We’ve all been there. Some mornings you wake up and can barely drag yourself out of bed. It might feel impossible but these are the mornings where you should think about rolling out your mat and do a 15 minutes yoga sequence.
We’ve put together 6 poses that will not only give you energy for the day but also open your hips, stretch your shoulders and lengthen your spine. You will feel powerful, centered and ready to own the day.
Before you start, try to do at least one round of Sun Salutations on each side to warm up. End your Sun Salutations in Downward Facing Dog.
Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana – Three Legged Dog
In addition to the benefits of Downward Facing Dog, Three Legged Dog opens the hips and strengthens the leg and buttocks.
From Downward Facing Dog, inhale and lift your right leg up into the sky. Press the standing thigh back. You have the option to open the hips. It feels great to make circles with the knee or ankle. Make sure to ground down both of your hands evenly – your shoulders should be in the same position as in a normal Downward Facing Dog.
Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana – High Lunge
High Lunge strengthens the whole lower body and stretches the groins and legs. It opens the chest, lungs, and hips and lengthens the spine.
From Downward Facing Dog step the right leg to the inside of your right hand. Come to a low lunge, roll your shoulders back, press your chest forward and reach your arms over your head using your core muscles. Make sure to keep the right angle in the front leg and press into the heel of your back leg. Let your hips sink towards your mat and relay the shoulders down your back.
Utthita Parsvakonasana – Side Angle
Side angle tones the muscles along the side of your body giving you structural support to lift and lengthen your spine.
From High Lunge with your right foot at the top of the mat, spin your back heel down and bring your right hand to the inside of your right foot. Your back leg should be parallel to the back edge of your mat. Firmly press into the outside edge of your back foot. Your front knee should be a 90° angle. Find a strong foundation before lifting up the left arm up in the sky or extend it to the front of the room. Roll your left ribs towards the sky, make sure your upper body is in line with your pelvis. You can bring your right hand on a block or the right elbow on your right thigh to make it easier to open your chest.
Utthita Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
Triangle Pose lengthens the spine and stretches the torso. It strengthens the legs and core and opens the hips and shoulders. It can improve digestion and reduce stress.
From Side Angle slowly extend your front leg. Bring your lower hand on a block, on your shin or the floor – whatever is possible without distorting the sides of the torso. You might want to step your back foot up 1-2 inches that your torso bends from the hip joint, not the waist. Firmly press into the outside edge of your back heel. Your upper arm should reach towards the ceiling in line with your shoulders. It is great to practice this pose against a wall in the back to feel how to be properly aligned. You can keep your head in a neutral position or gaze up to your fingertips.
Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon Pose
Half Moon poses improves our coordination and balance and helps us to focus. It strengthens our legs and opens the hips.
From Triangle Pose shift your weight into the front leg and gaze 6 inches in front of your leg. Bring your front hand to the floor or on a block slightly in front of your top foot. Bring your other hand on the hip. With your next inhale lift your back leg and top arm up into the sky. Your hips and chest should be open to one side. Imagine there is a wall behind you and you press your hip and shoulder towards that wall. You can reach your top arm over your head or up to the ceiling. Your back foot should be active – this will help you with balance.
Prasarita Padottanasana – Wide-legged forward fold
Wide legged forward fold stretches the back of the leg and lengthens the spinal column and back muscles.
From Half Moon Pose, step your top leg back on the mat and turn your toes to one side of the room. Your feet should be 3-4 feet apart. Your toes should face straight ahead and the outsides edges of the feet are parallel. Bring your hands to your hips. Leading with the chest, exhale and bring your hands to the floor under the shoulders. Bend your knees if necessary to bring your fingertips to the floor. Your hands can be on the floor or grasp the outsides of your feet to deepen the stretch. Make sure that your pelvis is in line with your ankles – most people have to slightly shift their weight forward into the balls of the feet.
Walk both of your hands to the front of your mat on either side of your right foot. Turn your feet to face the front of the room. From here you can go through a Vinyasa Flow (Plank – Chaturanga or Knees-Chest-Chin – Upward Facing Dog – Downward Facing Dog) or come right back to Downward Facing Dog and repeat the flow on the other side.
After you finished both sides, rest for 5 minutes in Savasana and start your day with plenty of energy.
You might also like our Yoga Poses for more Strength!