Have you ever wished you could have the same energy in the morning as Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye? While coffee or caffeinated tea may give you the pick up that you need, the real secret to matching his energy or even finding the energy to get up may lie within one thing - morning yoga. Not only can yoga help you wake up, but it’s great for your mindset and physical fitness too. For starters, research shows it combats stress, so if you are nervous or anxious about the day ahead, that’s all the more reason to roll out your mat. Even on those mornings when you can barely drag yourself out of bed, we urge you to move to your mat - and get this sequence started. Not only do these feel-good poses perk you up, but they’ll also stretch your hips and your shoulders, as well as lengthen your spine. The result: You’ll walk away feeling centered, focused, and ready to own the day. Here is our best morning yoga workout to get your day started:
1 - Seated Spinal Twist
How to: Begin in a seated position with arms relaxed on either side of you. Take right hand to the ground and place behind sacrum. Rest left hand on right knee. Inhale and lengthen spine. On exhale, use hands to twist torso to the right. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
2 - Camel Pose
Camel Pose helps to open your chest - being able to increase lung capacity, allowing you to breathe a little deeper and start the day on a calmer note.
How to: Begin in a high kneeling position with hips over your knees so your weight is supported by your shins and the tops of your feet. Tuck your toes and place your palms on your sacrum. Draw your elbows into one another. Keep your thighs rotating inward and pull your shoulder blades toward one another. Look to the ceiling as you lift your chest upward. Release your hands to your heels and arch your spine. Tip your head back to keep the whole spine in extension. Hold here for 5 to 10 deep breaths.
3 - Cat and Cow Pose
Cat-Cow stretches your back, torso, and neck, acting as a gentle massage for your spine.
How to: Start on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Inhale and look up with an arched spine, rolling shoulders away from ears for cow. As you exhale, press the floor away with hands and knees, and round spine like an angry cat. Do at least 5 complete breath cycles (5 inhales/cats and 5 exhales/cows).
4 - Dancer Pose
How To: From standing, shift your weight onto right leg. Bend left knee and grab the inside of left ankle with left hand. Gently lift left leg and press ankle into hand to open back. Reach right arm straight up. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths, then repeat on other side.
5 - Twisted Chair Pose
Twisted Chair pose helps your body increase circulation by not only using every muscle in your body but also twisting. This pose also wakes up your internal organs and aids in digestion.
How to: Stand with feet and legs together. Begin to bend knees and sink hips down and back as if you were sitting in a chair far behind you. Bring palms together in front of chest. Rotate spine to bring right elbow to left knee. Try to keep chest lifted the whole time. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
6 - Locust Pose
How to: Lie on your stomach with arms alongside body, palms facing up. Lift head, upper body, arms, and legs up off the floor. Keep arms and legs active and look forward or slightly up depending on flexibility. Hold for 45 seconds before releasing everything to the floor and turning your head to one side. Repeat three times.
7 - Bow Pose
How to: Lie face down on the floor and bring hands alongside body, palms facing up. Bend knees and reach back with hands to grab ankles. (Don't grab your feet.) Keeping legs hip-width apart, lift heels up and away from body, which will pull your chest up off the floor. Keep shoulder blades down, away from ears the entire time. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and then release, turning your head to the side. Repeat two more times.
With these poses, you'll be conquering your day in no-time!
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