Yoganonmous recently published an article titled 5 Yoga Poses That Should Be Part of Your Morning Routine and it got me thinking about my own morning practice. While I do practice a couple of the poses the article advised, my body, at this point, seems to crave others which weren’t included. I thought I’d share with you my own.
Because my morning practice is still in its infancy, I tend not to have a regimented routine, and instead allow my body to move in whatever way it feels. This makes the whole idea of practicing as soon as you roll out of bed a little less daunting. I commend myself instead on my discipline to ‘show up’ onto my mat, in an act of love and respect for my relationship with myself, rather than what postures I do, or how ‘hard’ I work when I get there.
Here are my 5 favorite yoga poses to wake up to:
- Supine Twists
I literally roll out of my bed and onto my mat and start with deep supine twists. In supine twists I like to roll so far over my knee touches the ground, and allow my shoulder to slowly descend towards the earth with each breath. This gives me a spinal twist, lumber spine and hip cracks, and an upper chest and arm stretch. Hold each side for 1-2 minutes; it’s a juicy way to awaken after your slumber.
- Downward Dog
This is the first stretch my dog does every morning after the wakes up, and I think he’s onto something. Your first downward dog for the day will feel stiff, if you allow your body some movement in the posture, it’ll loosen up, the blood will start flowing, and you begin to experience how delicious this pose can be.
- Sun or Moon Salutations, with long hold uttanasana’s and backbend variations
Depending on how you are feeling, do three to five sun or moon salutations and in each of them add in a few backbends variations and longer hold forward folds. Sun salutations create heat and will awaken and enliven you. Moon salutations are known to be more cooling, but depending on how you execute them, they might create a little heat. I love the hip opening of moon salutations, and sometimes I crave the heated awakening of sun salutations. It all depends on how you feel in your body and heart at that moment.
Here is where things start to get a little deeper. For me, nothing beats camel in the morning; the rush I get from this chest opener is almost addictive. I practice camel with my hands on my ankles, so it opens my chest and my shoulders. If camel doesn’t do it for you, I would instead do something like supported fish. The point is to get a deep chest-opener in.
- Pigeon/Double Pigeon
Yes! I can’t help it, I love pigeon poses in the morning. They’re deep hip openers which tend to create resistance I must surrender to, and that’s a lesson I need to be reminded about every day. This is your chance also to connect with your breath and trust it to create space in your hips.
Those are my five favourite morning poses. I’d love to know what your body likes to wake up to! Share your favourite morning poses in the comments!