Some people are naturally cheery and energetic AF first thing in the morning, and those people are why I have trust issues. Personally, I snooze my alarm about 13 times every single morning, and if it weren't for yoga, I probably would never emerge from my beautiful, blanket-clad sanctuary. If you, too, hate parting from your pillow in the a.m., including some yoga poses to wake you up in your morning routine might be exactly what you need to get your body moving come sunrise — well, along with that glorious cup of coffee, of course.
Now hear me out: If you're thinking that yoga is the last thing you want to do when you hear your alarm go off in the morning, I don't blame you. I used to cringe at the mere thought of getting onto my yoga mat first thing in the morning, too. But once I actually got into the habit of it, I realized how much natural energy you can get just from practicing a few poses before you officially start your day.
Rest assured, these seven yoga poses don't require much effort at all on your part. All you have to do is simply move and stretch your body in ways that feel good for you, and before you know it, you'll be ready to start your day.
Gently opening up your hips first thing in the morning will provide a much-needed stretch to your lower body and send a surge of energy throughout your entire body.
Hip-openers are a great way to ward off all that grogginess that settles into your body in the a.m., and a pose like this will also help counteract any tightness you might feel from sitting all day long in a chair during the work day.
Begin breathing deeply into your belly, and be sure to repeat eye-of-the-needle pose on both sides of your body for balance and equilibrium.
Moving through a few rounds of cat-cow spinal stretches will open your upper and lower back after a night of sleep and help you prepare to tackle your day with grace and poise.
Be sure to link your inhales and exhales with each movement you make during your cat-cow sequence. Feel free to take any other movements in your hips or upper body that feel good for you in the moment.
Downward Facing Dog
Gradually make your way into a downward facing dog to help get your blood circulating and really wake your physical body up.
Pedal out your feet to open up your calves, and remember to maintain slow, even breathing as you stretch it all out. Gaze toward your belly button and aim your hips toward the ceiling, finding dynamic stillness in this posture.
Once your body starts to feel a little more loose and limber, make your way into a powerful high lunge.
Using your legs to support you, raise your arms toward the ceiling, close your eyes, and picture a tangible force of energy shooting through your fingertips. Remind yourself that you can handle anything that the day ahead has in store for you.
If you tend to feel distracted and scatter-brained when you first wake up, add a tree pose into your morning yoga practice to help you find that sharp sense of focus.
Release any expectations you may have for what this pose "should" look like, and don't judge yourself if you teeter back and forth first thing in the a.m. Savor the quiet stillness of the early-morning hours, and find gratitude for your body's ability to carry you through both your yoga practice and your daily routine.
Stand at the front of your mat and bring a gentle backbend into your practice to build on all of the energy and heat you've just created.
Backbends are incredible for waking up both the body and the mind, but feel free to take this pose as gently or as deeply as feels good for you. Listen to your body and breath, and bend accordingly.
Seal your morning practice with a simple, yet powerfully strong mountain pose. Close your eyes and release any tension in your shoulders, neck, and lower back. Straighten your spine, and take a huge breath into your belly, filling every crevice of your body with air. On your exhale, set an intention for a productive and energy-filled day.