If you’re anything like me, your day doesn’t start until you’ve had that life-giving cup o’ joe. Ok, maybe two cups. In moderation, a nice dose of caffeine can be a great way to shake off that early morning brain fog and sharpen your senses. Also, if you’re anything like me your nice coffee-supplied buzz melts into a 2 p.m. slump before you know it. So, what’s the best way to dust the cobwebs off of your brain and get your body ready for the day at hand? Yoga of course! The following poses can be done in 10-15 minutes and should leave you feeling energized and alert, minus the stimulant comedown. Here are some easy poses to jumpstart your yoga career and your morning.
Begin your routine with child’s pose. This is a good, relaxing pose to segway into your routine and will also help open your hips and stretch out your lats. With your knees on the floor, sit back on your heels. Reach your arms forward as far as they will go and keep your neck neutral while looking at the floor.
From child’s pose, rise up onto your knees into tabletop. Now inhale while rounding your back. Keep your hands on the floor under your shoulders. As your exhale, flatten your back and go back to tabletop. Repeat this about three to five times. Cat pose is a great way to stretch your entire back as well as your neck.
Downward-facing dog is used to stretch out your hamstrings and achilles. Extend your knees from cat pose, while coming up onto your toes and walk your hands forward. Make sure that your back remains flat and your heels stay on the floor.
From downward dog, walk your arms toward your toes and come up into mountain pose, inhaling as you do so. Lunge forward with either your right foot, while keeping your left leg straight behind you. Keep your hips facing forward as you extend your arms vertically, in line with your torso. After inhaling and exhaling three to five times, return to mountain pose, and repeat with the opposite leg lunging forward.
After doing Warrior I on both sides, kick it up a notch with warrior II. Use the same lunging motion that you used in the previous pose. Keep looking in the direction of the knee that you lunged forward on, but this time your hips and torso should be facing sideways instead of forward. Extend both arms so that they are perpendicular to your torso with one pointed forward and one behind.
End with Mountain pose. Inhale, raising your arms above your head as you do so. Exhale and return them to your sides. Repeat as you deem necessary. The great thing about this yoga routine is that you can do it just about anywhere and as many times as you want, whereas drinking an indiscriminate amount of coffee might result in temporary mania and irritation of your coworkers before leaving you in a zombie-like coma before 2 in the afternoon. Try giving yoga a shot this week and see if its energizing and restorative benefits work for you!