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Morning Yoga Sequence: 18 Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Allie Flavio
By  | 

Rise and shine friends.

It’s time to greet the day the best way possible: with yoga!

It’s no secret that morning yoga and movement lead to a more energized, productive day. Fitness magazines, health articles, and our bodies have proven this method works. It’s really a no brainer.

Your eyes flutter open.

Your body is rehydrated with a few gulps of water.

Water is then splashed onto your face – awakening the senses.

And the next step is….

You stumble onto your yoga mat.

You breathe.

You move.

You twist.

You bend.

And then your day begins.

Let me guess the first thoughts that are coming to mind when the words morning + yoga are paired together:

  • I ain’t got no time for that!
  • I have zero space in my house for a yoga practice.
  • I do yoga after work – why do it twice?
  • I go for a morning run or head to the gym – there’s no reason to double the work.

And here’s my answer to those above thoughts:

  • Time is an illusion. There’s enough time for anything you WANT to achieve. Schedule time every morning to move, breathe, and love yourself. Treat this meeting or appointment just like you would for work or personal plans. In time, it will become the most important meeting of the day!
  • The average yoga mat is 6 ft. long by 2 ft. wide – basically the size of an average person. If you can fit inside your home or apartment, then so can a yoga mat + you on top of it!
  • A morning yoga sequence isn’t intended to replace a more vigorous or lengthy yoga practice. It’s a simple practice to awaken the body, lubricate the joints, stretch the muscles, twist out toxins, and energize your mind, body, and soul. Treat it as a necessary nutrient, similar to a healthy breakfast.
  • Just like the above answer, this is not intended to replace any type of “workout.” The sole purpose is to energize the body and manifest a positive day ahead. Plus, yoga is the best addition to any type of workout routine!

Okay – now that we’ve tackled the major excuses or fears of waking up early and moving the body, below are a few pointers to help make this a morning ritual:

  • Set up your yoga mat the night before – smack it down on the floor!
  • Leave a yoga outfit on the mat or practice in undies and a t-shirt. No rules in yoga, ever.
  • Keep any useful props nearby – bolster, blocks, strap. Props are especially helpful in the morning to relieve any stiffness.
  • Play soothing and inspirational music to help set the vibe.
  • Keep an inspirational book, quote, or mala beads nearby to facilitate a spiritual experience. The more connected we become, the easier it will be to maintain a routine.

Now we are officially ready to start our morning movement practice.
 
Below is a sequence of yoga poses to build energy, release stress and tension from your mind and body, and to simply feel good. Like really feel good. For this entire sequence, please do anything that feels right.
 
Close your eyes.

Move like honey – slower than slow.

Breathe really deep.

Breathe really soft.

Make weird noises.

Create new shapes.

And most importantly – enjoy it!
 
 

1. Forward Fold

Forward Fold
 
 

2. Half Sun Salutations

Poses in a ½ sun salutation: Begin in mountain pose, inhale arms overhead, exhale forward fold, inhale halfway lift, exhale forward fold, inhale rise to standing. Repeat the sequence 3-5 times.
 
Half Sun Salutations
 
 

3. Cat + Cow (3-5 rounds)

Move with the breath. For example: inhale for Cow, exhale for Cat.
 
cat cow 1
 
cat cow 2
 
 

4. Thread the Needle (complete on both sides)

thread the needle
 
 

5. Childs Pose

Spend 5-10 breaths here.
 
childs pose
 

 

6. Downward Facing Dog

Keep a bend in the knees to help lengthen the back and loosen tight hamstrings.
 
downward facing dog
 
 

7. Plank Pose

From Down Dog, shift forward to Plank on an inhale breath. Make sure your shoulders stack above your wrists. Hold for 5 deep breaths keeping the core engaged.
 
plank pose
 
 

8. Cobra Pose

Lower down from Plank onto the belly. Inhale to peel the chest off the ground and exhale to melt back down. Keep your elbows hugged into your side body. Do 3 -5 rounds of inhaling and exhaling.
 
cobra pose
 
 

9. Downward Facing Dog

From Cobra, tuck your toes and lift your hips as you press back to Down Dog.
 
downward facing dog
 
Option: Complete 3-5 Sun Salutation A’s to build more movement and heat.
 
 
Complete the next sequence on both sides and hold each pose for 3 -5 breaths. Note that these photos start with the left foot forward.
 

10. Low Lunge

low lunge
 
 

11. Half Split

Send the hips back as you straighten the front left leg.
 
half split
 
 

12. Lizard Pose

Inhale forward from Half Splits, and walk the front left foot to the outer edge of the mat.
 
lizard pose
 
 

13. Quad Stretch

Bend the right back knee up and reach back with the right hand to clasp it. Gently bring the heel towards the glutes as you breathe into the quadriceps.
 
quad stretch
 
 

14. Malasana (Yogi Squat)

Step the back foot up from Lizard Pose. Toes out, heels in, melt the tailbone down as the chest and crown of the head lift.
 
yogi squat
 
 

15. Balancing posture: yogi’s choice

Choose a posture that will manifest focus, balance, and integration – setting the tone for the day ahead. Suggestions: Tree Pose, Eagle Pose, Dancer Pose (I am pictured in a Tree Pose variation).
 
15. Balancing posture: yogi’s choice Choose a posture that will manifest focus, balance, and integration – setting the tone for the day ahead. Suggestions: Tree Pose, Eagle Pose, Dancer Pose
 
Tree pose variation
 
 

16. Seated Twist

Twist from side to side using the inhalations and exhalations to find length in the spine and depth in the twist.
 
seated twist
 
 

17. Neck Stretches

Drop ear to shoulder, relax both shoulders down and away, and breathe into the entire side of the neck. Repeat at least once on each side.
 
neck stretches
 
 

Closing Meditation

The final and most important posture of your morning yoga sequence. Take 3-5 minutes to breathe, feel the body, and reflect on the day ahead. You got this!
 
meditation
 
 
Ok yogis – the day can now officially begin.

We moved, we breathed, we reflected, and the intention is now set.

The rest of the work lies within us to keep the practice going off the mat. This is the hardest part about yoga – taking what we learn and practice from our small yoga island into the big world of our lives. The patience, persistence, softness, and strength we practice on our mat is what the world needs.

Show up every morning – for yourself and for others.

Namaste yogis and have a beautiful day!
 

A healthy breakfast is key! Here are 6 of our go-to healthy breakfast options.

 

This article has been read 20K+ times. Bada bing!

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Allie Flavio

Allie is the soul behind TheJourneyJunkie.com and a yoga girl at heart. After years of gymnastics and cheerleading, yoga came naturally into her life and at the perfect timing. With no motivation for fitness and a lack of purpose or dharma, yoga and Allie quickly fell for one another and the rest is history. When Allie’s not blogging about yoga/travel advice or doing/teaching yoga, you can find her relaxing by the beach in sunny St. Petersburg, FL. A born and raised Florida girl, Allie is an outdoor junkie who loves the ocean, fresh air, and a delicious fish sandwich! To learn more about her yoga and travel adventures, check out her blog The Journey Junkie.

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