When we wake in the morning, we may find ourselves reaching for that first cup of coffee right away in order to feel awake, energized, and focused. But- is this really the best way?
For those who are seeking a more holistic and longer lasting approach to cultivating energy and wakefulness first thing in the morning, looking at yoga as a way to begin your day may be right for you.
Yoga is a wonderful way to start the day. It gives us the space to stretch, breathe, and move energy through our bodies. It also creates a safe space for us to honor our needs for the day, fill our own cups, and listen inwardly.
While yoga may not be the right morning routine for everyone, it can be a supportive start for those who it resonates with.
Read on as I share my top 3 favorite yoga poses for daily invigoration and increased energy:
- Downward dog. Benefits include: Builds shoulder strength and mobility, stretches legs, opens chest, lengthens spine, and reverses blood flow.
Begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees, tuck all ten toes, and spread your palms wide. Slowly lift your hips up and back until the legs are straight (or as straight as feels good- you can always keep a bend in your knees for more support). Reach your heart towards the tops of your thighs and feel free to add gentle movement by walking out the feet here. Breathe and hold for at least 30 seconds. Repeat up to 3 times.
2. Plank pose. Benefits include: Increased core strength, improved posture, invigorating, builds inner heat.
Begin in a tabletop position on your hands and knees, and when ready, extend one leg at a time, keeping your hands underneath your shoulders with the arms fully extended. Do your best to find a neutral (flat) back as you push the floor away. Hold for as long as feels good, and repeat up to 3 times.
3. Seated twists. Benefits include: Supports parasympathetic nervous system, relieves spinal tension, relieves lower back tension, improves digestive health. Start in a criss cross seat on the floor. Reach your arms towards the sky as you inhale, and as you exhale twist to one side- bringing your hand to the top of the opposite knee, and the other hand behind you. Hold and breathe, then switch sides. Move back and forth between each side, twisting at least 3 times in each direction.