As much as I love waking up in the morning when the sun is shining and there’s plenty of excitement to enjoy in the day ahead – even I struggle with the occasional bleary-eyed grumble some mornings. Even if you’re the happiest person in the world – you probably don’t greet the sunrise with bright eyes each morning, because everything from a bad night’s sleep to a rough meeting can leave us feeling a little grumpy.
Fortunately – I’ve found a useful morning fix: Yoga.
Yoga works by unblocking portions of energy that are stuck along the spine. The idea is to move life force back through these blocked areas through movement and careful breathing – awakening the circulatory system and bringing the nervous system back to life. It’s no wonder that this is such a great way to wake up and energize for the day ahead!
Yoga poses that help to stimulate blood flow throughout the body boost feelings of vitality and combat fatigue, helping you to get the most out of your body. Just think about that awesome feeling you get when you have your first real stretch on a morning. Yoga prolongs that revitalized feeling so that it stays with you all day!
Consider the following poses to be your physical and emotional espresso shot for the rough mornings ahead. I’m sure they’ll give you the energy you need to make your day work for you!
1. The Half-Sun Salutation
Even if you’re pretty new to yoga, you’ve probably heard of Sun Salutations. These stretches are a great way to awaken the body before you even get your hands on that first cup of coffee. Just stand up with your arms at your sides and your feet together, then sweep your arms upwards, extending them over your head as you inhale. As you exhale, bow forward and lift your torso half way up, placing your hands against your shins. Extend your spine and fold forward, then as you inhale, sweep back upwards and bring your palms together.
2. The Camel Pose
It might not be the sexiest yoga pose around – but trust me, it works. This asana can be performed either with your hands on your lower back or reaching towards your heels. The Camel is great because it works to invigorate the entire body, moving the front of your legs forward and stretching your core to open up the lungs. Simply get on your knees and reach back to touch your heels, or lower back, pushing your stomach outwards.
3. The Warrior II Pose
Designed to strengthen the legs and improve flexibility in your spine, this pose helps to bring energy into your body. Think of your warrior pose as the secret move that transforms you into a hero for the day ahead. All you need to do is stand straight with your arms by your sides, then reach forward into a low lunge with your leading leg, bringing your arms up so that they are in a straight line, one behind you, and one in front. Make sure that you stretch your legs as far as possible while keeping your balance. If it helps, reach for a handful of your dark chocolate medley to help give you an early morning boost of flavor, and something motivational to aim for.
4. The Bridge Pose
Any yoga pose that helps to bend or curve your spine is all about unlocking the power of the nervous system. The bridge pose helps you to really get your body into the flexible position you need to feel free and relaxed as you move through your day. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat against the floor – arms by your sides. Raise your hips upwards and interlace your hands together, then breathe deeply for a few seconds, before repeating.
5. The Half Moon Pose
It only makes sense that if we start with a half sun pose, we should finish with a half moon. In addition to helping you battle anxiety and stress, your half-moon pose can be perfect for reducing fatigue, according to Yoga Journal. Start by standing straight, then gradually reach forward so that your hand is on the floor about ten inches in front of you. If your right hand is on the floor, then your left leg should be in the air, creating a long, straight line from your head to your foot. Feel free to extend your other arm upwards to help you keep your balance.
Remember to Finish Well
So, there you have it – five great poses to help you energize for the morning ahead. Of course, before you race off into your daily routine, it’s worth sitting for a couple of seconds after your yoga to simply adjust your breathing and relax.
Have a handful of Premium Duet Nuts to give you a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals to start your day, rather than packing your system full of carbs that are likely to leave you feeling sluggish all over again, and make sure to maintain an energy-rich diet throughout the day.