Yoga is the perfect way to energize your mornings and revitalize your tired, groggy body. It’s not as intense as a full-on cardio workout, and can actually help with digestion and revving up your metabolism. Here are the best beginner friendly yoga moves to try in the AM.
1. Standing forward fold
this can be your first move. stand with your feed hip distance apart slightly bending your knees and gently folding forward with a relaxed neck, and weigh centered in the middle of each foot.
2. Child’s pose
This is a very simple pose that’s adaptable for all levels. Kneel and bring your chest down onto your thighs so your forehead touches the floor, lengthening arms to either side or stacking them under the forehead. Breath in slowly and let the ribs widen. As you exhale sink the buttocks back towards the heels, stretching your back.
3. Happy baby
Start on your back, resting you head either on a pillow or on the ground. Gently draw your knees into your chest, grabbing the outer edges of your feet and sticking elbows inside knees. Pull on your feet lightly as knees drop to each side of your torso.
4. Cat to cow
Starting on all fours with hands under shoulders and knees under hips, drop your belly and arch your spine, lifting your chest and lifting your tailbone as you inhale. When you exhale, curve your spine into the opposite position pressing the floor away, like an angry cat.
5. Downward dog
Place your palms on the mat or ground a bit wider than shoulder width, tucking the toes as your lift hips high into the air. The chest should move backwards the thighs while the arms remain straight and head strays relaxed. Roll your shoulder away from the knees, and keep hips high to keep your soles on the ground and get the full stretch.
6. Locust Pose
This is a backbend variation which strengthens your lower back and legs while lengthening the spine and opening your chest. Lie on your stomach with arms by your sides, palms up. Lite your arms, legs, upper body, and head actively, holding for 45 seconds before you release.
7. Twisted chair
This pose increases circulation and the twisting motion wakes up your internal organs, helping you digest. Stand with feet and legs together, bending knees and sinking hips into a squat position with palms in front of chest. Rotate the spine and bring right elbow to left knee with chest lifted.
8. Camel pose
This pose opens up your chest and increases lung capacity, helping you take those mindful deep breaths that let you keep your cool. Start kneeling high with hips over knees, with weight pressed into shins and the tops of feet. Tuck your toes and place your hands on your sacrum, lifting the chest as your release hands to your heels and arch the spine.
9. Seated twist
This is a foundational intro the spinal twist, and is done cross legged rather than lying down. It can even be done on your bed. In a seated position, take a deep breath and exhale, turning so your right hand is brought to your left knee, looking behind you. Inhale and switch, exhaling on the other side.
10. Crescent lunge
This is a fantastic hip opener that also happens to get your heart rate up. Starting in downward dog, step your right foot between your hands. Lower your hips into a lunge-like position, shifting weight on to the ball of the back foot with hips squared and arms reaching towards the ceiling.
11. Plow pose
This inversion might take some time to work up to, but it maximizes your circulation and promotes endorphins to flow out through your body, which helps on groggy mornings. Lie on your back with legs up in the air towards the ceiling. Anchoring arms with palm down, press into your hands and lift your legs over the head. Bring hands to your back if support is needed.
12. Spinal twist
Lie on your back with both knees in towards the chest. Holding one knee into the chest, let the other leg straighten out in the floor. Bring the bent knee across the body but keep your shoulder blades on the floor. Turn head to look over should for a total twist. Complete on the other side.
13. Triangle pose
Standing, widen your leg stand to the length of a leg. Take your right foot out to the side, aligning the heel with the center arch of the other foot. Take arms parallel to the ground and reach out to the right side keeping legs straight and engaged. Torso lengthens and the chest open up.
14. Wide leg forward fold
This forward fold might feel better to some than the non-wide legged variation. It lengthens your spine while gloriously stretching your hamstrings and allowing for some inversion action to shine through.
15. Eagle pose
Start standing with bent knees. Lift your right leg up and around the standing leg, hooking the ankle and foot behind the calf of the other leg. Sink your hips down and back into a squat like position, crossing the arms at elbows, and keeping wrists in front of the chest. Shake out legs after you release.