15 Minute Morning Yoga
Written By: Suzanne Kvilhaug
You either love to exercise first thing in the morning or you can’t fathom doing anything more then lifting your cup of coffee from the table to your mouth. Reps? Sure, I can do about 15 on each arm. Sip and repeat, sip and repeat...
I’m a morning person yet I rarely exercise in the morning because I feel like I’m half-awake and I’ll half-ass anything I do. And it’s not a personal theory I made up to honor my lazy feelings, studies have shown that we experience a cognitive fog and it takes the brain awhile to wake up in the morning. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise in the morning but if you’re like me, a strenuous workout bright and early feels like a form of unnecessary torture that can be done happily later on.
Now yoga in the morning, that’s a different story. Think of doing yoga as a gentle wake-up call that stretches your body, gets the blood flowing and gives you the energy that you need for the day ahead.
Here’s 5 great yoga poses to try first thing in the morning that will put you in the right state of mind, because being frazzled is so passé.
1. Child’s pose
My favorite part of yoga is always child’s pose. Can we just extend this pose for like 10, maybe 20 minutes? Like I say to my cat all the time “you’re a great rester” and so am I. Doing a child’s pose to start your day off will help calm your mind, promote relaxation and effectively stretch and open up the lower back area. Use it as a time to check in with your body and if you’ve got a busy day ahead, here’s the time to mentally plan everything out in a peaceful state.
2. Pigeon pose
If you’ve been doing yoga for awhile, you probably have a love/hate relationship with the pigeon pose. You love how you feel after and hate how you feel during. It’s a deep hip opener that can help increase flexibility and the range of motion in the hip joints. We store a lot of emotions in the hips and by doing hip openers you are releasing unconscious tension and old emotions from the body. You can’t go wrong by starting off the day with a great stretch and a quick therapy session.
When yoga instructors incorporate triangle poses in class, I want to raise the roof and shoot them a look of appreciation. This energizing pose is a deep opening on the sides of the waist and if you don’t do this often, you’ll really feel it. And I mean that in a good way. We often forget about this part of the body and not only does it open up the sides of the body, your hips are targeted as well. For this pose, you may need a yoga block.
4. Cobra pose
There’s something powerful about doing a cobra pose and I think it’s just what the doctor (wellness writer) ordered for a good wake-up call. This backbend can be subtle or dramatic depending on the depth to which you take it. The cobra pose deeply opens the heart for stress reduction and anxiety relief. Stiff lower back? Here’s your pose. Doing a cobra pose also helps to strengthen your spine, thighs, arms and shoulders.
5. Tree pose
Now for those who aren’t flexible but have great balance, here’s your time to shine. If you live for the applause but no one is around to watch your stable and impressive tree pose, record yourself and throw it up on a social media site. The tree pose builds self-confidence (today is my day!) and is a way to get grounded and focused.