What are the best yoga poses for the morning?

By Jade Lizzie | Published: October 1, 2018 | Last updated: October 1, 2018

Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

Technically, more of a sequence than a pose, gently rolling your spine between cat-cow pose is a great way to wake up your body, release your spine after a night’s sleep, warm your core muscles and open your heart.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

This classic asana is fantastic first thing in the morning. It stretches the whole back of your body, including your spine, hamstrings and calves. It’s intense enough to strengthen your arms and shoulders, but not so strenuous that it stresses your body so early in the day. The gentle inversion stimulates circulation and increases blood flow to your brain, energizing you for the day ahead.

Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

A wonderful stretch for the hip flexors and psoas muscles, low lunge pose opens the chest, rib cage and shoulders. Low lunge is a preemptive counter pose for the classic “office” posture — seated with shoulders rounded. It lets you set a powerful intention for your day to approach whatever faces you head on and with your heart open.

(For more poses that can help counteract the "office posture," try the answer to What is Office yoga?)

Warrior Two Pose (Virabhadrasana 2)

This commanding, rooted asana helps to set your stance on this earth. It fires up the muscles of the legs and thighs, grounding and connecting you. The alignment of the arms with the gaze along the front middle finger symbolizes taking aim, so set whatever you want from the day in your sights. It’s a great idea to visualize any goals or intentions for the day on the end of your front middle finger. Then use the empowering warrior energy of this asana to cultivate the strength and focus you need to manifest them.

Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

If you have no time for anything else, simply take a few minutes first thing in the morning to sit and meditate on your breath. It gives you a precious opportunity to look within, center and ground yourself before the stimulation and excitement of the day begins.

Whatever asanas you choose for your morning practice, remember to go gently, allowing your body to warm and awaken gradually. Start your day as you mean it to go on, using yoga to tap into both your strength and compassion.

(Read on for the answer to Why should I meditate in the morning?)


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Written by Jade Lizzie | Yoga teacher, writer and health and wellness geek.

Jade Lizzie

Jade is a yoga teacher, blogger and health and wellness geek. Her mission is to share the happiness that yoga has brought into her life.

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