These yoga poses create a great morning yoga flow to stretch out the kinks and cramps from your sleeping position, and awaken your muscles & mind.
Morning is undoubtedly one the best times to practice yoga and the perfect morning yoga set is Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation, because it incorporates some excellent poses to help stretch the entire body.
Performing yoga soon after you wake up is a great method to start your morning. Besides the obvious physical benefits of stretching sleepy muscles and becoming your blood flowing, specific yoga poses may also raise your energy level, reduce stress and make preparations you for the day.
Half Sun Salutation (ardha suryanamaskar)
This is a short vinyasa, or series of movements coordinated with breath. Begin standing in Mountain Pose (tadasana): Position your arms from your sides and press all corners of your feet (the pad of the large toe, the pad of the little toe and both sides of your heel) evenly in to the ground. Inhale and raise your arms out to the side and over your face, reaching your upper body toward heaven as your lower body is constantly on the root into the earth. Then exhale and swan dive forward, bending in the hips and bringing your torso toward your feet into Standing Forward Bend (uttanasana). Next, inhale, slightly lift up your upper body to a flat back after which exhale back into forward bend. Finally, inhale and turn back swan dive, coming all the way up with your arms over your head. Exhale and return to tadasana. Repeat this sequence three times.
Chair Pose (utkatasana)
Utka means “fierce” in sanskrit, also it definitely takes some of its namesake trait to carry this energizing pose for over a couple of breaths. Start out waiting in Mountain Pose, then bend your knees deeply until your thighs are parallel towards the floor, keeping your upper body upright. Lift up your arms up so that your biceps are beside your ears. Lean your torso slightly forward, reaching out from the hips. Imagine that you’re relaxing in an invisible chair. If it feels hard to keep your arms up, lower them into prayer position in-front of your chest. Hold this pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
Release Tension in Your Back using the Cat-Cow Pose
You might want a yoga mat for position, or perhaps a towel is fine. Come down on your hands and knees and make the back flat, like a table top, looking straight. Make sure your hands are fisted and directly below your shoulders, and your knees directly below your hips with the tops of the feet on the ground. Inhale into Cow together with your head and tailbone lifting in to the air, and hold as it were (like the picture!). Then, exhale into cat by arching your spine for the sky and tucking your chin to your chest. Repeat this for a few minutes, slowly at first and then increasing with comfort and ease.
This pose is closely related to Warrior 1 (virabadrasana 1). Start in Downward-Facing Dog (adho mukha svanasana) with your palms planted firmly in front of your mat, your feet grounded behind of your mat and your hips lifted in mid-air. Lift your right leg high into the air and then step your right foot forward involving the hands. (If it doesn’t make it there by itself, you can use your right hand to maneuver it forward.) Lift your torso up so it’s completely upright and raise your arms up so that your biceps are beside your ears. Stay for several breaths, engaging the back leg to support you. If you think your lower back is crunched, bend your back leg slightly so that you can lengthen your tailbone. After several breaths, put your hands on the ground, step your right foot back and go back to Downward-Facing Dog. Repeat with the other leg.
Half Moon (ardha chandrasana)
Start out in a wide-legged standing position, using the toes of your right foot pointing to the side and your right knee bent. Lean your torso over your right knee right into a side bend and reach your right hand to the floor while placing your left-hand on your hip. Ground your right palm on the ground and lift your left leg until it’s parallel down and level with your hip. Lastly, reach your left arm up toward heaven. Feel all your limbs trying from the center of your body, assisting you balance. After a few breaths here, fall slowly, landing lightly in your left foot. Repeat on the other hand.