After you consciously make a decision to follow a 10-minute morning yoga routine, you can save yourself from rolling over and slipping back to sleep. Again. Normally, you wake up to the screeching alarm sound, snooze, roll over to the other side, slip right into your desire to sleep just 5 more minutes. Ruins all the plans for self-care. Gotta admit, we all have been there and, unfortunately, many are still there at that particular stage.
To get out of this rut, you can incorporate a 10-minute morning yoga session into your everyday routine. The important question here, especially to the lazybones like me, is: can you keep 10 minutes out of your day for yourself?
10- Minute Morning Yoga To Calm Your Mind And Body
If your morning routine starts with doom scrolling on your digital feeds, instead of stretching and moving your body, you follow a mundane but unhealthy routine. Hence why it is important to switch your morning routine to establish some semblance of a healthy, wellness routine(1). One good place to start is practicing yoga every morning.
Yoga is the most rewarding, relieving, and — activity you can begin your day with. You can do yoga (or work out) either in the morning or in the evening. But if you do it in the morning, you help release the connective tissues accumulated between your muscle when they were at rest during your previous night’s sleep. As yoga involves slow, controlled, and gentle movements of your body, you are literally waking up your body gently from within. You help recover your muscles from the rest period—sleeping.
These counteractive actions to the effects of continuous stillness are important in starting your day. Most importantly, it also gives you a positive feeling before you begin your day. Sounds pretty convincing, right? Because waking up with anxious thoughts bombarding you and starting your day with them running through your head is no fun.
Stretching your body and benefits of yoga include but not limited to:
- Allows oxygenation to your body
- Boosts blood circulation
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Improves strength and flexibility
- Reduces stiffness
- Relieves sore muscles
- Alleviates pains and aches
- Chronically loosens tight muscles
- Increases energy
- Boosts metabolism
- Calms your mind and body
- Helps sleep at night
The calmness of your body and mind helps you to push down the anxious thoughts brimming at the surface and slow down your rushing thoughts. Instead, you can ask yourself “what am I going to focus on today?” and “what am I going to give my energy to?”. This way, you will be more aware of your intentions, and actions, which ultimately helps you be present at the moment and be productive in the day.
Before You Start Stretching
One thing to keep in your mind while stretching is that don’t push your body too much to rush through the movements. You can always start and go slow without tiring your body too much. Because, not to sound discouraging, you might stop considering doing the yoga the next day.
Besides, you have to hold each pose longer than you’d normally take to give your body enough time to react or respond to your movements. But most importantly, you don’t want to strain a muscle the first thing in the morning. Listen to your body and allow your body to stretch slowly and gently while learning its limits.
Another thing to keep in mind while stretching is to use your breath while moving your body. Focused belly breathing —diaphragmatic breathing (3)— allows you to breathe consciously and fully. So, all you have to do is focus on expanding your belly as you inhale and slowly contacting your belly as you exhale. Also, do not rush through the movements.
Now, you know the importance of easing these yoga movements into your morning routine before the day gets hectic. Let’s get into the yoga poses you can try!
10-Minute Morning Yoga Flow To Try
Slipping into the habit of getting on the yoga mat right after you wake up promises a positive impact on your entire day. It gives you complete mindfulness and a focused mind, which helps in almost every aspect of your daily life.
So, start a healthy routine with this 10-minute morning yoga flow and always try your best to be consistent. If you are consistent and keep the word you gave yourself the previous night, I bet you can wake up on the right side of the bed every day!
You can start your yoga routine by warming up your body in a traditional seating position. Grab a pillow or cushion to sit on top if you feel uncomfortable. Now you need to quiet down the chattering clamor in your head.
For that, close your eyes and take five deep breaths, consciously filling your lungs, expanding your ribcage, and then emptying the lungs. Twist your sides, roll your neck and shoulders, and give a few wide circles to your hips.
