morning, let's be honest - it often takes most of us a bit of time before we are ready to get out there and face the day!
A short movement routine first thing in the morning - will not only open up our body after a night of sleep, but it sends all the right signals and chemicals to our brain and nervous system, for a more positive start in our mind and body for the rest of the day!
Yoga Teacher & Personal Trainer, Cat Teague
, who runs Yoga Up
in Manchester, has picked out 10 of the best poses to kickstart your energy in the morning.
From stretching out your spine, to opening up your side body to increase lung capacity, and giving those hamstrings and lower back a full stretch out, after a long night of lying down. This routine should take about 10 minutes. You can do all or just some if you prefer to start with - the best way to find out is to try it!
Doing this before your morning coffee will set you up in the best possible way mentally and physically, before you have that morning coffee! Incorporating a morning yoga sequence, even just twice a week will give you a natural energy boost.
Hold each pose for a minimum of 5 breaths and keep that connection to your breath throughout. Inviting in space to your body, and with each exhalation clearing your mind.
Poses 1 and 2: Awaken your spine with Cat & Cow
Roll into cow with an inhalation, drawing your shoulders back and opening through your chest, and melt into cat by rounding your spine for that full stretch into lower back, hugging stomach in and up as you do so.
Repeat 6-8 times, keep flowing with the breath.
Pose 3: Seated side body twist
Expand through the rib cage, creating space in the side body and grow tall through your spine. This pose opens side body where the lungs are and increases range of motion and space for breath.
Pose 4 & 5: One handed tiger
Open your heart space and release chest tension - inhale and draw one leg up and balance on opposite arm and shin. Inhale and reach back and lift up one leg, bending at the knee, catch outer edge of the foot. Press foot into hand, exhale. Inhale as you try to create a bit more space, by drawing chest forward and keep pressing foot into hand. To stabilise tuck and press toes of opposite foot into mat and press down through opposite hand.
Pose 6: Downward dog
Stretch through the back body. Draw hips up and back. Bend knees if you need to and focus on length through the spine, drawing chest to the thighs. Press hands into mat and gaze between the feet.
Pose 7: Low Lunge
Draw leg forward, placing foot just in front of the knee. Think about drawing a long line up to the ceiling with an inhalation and reach the arms upwards, exhale as you draw pelvis downward, whilst you keep reaching arms up. Breath into the side body. Inviting in space.
Pose 8: Standing forward fold
Cross over the feet, press thighs together and inhale as you reach up, grow longer and catch your wrist on opposite arm. As you exhale, lean over to the opposite side whilst pressing feet down into the floor. Creating space in the side body.
Pose 9: Standing forward fold - moderate
Place both feet under the hips. Take a full deep breath in, bend the knees and fold over the legs. Drawing stomach to thighs. Reach both arms around back of the legs, and hug your legs gently for a softer forward fold. Press down through centre of the feet. Keep breathing into back body.
Pose 10: Forward fold- intense
Place both feet a bit wider than shoulders distance. Take a full deep breath in, bend the knees and fold over drawing chest forward. Place hands under shoulders. Inhale and as you exhale fold and place hands on top of feet. Catching big toes with peace fingers. Inhale and lift up slightly, exhale and gently pull on feet, drawing them towards you, bending the elbows. Press down through edges of the feet. Bend knees a little if you need to. Keep breathing into back body. Creating space for the day ahead. Inhale to rise up to top.
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