Jump Start Your Day With These 5 Yoga Poses

Everyone wants to start the day feeling refreshed and revitalised. So this short sequence of mood-boosting yoga poses – recommended by yoga teacher and wellness guru Annie Clarke of Mind Body Bowl – is easy to fit into a busy schedule and will transform you from tired to inspired, leaving you perfectly prepared for the day ahead.

Beginning your morning with movement and breathing can have a really positive impact on your body and mind. I find a simple yoga routine, which helps you to connect with your breath and stretch out your limbs, allows you to move into your day from a calmer, more connected place. These are some of my favourite poses for a quick morning practice – try them all together as an uplifting sequence. 

Child's Pose

This pose is a great way to start your morning as it elongates your lower back and opens up your hips – both parts of your body that can typically get stiff during the day. 

How to do it: Kneeling on the ground with the knees apart, send your hips to your heels and stretch your arms onto the floor or mat in front of you. You can place the forehead to the ground or onto a block or pillow for support. Take a few deep breaths here.

Cat/Cow Pose

This pose helps to warm up the spine and iron out any stiffness accumulated from a night’s sleep. It helps create space for a deeper breath, opening up the chest and shoulders too. 
How to do it: Coming onto all fours from Child’s Pose, stack your shoulders over your wrists and your hips above your knees. As you inhale, slide your shoulder blades down your back and lift your chest, your eyeline and your tailbone. Then exhale, rounding your spine and pushing through the hands.

Downward Dog

This pose both stretches and strengthens the body, giving you an uplifting energy boost without the cortisol spike associated with high intensity movements.

How to do it: From Cat/Cow Pose move your hands forward a touch, then tuck your toes and lift your hips, staying on the balls of your feet. Think about lengthening your spine, look to your navel and keep your knees soft. Try to drop your shoulders away from your ears and use the strength of your upper back to stay light in your wrists. You can pedal your knees and wiggle your hips here, stretching out the back of the body.

Forward Fold/Ragdoll Pose

This pose helps to stretch out the whole of the back of your body and helps to release tension in your shoulders. Forward Folds can also have a calming effect too.

How to do it: With the knees bent in Downward Dog, start to walk the hands towards the feet. Let the weight hang forwards as you catch hold of opposite elbows and sway gently from side to side. Keep the knees soft to allow the lower back to release.

Seated Meditation

This one is especially good to help calm a busy mind and is ideal if you think you have a manic day ahead of you. It’s totally normal for the mind to throw up all kinds of distractions but with regular practice, a breath meditation can be really useful for drawing on at stressful moments.

How to do it: Finish your morning sequence with a seated meditation, either kneeling or with your legs crossed and a straight spine. If it’s helpful, use your breath to meditate on, counting the length of the inhale, then the exhale. Allow yourself to sit for a few moments in this way before slowly making your way into your day.

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