This at-home full-body yoga flow is the best treat for your sleepy and stiff body first thing in the morning. It’s a quick, yet effective way to prepare for the coming day, whether you’re a regular yogi or a beginner.
Short and juicy yoga in the morning wakes up the body and mind better than a cup of coffee. Trust me! I’m a coffee maniac. Before I started doing yoga regularly, the whole world would have to stand still until I had my first cup of joe.
Now, by the moment I finish my at-home morning flow, I’m humming with energy. I finally stopped relying on caffeine to wake me up and bring clarity to my mind.
I still indulge in my coffee ritual every morning. However, it’s often decaffeinated and consumed for the sole purpose of pleasure.
This morning yoga sequence starts slow and sweet by warming up the spine, stretching the upper and lower body and transitions into some standing postures to invite energy and strength.
The flow is created using the most common yoga poses for beginners (which you can check out here) so it will be easy to follow even if you only know the basics.
Please pay attention to the contradictions and precautions for every pose. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
1. Begin in Extended Child’s Pose. With your knees as wide as comfortable and big toes touching, extend your arms forward and rest your head on the floor. Bring awareness to your breath. Hold for 5 full breaths.
Tip! Our bodies tend to be much tighter in the morning than later in the day. If Extended Child’s Pose is far from being centering and relaxing, feel free to modify. Bring your thighs closer to one another or sit on a yoga block to make the pose easier for the hips. Bend your arms or place them back beside your body if the shoulders are too tight.
2. Come in the Tabletop position on your hands and knees. Try to stack your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees so they would form a 90-degree angle. Keep your spine neutral.
3. Inhale and come into Cow Pose. Drop your belly to the ground and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
4. Exhale and come into Cat. Curve through your upper back, gently tuck your chin to the chest and your tailbone to the ground. Repeat the Cat-Cow stretch for 5 rounds of breath.
5. After the last round of Cat, inhale and bring your spine into a neutral position. Tuck your toes and lift your hips high and back into Downward-Facing Dog. Alternate between bending one knee and the other. Find stillness and stay in the pose for 3 breaths.
Tip! Bend your knees as much as needed to bring your belly close to your thighs. Focus on elongating the spine and stretching your arms instead of straightening your legs.
6. On an inhale, take as many steps as you need and come to the front of your mat into Standing Forward Bend, hinging from your hips. Bend your knees if needed. Hold the pose for 3 breaths.
Tip! We often tend to carry the bodyweight in our heels. Be sure to stand firmly on four corners of your feet. Rock forward or back to adjust the weight distribution as necessary. If you can’t touch the ground with the knees bent, you can place your hands on blocks to bring the floor closer to you.
7. Inhale, sweep your hands to the sides and up and come to Upward Salute. Take a full cycle of breath.
Tip! Come up with a straight spine instead of rolling up vertebrae by vertebrae. Be slow to prevent dizziness.
8. On the exhale, bring your palms to the chest in prayer and dive forward to Standing Forward Bend.
9. On the next inhale, plant your palms on the ground and step your feet back into Plank Pose. Let your knees drop down to the ground for extra support. Hold the Modified Plank for 1 full breath.
Tip! If you feel powerful this morning, stay in Full Plank position.
10. Breathe in, and on the exhale, bend your elbows and come into Low Plank. Keep your elbows close to your body, engage your core, and your glutes.
11. Come all the way to the ground. Plant your palms and on an inhale, lift your upper body into Cobra. Hold for 1 full breath.
Tip! This is your first backbend of the morning, so be gentle. Keep your elbows bent. The muscles along your spine should be working whereas your hands are used solely for support, not for lifting yourself higher.
12. On an exhale, lower to the ground. Breath in and on an exhale, press back into Child’s Pose. Hold the pose for an inhale.
13. On an exhale, come into Downward-Facing Dog and hold for 1 full breath.
14. Breathe out and step your Right Foot Forward between your hands. Press your palms into the ground and lift through your chest. Avoid hunching your upper back. Instead, squeeze your shoulder blades and elongate the spine.
Tip! Place your hands on a pair of yoga blocks to gain more height.
15. Exhale and drop your left knee to the ground getting in Low Lunge. Lift your torso and reach the arms above your head, but keep your shoulders away from your ears. Hold for 3 breaths.
Tip! Place the hands on your knees instead of lifting them up to make the pose more accessible.
16. On an exhale, drop your palms to the ground and gently step forward with your left foot to the front of the mat into Standing Forward Bend.
17. Inhale, sweep your hands to the sides and up and come into Upward Salute.
18. Interlace your hands and slightly draw your arms back as you exhale. Hold for 1 inhale.
19. On an exhale, slowly dive forward into Standing Forward Bend.
Tip! You can try straightening your legs more as you progress in the flow.
20. Breathe in and step your right foot back as you breathe out, leaving your Left Foot Forward between your hands. Look forward and stay open through your chest.
21. Drop the right knee to the ground into Low Lunge. Breathe in and sweep your arms to the sky. Hold for 3 breaths.
22. Place your hands back to the ground. Breathe in and step into Plank Pose. Drop your knees for extra support. Hold for 1 full breath.
Tip! If you feel powerful this morning, stay in Full Plank position.
23. Breathe in, and on the exhale, bend your elbows and come into Low Plank. Keep your elbows close to your body, engage your core, and your glutes.
24. Come all the way to the ground. Plant your palms and on an inhale, lift your upper body into Cobra. Hold for a full breath.
25. On an exhale, come to the ground. Press back into Downward-Facing Dog. Hold for 1 full breathe.
Tip! You can transition to Downward-Facing Dog through Child’s Pose if you need a short rest.
26. On an exhale, step your right foot forward between your hands. Breathe in and lift your torso and arms into High Lunge. Keep both of your legs engaged and keep the shoulders away from the ears. Make sure your hips are squared towards the front of your mat. Hold for 3 breaths.
27. Breathe out. Reach your left arm back and right arm forward and open into Warrior II. Stay open through your right knee, hips, and chest. Your arms should be active all the way to the fingertips. Hold for 3 breaths.
28. Inhale and step your left foot to meet the right at the front of the mat. On an exhale, come into Standing Forward Bend. Hold for 3 breaths.
29. Breathe in and step your right foot back. With your left foot forward in-between your hands, lift up into High Lunge on your left side. Hold for 3 breaths.
30. On an exhale, reach your right arm back and left arm forward. Open into Warrior II on your left side. Hold for 3 breaths.
31. On an exhale, place your hands to the ground and step your left foot back into Plank. Hold for 1 breath. If you modified Plank Pose earlier in the class, try to push yourself and hold Full Plank this time.
32. Slightly shift your torso forward, bend your elbows and lower into Low Plank. Hold for 1 breath.
33. Lower all the way to the ground. Plant your palms and on an inhale, lift your upper body into Cobra. Hold for a full breath.
34. On an exhale, press back into Child’s Pose. Hold for 3 breaths.
35. Lie down on your back and settle into Corpse – final relaxation pose. Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Return to your regular breathing pattern and let your body fully relax. Stay at least three minutes in Savasana (or longer, if you have time).
36. Wiggle your toes and fingers. Slowly roll onto one side and come into a seated position. Notice how your body feels compared to how it felt when you started the practice. If your schedule allows, finish in Seated Meditation.