In the same way that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many health experts agree that your morning exercise routine is also essential. Yoga is a fantastic way to center your body, stretch out your muscles and wake yourself up on a morning. Unfortunately, we don't all have time to take part in an hour-long yoga class every time we get up; instead, try these ten stretches.
1.) The Child's Pose | Balasana
The Child's pose, Balasana, helps you to expand your ribs for that first breath of fresh air. From a kneeling position lower your chest onto your thighs and rest your forehead on the floor. Lengthen your arms by your sides, or underneath your forehead if this is more comfortable.
2.) The Cat-Cow Pose | Bidalasana
The Cat-Cow pose, Bidalasana, is a great way to stretch out your back on a morning. Get down onto all fours so that your back is to the ground and you're facing the ceiling. When you inhale, drop your back to the floor, and as you exhale, arch your back like a cat.
3.) The Tree Pose | Vrksasana
The Tree pose, Vrksasana, is a standing pose to strengthen your legs and cultivate your balance. Stand straight and shift your weight onto your leg foot, bringing your right foot upwards to your left inner thigh. If you find it difficult to balance this high, you can place your foot on the calf instead.
4.) Downward Dog | Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana, energizes your body and stretches out your muscles. Start on your hands and knees with your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders and knees below your hips. Lift your knees away from the floor and keep your arms straight, raising your tailbone up, then stretch your heels towards the floor.
5.) The Camel Pose | Ustrasansa
The Camel pose, Ustrasansa, opens up your throat, chest, and heart. Start in the kneeling positon and bend your upper torso backwards until your arms are fully extended back, and touching the soles of your feet.
6.) Warrior One | Virabhadrasana
Warrior One, Virabhadrasana, stimulates power and strength in the body. Start standing straight, then move your left leg backwards three to four feet. Bend your right knee and turn your left foot inwards slightly, then raise your arms above you.
7.) Warrior Two | Virabhadrasana 2
Warrior Two, Virabhadrasana 2, is similar to Warrior one, but the arms are held out to the sides with your head looking forward and the rear foot turned at a ninety degree angle.
8.) The Side Angle Pose | Utthita Parksvakonasana
The Side Angle pose, Utthita parksvakonasana, improves flexibility and posture, as well as strengthening the legs. Stand with legs spread similarly to Warrior Two, but turn your torso sideways and point one arm towards the ceiling. When your left knee is bent, your left palm will be on the ground beside that knee.
9.) The Seated Twist | Ardha Matyendrasana
The Seated Twist, Ardha Matyendrasana, frees up your range of motion. Bend your knees with your feet on the floor and slide your left foot under your right leg, to the outside of the hip. Lie on the floor outside of your left leg. Ensure your right knee is pointing upwards, then twist your body as far as your waist allows.
10.) Triangle Post | Trikonasana
Triangle pose, Trikonasana, opens your chest and improves balance. Standing, widen your stance a leg's length, then turn your right foot to the side, ensuring your heel lines with the center of the left foot. Then reach one arm out to the right side, with the other on your extended foot.