Practicing a morning yoga sequence is the ideal way to relieve the body of stiffness from sleep and increase our energy for the day ahead. When we link our breath to movement, we connect first to the physical body so that we can ground with our senses. A morning yoga practice is a beautiful way to begin your day with self-care and self-love.
Ayurveda teaches us that how we start our day helps us move with intention and focus. Yoga and meditation are important parts of dinacharya, our daily routine. Upon rising (ideally at sunrise), enjoy your Chyawanprash to begin activating the body and mind. Follow with a glass of warm water and roll out your mat; it’s time to begin.
Refreshing Morning Yoga Sequence
- Begin in a comfortable seat, either cross-legged or on the shins. Take a few moments to connect to your breath with a tall spine. Let your shoulders melt down away from the ears. Begin to even out your inhales and exhales, breathe in and out through the nose.
- Come to all-fours, spread the fingers wide and stack shoulders over wrists, hips over knees. Take 5 rounds of cat and cow pose, moving with your own breath. Inhale to arch the back for cow pose and exhale to round for cat pose. Let the gaze be soft or eyes can close. Feel free to add any additional movements your body is craving.
- Tuck your toes and send your hips up for downward-facing dog. Pedal out through the feet before you land in stillness. Take a slow walk up to your hands for forward fold. Invite a gentle bend to the knees and reach for opposite elbows. Release any tension in the neck and take gentle sways. Release the elbows and slowly roll up to standing.
- Practice 3-4 rounds of Surya Namaskar, sun salutations. This can be done one breath, one movement for a more vigorous practice or slower for more of a moving meditative practice. It is important to listen and honor your body and how it feels each morning as the seasons and our experiences change. If you are brand-new to your yoga practice, it is helpful to meet virtually or in-person with an experienced teacher to learn proper form and alignment.
Use the poses above as a starting point for developing your own morning yoga sequence that works for you. Be creative and allow your physical body to express and move in a way that feels nourishing and fulfilling to you; make it personal! Practicing yoga in the morning has been known to increase mental clarity, boost immunity and stimulate our digestion. In as little as fifteen minutes each morning, you can inspire yourself to move through your day with intention and purpose. Give it a try and your morning yoga ritual might just become a favorite part of your day!
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)