How many times did you wake up after a full night’s sleep only to discover that you do not feel refreshed at all? Or the very moment you open your eyes you start thinking about all the things that need to be done that day, and the stress piles up before you even get out of the bed. However, if you take up yoga and practice every morning, you will notice significant improvements surprisingly soon.
The best thing you can do for your back in the morning is stretch it well, and the Cat-Cow Pose is perfect for that because it really opens up your entire spine. Get down on all fours and inhale deeply with your back straight. As you exhale, round your spine as much as you can towards the ceiling and imagine pushing your belly button to your spine while tucking your chin towards the chest, neck muscles relaxed. Upon inhaling, arch your back and let your belly loose while lifting your head up towards the ceiling. Keep inhaling during the Cat Pose and exhaling during the Cow Pose; and repeat the movements ten times.
This position stimulates strength and power, and will energize you in the morning. Stand up straight, and place your left leg as far backwards as you can without causing discomfort. Keep your right knee above the ankle and bend it so you lean onto that leg and achieve balance. With both arms, reach upwards and look up at the same time, and remain in this position for thirty seconds before switching legs and repeating the exercise.
Spread your legs wide with your toes pointing outwards. Your feet should be placed wider than your shoulders but you should still be in control of your movements and feel comfortable. Turn your left foot outwards by 90 degrees and raise your arms out to the sides, palms facing the floor. While exhaling, bend your knee, let your hips sink in a bit, lengthen your spine and push out your chest. Maintain the position for about five seconds and switch sides.
Position yourself on all fours and firmly press the floor with your hands and fingers while tucking in your toes. Slowly and carefully start lifting your hips up and back; while your knees are still bent, breathe deeply and move your hips as if you were “wagging your tail”. After that, bring the left heel toward the floor until you have straightening the leg behind you. While breathing deeply, bend the left knee and straighten the right leg. In the end, try pressing both heels on the floor while gently pushing your chest towards your knees. If you are not sure about your movements, it is always a good idea to start working with a personal fitness trainer until you master the movements.
Extended Side Angle
Spread your legs as in Warrior Two, but your arms should point to the ceiling, and you should bend your torso sideways while looking up. When you are bending your right knee, place the palm of your right hand on the ground outside the knee, and with your left arm reaching upwards and over your head so that you make a straight line from your left foot all the way up the side to your left arm. For about a minute, hold the position before switching sides.
Yoga is safe, calming, and energizing; it can awaken your body and calm your mind at the same time, and no wonder so many people from all over the world are taking up early yoga classes or practice at home as soon as they wake up. Brighter mornings and a healthy body paired with energy that lasts the entire day are just some of the wonderful ‘side effects’ of everyday early yoga practice