A morning routine that incorporates yoga can set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Regularly doing simple yoga poses can have numerous benefits, particularly for beginners. These benefits include increased flexibility, reduced stress and anxiety, improved posture, and better breathing habits.
On this Yoga Day, here are some beginner-friendly yoga poses that can be seamlessly integrated into your morning routine, preferably in this order, and help you start your day on a grounded and energised note.
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Begin with the mountain pose (tadasana), the foundational yoga pose — meaning this is where you start all your yoga poses. Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms relaxed at the sides, and palms facing forward. Engage the core, imagine a gentle upward pull from the crown of your head, and feel grounded. Breathe deeply, be present in the moment, and enhance posture, leg and core strength, balance, and stability. Visualise yourself as an unshakeable mountain amidst changing winds.
Listen to your body, adjust as needed, and practice safely. With consistency, the mountain pose cultivates mindfulness and inner peace.
Next, transition to the cat-cow pose (marjaryasana-bitilasana). Begin on your hands and knees with a neutral or straight spine. As you inhale, gently arch your back, lifting your hips and chest towards the ceiling while allowing your belly to sink towards the floor. On your exhale, round your spine, tucking your tailbone, and drawing your chin towards your chest.
Flow between these two yoga poses, syncing your breath with each movement. Cat-cow pose stretches the spine, improves spinal flexibility, and warms up the body.
Allow yourself to fully experience the movements, noticing any areas of tension or discomfort. If you find any tightness, you can modify the poses by moving more slowly or gently.
Downward facing dog
Next, try the downward-facing dog (adho mukha svanasana). You can move from the cat-cow pose to this position. From an all-fours position, tuck your toes under, lift your hips high, and straighten your legs as much as comfortable. Spread your fingers wide, pressing them firmly into the mat. Allow your head to hang freely, and gaze towards your navel.
This pose stretches the entire body, particularly the hamstrings, calves, and shoulders. It also improves circulation, relieves mild back pain, and enhances overall strength and flexibility. Among all the yoga poses, this can be the best way for beginners to start stretching.
To come out of the pose, lower your hips back down to the mat and return to a seated position.
Next among the easy yoga poses to try is a child’s pose (balasana). You can get into this position after the downward-facing dog, by gently lowering your knees to the mat and sitting back on your heels, extending your arms in front of you. Relax your forehead on the mat, surrendering any tension in your body. Breathe deeply, feeling a sense of release and restoration.
The child’s pose gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles, while providing a moment of rest and introspection. It also helps calm the mind and alleviate stress and anxiety.
Inhale deeply, fill your belly with air, and exhale slowly, releasing any tension in your muscles. You can choose to stay in this pose for several breaths or several minutes, depending on your preference. When you are ready, gently rise back up to a seated position, taking a moment to notice how your body feels.
Warrior II Pose
This is the next popular one among all the yoga poses to try. This is called the warrior II pose (virabhadrasana II). Stand up and with step one foot forward, lunge into this position. Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot and extend your arms parallel to the floor. Open your hips and rotate your torso towards the side of your front leg.
Find stability in your stance, engaging your core, and maintaining a steady gaze over your front hand. Warrior II Pose builds strength in the legs and arms, stretches the groin and hips, and promotes focus and determination. As you hold this pose, breathe deeply and feel the energy flowing throughout your body.
If you want to deepen the pose, you can lower your front hand to rest on your front thigh and reach your backhand towards the sky, creating a beautiful line of energy from your fingertips to your toes. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and your breath steady.