Gentle 15-Minute Yoga Practice To Help You Wake Up In The Morning
If you’re like most people, your day typically flies by in a busy rush. You have tons of responsibilities and not a ton of time for yourself. But the fact is, you need to make time for self-care if you want to keep up with a fast-paced life. That’s where yoga comes in! It’s the perfect way to create a routine that’s just for you, and to help yourself feel calmer and more peaceful to boot. The best part is that you don’t need a huge chunk of time to accomplish this inner harmony – a gentle 15-minute yoga practice can be just the thing you need to help you wake up in the morning. You’ll never need to hit the snooze button again!
Should you do yoga right after waking up?
Starting a yoga practice right after you wake up can be a really easy way to fit yoga into your day without needing to rearrange your whole schedule. It’s a quick and easy way to start your day off right, and you can create a practice that allows you to get out of bed and get right to it – no schlepping to an early-morning class!
What are the benefits of doing a short, gentle practice in the morning?
There are a lot of reasons you should be fitting yoga into your day-to-day life – but how does morning yoga help, exactly? Here’s a rundown of some of the benefits.
It’s a great way to rise and shine
As soon as your alarm goes off, you’re probably wishing you could roll back over and doze off again. But having a yoga practice to help you wake up can be really useful. Instead of immediately scrolling through your phone or dragging yourself into your getting-ready routine, you can focus on naturally waking up your system with a series of energizing poses. Speaking of which…
It’s super energizing
If you find yourself dragging your feet in the morning (and let’s be real – most of us do), doing yoga first thing can actually provide you with some energy. Even gentle yoga poses can make you feel refreshed and rejuvenated, even more successfully than that second cup of coffee.
It locks in time to move
It can be difficult to make sure you’re scheduling time to get your fitness in. Without needing to carve out a huge chunk of time, doing some yoga poses allows you to get moving and feel active in the morning without having to head to the gym.
It’s all about me-time
Once your day gets started, it’s all about what other people need from you (your kids, your co-workers… The list goes on and on). Yoga can be one thing that’s just for you with no outside distractions.
It can help you set intentions for the day
If you want to start the morning off on the right foot, a yoga practice can help you prepare for the day you want to have. While you’re doing your poses, you can meditate or think through how you’d like to move through the next 24 hours. This can be a great way to get yourself centered and grounded before you start your busy day.
What is the best morning yoga routine?
The best gentle yoga practice for the morning consists of a set of poses that you do slowly with intentional breathing. Here’s a list of some awesome poses to include in your routine – feel free to shake up the order as you like!
Get down on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Breathe in and arch your back so your belly sinks down and your face and tailbone are lifted up (cow pose). Then breathe out and push into your hands and knees to hollow your belly, round your back, and tuck your chin inwards to your chest (cat pose). Continue alternating between these two poses for a series of slow breaths (usually about five times). This should feel really good for your back and get your blood flowing.
2. Downward-Facing Dog
We all know this one! Start in a plank, and then lift your hips up and back with your heels pushed towards the floor. Your body should form an upside-down V-shape. Make sure to press your shoulders away from your ears and keep your neck relaxed. Stay in this position for at least five slow breaths. Deepen the posture by breathing through your nose and pushing down on your heels.
3. Side Bends
Start by standing up with your feet hip-distance apart and parallel. Extend your arms overhead with your fingers interlaced. Breathe in and lean up and over from your waist to your left side. Hold for a few breaths, then return to standing and repeat on the other side. Do this at least three times on each side.
4. Chair Pose
Stand with feet together and arms at your side. Raise your hands overhead, palms facing in – your biceps should be by your ears. Bend your knees and sit back as if you’re sitting in an imaginary chair. Hold this for five breaths. You can make this pose more challenging by staying in the sitting position for longer periods of time.
5. Wide Forward Fold
Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders and parallel. Bend at your hips to bring your torso in front of your thighs (allow your head to relax). Shift your weight toward the balls of your feet. Hold for three to five breaths and then return to a standing position.
6. Happy Baby
Lay on your back with your knees bent. Keep your feet flat on the floor with your arms at your sides. Draw your knees towards your chest, outside of your ribs, with your legs bent and the soles of your feet facing the ceiling. Bring your arms inside of your legs and hold onto your big toes with the first two fingers and thumb of the same hand. Pull your knees toward the floor. Hold for five to eight breaths. This is a good pose to start to end your practice with when you’re ready.
For your last pose in the morning, lay on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Put your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your stomach. Extend your legs and arms straight to the floor. And then just relax and breathe deeply for one to two minutes to draw your practice to a close. (Just be careful not to doze back off!)
The best part of this type of gentle yoga is that you can stick with poses you really enjoy and get rid of ones that don’t feel good to you. You can also check out some YouTube videos to get ideas of more poses that might fit well into your practice. The ultimate goal is to create the perfect practice for you in order to get your day started off right. Good morning, sunshine!