Nowadays, yoga is everywhere. We see people practice their morning yoga routine in the park. We walk by second-story yoga studios on our way to work. And we may even dabble in a little downward dog ourselves now and again.
But regardless of whether you’re already a yoga aficionado or looking to try this life-changing practice for the first time, yoga is a place you can return to time and again to learn, grow, and evolve.
Yoga is beneficial for the body and mind at any time of day but incorporating a morning yoga routine into your life can be incredibly uplifting.
Here, we teach you how to incorporate this powerful practice into your everyday life so you can fully reap all benefits.
4 Benefits of an Effective Morning Yoga Routine
So, why practice yoga first thing in the morning? Well, there are plenty of benefits involved.
Not a morning person? No problem.
If rolling out of bed and onto your yoga mat doesn’t sound even remotely appealing – don’t worry. We get it.
We all know that coffee can be a great way to kickstart the day too, but trust us. Once you give a morning yoga routine a whirl, you’ll never look back.
The energy boost you’ll receive will rival that of your ol’ cuppa joe, minus the pesky mid-day caffeine crash, of course.
So, what morning yoga benefits can you expect to receive from trying out this practice?
1. Morning yoga boosts digestive fire
So many people struggle with their digestive health. Clean and healthy guts are the path to a healthier, happier life! More research is being done into the powerful mind-gut connection, so encouraging gut motility is important.
Many yoga poses involve bends, twists, and turns that effectively wring out the digestive tract, soothing spasms, and stoking the digestive fire that heats our system and helps us assimilate our food. A morning yoga routine will help you start your day off right!
2. Morning yoga increases circulation and boosts the immune system
When we move gently from stretch to stretch, we raise the heat in the body. Our circulation increases and the blood flowing from our internal organs to our extremities picks up its pace.
A morning yoga routine will increase blood flow, charge the lymphatic system, and give the immune system a healthy kick of power. And who doesn’t love a strong immune system?
3. Morning yoga provides a powerful energy boost
Yoga is a form of exercise, and when we exercise, we increase the oxygen present in our cells through cell oxygenation.
The type of deep, diaphragmatic breathing that is encouraged in yoga practice helps replenish the oxygen stores in our cells, leading to an upsurge of energy available for us to tap into.
So, incorporating yoga into your morning yoga routine will help you banish that troublesome morning fatigue with ease.
4. Morning yoga decreases stress and anxiety
It helps you establish the tone, pace, and perspective on your upcoming day. No matter what your schedule is filled with, a little yoga will do your mind a great deal of good.
With simple, easy stretches, and a few minutes of deep, mindful breathing, you’ll find that the awareness you establish in your morning yoga practice will stay with you throughout your day. You’ll carry it forward with you, off the yoga mat and out into the world.
You will find your levels of stress and anxiety diminished in the wake of the mindful attitude and energy you harbor after a morning yoga practice.
A Simple Morning Yoga Routine for Beginners – 5 Poses to Get Started
Morning yoga practice isn’t just for the pros! If you’re a beginner, there’s plenty you can do to get started.
The word yoga is Sanskrit for the union. And really, that’s what yoga is meant to do. It is a unification of the body, the mind, and the spirit. If you keep this in mind as you begin your unique yoga journey, your practice will be greatly enriched.
Here are some of the best poses for a yoga newcomer:
1. Beginner yoga pose: Cat-Cow
This pose is wonderful for gently massaging the spine and internal organs. It’s an absolute must to include in your morning yoga routine. Here’s how to practice it at home:
Begin in tabletop position, with your hands and knees centered over your shoulders and hips. Make sure your head and neck are in line with your spine, with your eyes looking at the floor between your hands.
Now, on an in-breath, lift your head and chest toward the ceiling, gaze upward, and let your belly sink toward the floor. This is cow pose.
On the out-breath, gently drop your head and round your spine toward the ceiling. This is cat pose.
Together, these poses in combination stretch the spine and create heat in the belly, energizing you from the inside out!
Stay in the cat-cow pose for as long as it takes you to complete 10 breaths, synchronizing your inhalations and exhalations with the movement of the body.
2. Beginner yoga pose: Downward Dog
Tried and true, this one is safe for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. Include this pose in your morning yoga routine for a great stretch and circulation boost.
Begin in a tabletop position, with your hands and knees centered over your shoulders and hips. Then, slide your hands forward an inch or so, and turn in your toes.
Lift your knees from the floor and raise your hips into the air. Straighten your arms but don’t lock your elbows. Lengthen your tailbone and lift your sitting bones toward the ceiling.
At first, you may not be able to rest your heels on the floor, or fully straighten your legs. That’s okay. In fact, when first moving into downward dog, it can be helpful to pedal the legs – that is, to straighten one leg at a time, moving your hips gently from side to side as you do so.
Rest in downward dog pose for three deep, mindful breaths.
3. Beginner yoga pose: Sphinx
A good pose to balance downward dog, sphinx pose helps open the heart and increase flexibility in the spine. It’s also a great way to begin working toward the more advanced cobra pose, so make sure you include this in your morning yoga practice!
Begin by lying prone on the floor with the tops of your feet flat on the mat and your forearms and palms parallel to one another under your shoulders.
On an in-breath, slowly raise your head and chest up off the floor into an easy backbend. Stay here for five breaths.
4. Beginner yoga pose: Mountain
Ready to get up from the mat? Then it’s time for mountain pose.
This pose looks easy at first glance, but don’t be deceived. Mountain pose is a powerful way to activate the breath and increase cell oxygenation.
Stand at the top of your mat with your feet together, spine erect, hands at your sides. Take a moment to sway. Find your balance in the pose. Ground yourself down from the top of your head, to the tips of your toes.
Once you’ve found your position, settle into the pose. Drop the shoulder blades, center your hips, widen your chest, and let your arms drift to a natural resting place.
To challenge yourself in this pose, try closing your eyes. Breathe deep from your diaphragm. Stay here for ten breaths.
5. Beginner yoga pose: Standing Forward Bend
The natural progression from mountain pose is the standing forward bend. This pose both stretches the legs and soothes the mind.
Ready? Begin by standing in mountain pose. Next, place your hands on your hips. On an out-breath, hinge at the hips, torso out, and sink your upper body toward the floor.
This is another pose that you may find challenging to rest in with straight legs. Just as we did with down dog, try pedalling the legs back and forth when you first come into this pose.
When you’re settled, let the weight of your arms and torso pull you closer to the floor.
10-Minute Morning Yoga Practice
A morning yoga routine doesn’t need to take up too much of your time. The true beauty of morning yoga is that the benefits of the practice are available to you, even if all you have time for are a few breaths in cat cow pose.
If you’ve got a packed schedule and need to pop in an efficient yoga practice, then you should check out an efficient 10-minute morning yoga routine. Here’s one offered by Adriene, from her channel, Yoga With Adriene.
So will you incorporate yoga into your morning routine?
It doesn’t take much to add a little yoga into the mix.
A morning yoga routine helps prepare your body and mind for the day ahead. It increases your energy, better equips you to handle stress, and sets a positive, mindful tone for your entire day!