How you choose to start your day can set the tone for the rest of it. If you hit the snooze button five times and drag yourself out of bed, chances are you’ll be feeling sluggish all day.
But, if you start your day off right with some yoga poses, your body will wake up on the right track.
The deep, concentrated breaths necessary during yoga help to purify the blood and strengthen the respiratory system. Strong breaths while you practice yoga relaxes you which helps to lower blood pressure and maintain normal blood sugar levels.
Studies have shown yoga also lowers stress and helps to release endorphins which puts you in a better mood, so it only makes sense to start your day off with some beneficial yoga moves!
Check out these five yoga poses to get you going each day.
Downward Facing Dog
If you tend to wake up with a stuffy nose, downward facing dog can help to open up your sinuses and relieve congestion.
Start on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Scoop out your lower belly and spread your fingers wide. With your toes curled and your arms straight, move your hips up and press your thighs back.
Get balance and feel grounded with the Warrior 1 pose. As you move through it, you’ll improve your circulation and energize your body.
To start, bend your front knee to a 90-degree angle with your knee over your ankle. Press the back of the knee on the straight leg up to the sky. Move your toes back until they are under the heel. If this is too challenging you can drop your back knee to the ground. Once you’re stable, stretch your arms up and lower your shoulders away from your ears.
If you feel stiff when you get out of bed, the seated twist pose can stretch your upper body and help to relieve backaches. It’s also known to improve digestion.
Start by sitting on the floor with your right leg crossed over your left. Be sure your right foot and left knee are facing the same direction. Twist to the right and hook your left arm on your right knee until you’re in a comfortable position. Inhale and sit up tall. Exhale and deepen the twist. Release and repeat on the other side.
The Cat-Cow pose is another great stretch for stiff back muscles.
Start on all fours. As you look up to the ceiling, inhale and drop your back down to the floor. As you look down at your belly button, exhale and arch your back up like a cat. Try to keep this flow for one or two minutes.
Work on your focus and concentration while strengthening your legs in Tree Pose.
Stand straight and shift your weight to your right foot. Bring the sole of your left foot to your right inner thigh. If this is too hard, lower your foot to your calf. Do not rest your foot on your knee. Place your hands in prayer position over your chest. Try to hold this pose for a minute or two before switching to the other leg.
The next time you’re tempted to delay getting out of bed, resist the urge and practice these poses to start your day off right. Your mind and body will thank you.
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