These morning yoga poses are more energy-inducing than a cup of coffee.
Most of us start our mornings the same way: we get up, we shuffle our way to the kitchen like a sleep-deprived zombie, and then mindlessly get to work preparing a pot of coffee.
What if we told you there was a better way to get yourself awake in the morning? It’s called yoga.
You might already be doing it three times a week in the afternoon, but you should be doing it every morning. It gets the blood pumping, the muscles stretched, and the mind bright and awake by the time you’re done.
Here are a few poses that are great morning-starters.
First, we have the half moon pose. This one is easy and is fantastic to do first thing in the morning since it mimics the body’s natural desire to stretch after waking up.
Start with your feet together, back straight, and hands interlocked straight above your head. Inhale deeply, then bend either left or right while keeping your shoulders straight ahead and your hips popping in the opposite direction. Repeat three to five times on either side.
Now that you’re all stretched, it's time to suffer (but in a good way) with a set of chair pose squats. These may be hard if you’ve skipped leg day, but they work the largest muscle groups in your body and are bound to wake you up.
From the half moon pose, bring your hands forward with palms pointed inward about shoulder length apart. Put your weight on your heels and slowly descend like you’re sitting down into a chair, using your hands to balance yourself. Your chest should be up, your booty should be out, your thighs together, and your knees should never go past your feet. Do 10 reps.
Now, for some core exercises, we'll start with the downward dog, which will stretch out your back, hamstrings, and glutes.
From all-fours, bring your body upward into an inverted “V” shape with your feet and hands flat on the ground. Your head should be between your arms, and you should feel a lot of pull in your hamstrings but no pain. If you’re not quite flexible enough, it’s fine to bend the knees slightly or lift your heels off the ground, but you should definitely feel that stretch. After holding for 30 seconds, transition into the upward dog.
In order to go into upward dog from downward dog, bring your body back down and adopt a sort of plank-like position with your weight suspending on your hands and the tips of your toes. Then bring your pelvis down, without touching the floor, while you bring your torso upward. Roll your weight onto the tops of your toes with your feet outstretched. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with downward dog five times.
Now you’re awake and ready to start your day! Who needs coffee, right?