Once your body gets warmed up, try these morning yoga poses. While at it, appreciate the synovial fluid(2) waxing all the joints in your body, you will feel the blessing to be alive and embodied.
- Start in a traditional seated position and relax your arms on either side of you.
- Place your left hand on your right knee and right hand behind your sacrum. Inhale and lengthen your spine.
- Exhale and twist your torso to the right.
- Repeat on the other side, too. Breathe in and out for 60 seconds.
- Lie on your stomach with hands under your shoulders with elbows tucked in and your legs shoulder-width apart. Keep the tops of your feet on the mat.
- Inhale, straighten your arms, and lift your chest off the floor. Push through the tops of your feet and push your shoulders back.
- When your pelvis lifts up from the floor, stop straightening your arms.
- Breathe in and out for 30 seconds, come back to the starting position, do it again for 30 seconds.
- Get on a tabletop position with knees under hips and hands under shoulders.
- Exhale, keep your core engaged, and push your spine toward the ceiling.
- Drop your head toward your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
- Let your spine come down and curl your stomach toward the floor. Allow your head to move up toward the ceiling. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Then, keep repeating the positions alternatively.
Downward Facing Dog
- Get on a tabletop position with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keep your fingers wide apart. Inhale.
- Curl your toes under and slowly lift your knees up from the floor while exhaling. Lift your hips toward the ceiling and lengthen your spine. Do not lock your knees.
- Keep your head between your arms.
- Stay in the position for 60 seconds. You can keep your heels off the floor and bend your knees.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Let your upper body fall forward and hang heavy. Reach for opposite elbows, or interlace your fingers behind your head, or allow your fingertips to touch the mat.
- Bend your knees and relax your shoulder from your ears. You may feel the blood rushing.
- Feel your stomach resting on your thighs. Breathe in and out deeply for 60 seconds.
- From Warrior II position, start to reach your fingertips forward, back, and up. You will feel a side stretch right side of your body.
- Keep your core engaged, then, lift through your chest and come into a backbend.
- Stay and inhale. Exhale and windmill your hands down to the floor.
- Repeat this for as long as you can.
- Stand straight. Then, exhale and step your left foot forward to the top of your mat.
- Lower your body and frame your left foot with both of your hands.
- Bend your left knee so that it is parallel to the floor and lift your right heel off the floor.
- Engage your right leg and lift the back of its knee toward the ceiling.
- Stay in a tabletop position on all fours.
- Spread your knees wide apart to the sides of the map. Position your big toes together and let them stay touched throughout.
- Lower your stomach between your thighs and let your forehead drop toward the floor.
- Extend your arms in front of your body and keep your palms on the floor.
- Deep breathe in and out for 60 seconds.
Reclined Spinal Twist
- Lie on your back and hug both knees into your chest.
- Extend your arms out in a T-shape. Relax your knees to your right while you look at your left shoulder.
- Repeat on the other side. Breathe in and out for 60 seconds.
You may try to tell yourself to start yoga from tomorrow and may or may not do it the next day. If you don’t, here is what you need to keep in mind. Initially, getting up and doing things for yourself one day, out of nowhere, may feel too much. But you have to give yourself that push and start with ‘one day at a time.’ it may start as you “have to,” but once you get into the routine, you will continue because you “want to.”
What’s a better way to start than moving your body? If you continue to follow your 10-minute morning yoga routine, you will realize how gentle moving in the morning is truly rewarding. Move your body while you still can!
- National Center for Biotechnology Information. (n.d). Exploring The Therapeutic Effects Of Yoga And Its Ability To Increase Quality Of Life. (Online). Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/
- Medicine Plus. (2021). Synovial Fluid Analysis. (Online). Available at https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/synovial-fluid-analysis/
- Journal of physical therapy science. (2017).Effects of diaphragm breathing exercise and feedback breathing exercise on pulmonary function in healthy adults. (Online). Available at https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jpts/29/1/29_jpts-2016-739/_article/-char/ja/