There are many ways to start your morning, and we absolutely believe yoga practice is one of the best ways of doing it. Previously we talked about the benefits of morning yoga, today we want to focus on the particular postures that will boost your positive energy at the start of the day.
Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations
This series of postures, brought to the western world in the 20th century, comes from an ancient Vedas’ teaching. With Surya Namaskar one greets the sun to start their morning in harmony with the nature. According to the Vedas practicing it regularly brings prosperity and wealth to our lives.
From the physiological point of view, Surya Namaskar is a warm up exercise to activate all the different muscles and energy centres in the body. One of our teachers, Chloe always advices us to repeat this particular sequence for 20 minutes if we do not have time for a full practice, as it is designed as a full body work out, as well as a powerful mental exercise. Stretching and compressing abdominal muscles improves your digestive system; breathing ventilates the lungs and keeps the blood oxygenated; focus, or Drishti, activates your memory and your nervous system.
After greeting the Sun your body is warm and stretched, your mind is awaken. What an amazing way to feel in the morning!
Standing Forward Fold or Uttanasana
This and other stretching postures are really good for the start of the day, especially if you spend a big part of it sitting in the chair at work. Sedentary lifestyle leads to tightness in muscles which may cause various health problems. Standing forward fold is not only great way to stretch the body, it also allows the blood to easily flow to the brain, which boosts its activity and refreshes the whole circulatory system.
A common mistake in this pose is rounding the spine too much and trying to reach the floor with the shoulders. The right way of doing it is folding from the hips, and bringing the top of the pelvis forward to try and bring the belly closer to the thighs. Make sure you engage the quadriceps to protect the muscles around your knees.
Trikonasana or Triangle Pose
This is another way to stretch, but also to feel really present and grounded. Trikonasana activates your ankles, legs, back, neck and the shoulders, opens the chest and brings the sense of stability. Another nice posture to wake up the full body in the morning.
On the health side, it stimulates the spine nerves, improves the alignment of the shoulders, tones the reproductive organs, improves the blood flow, and of course helps you to develop strength in your beautiful body.
Vrikshasana or Tree Pose
As we suggested in the previous article, spending some time with yourself, setting intention for the day, and finding the inner balance at the beginning of the day is a great benefit of a morning practice. Tree Pose is a nice posture to find some stillness and have that peaceful conversation with yourself.
Vrikshasana also helps you to activate concentration and focus to be more present and attentive throughout the day. It calms and relaxes the central nervous systems and cures any stress and anxiety. If you have ever tried it you know that it’s impossible to stay still in a Tree without letting go of every thought and focusing purely on your body and its inner senses.
Adho Mukha Shvanasana or Downward Facing Dog
This posture is a part of Surya Namaskar series, which we recommend practicing first thing in the morning, however, experienced yogis advice to also take it as a separate exercise and to stay in it for a little longer. Downward Facing Dog is a great place to reconnect with your breathing, and mindful breathing is one of the most powerful techniques of all times. It stimulates brain activity, improves the heart rate variability, reduces negative emotions, stabilises the blood pressure. Paying attention to your breath in the morning may naturally get you into a habit of reconnecting with it throughout the day, so you can find that calm inner self and deal with life with more awareness and patience.
Based on your personal preference you can create your own morning yoga routine, you can also practice the one we offer at Barbican Yoga Studio at 7 am every Tuesday. Remember to warm up, stretch, activate your strength, find balance and breathe – this yogi’s formula will help you to start your day with a ton of positive energy.
Namaste fellow yogi.
Have a wonderful practice!