5 yoga poses to kick off your morning

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Pose 1 - SURYA NAMASKAR or Sun salutation

There are many variations to this sequence and are practiced as the sun is rising, making it perfect for your morning yoga practice. This movement is a great way to warm up and start to sync movement of the body with the flow of your breath. 

Start in mountain post, raising your arms then waterfalling down into a forward fold. Halfway lift, hold for a breath. Place your hands on the ground and step back into plank. Move through to cobra and into downward facing dog. Hold here for a few breaths. Step forward and move through again. 

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Pose 2 - Anjaneyasana or Low Lunge

Performing a low lunge first thing in the morning helps to stretch the quadriceps, abdominals, and open up your hip flexors. A stretch that activates all body parts to get the blood flowing and wake up your body. 

To start, move into a lunge position. Slowly start to move into a deeper lunge, moving your torso forward. As you deepen, circle your hands upwards to feel your shoulders start to wake up. Hold for a few breaths, then rotate your arms behind you and interlace your fingers. Lift your chest to the ceiling and take a few breaths here. Repeat on second side. 

As you move through this pose, feel your quads, abs, shoulders, and hip flexors open up. 

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Pose 3 - prasarita padottanasana or Wide Leg Stance

The wide leg stance pose helps to calm the mind, open the hips, stretch the lower and upper back, and ease tension throughout your body. Practicing this pose in the morning helps you prepare and calm your mind for a busy work day. 

Start in standing position with your feet wide apart, yet parallel. We’re looking for balance and stability. Place your hands on your hips standing up straight. Slowly start to lengthen your spine and open your chest to inhale. Fold forward from the hips, keeping your back long and your chest open, as you exhale. Fold half-way down with a straight back and place your hands underneath your shoulders onto the floor, or on blocks. Take a few breaths here. If you feel you can still go further without rounding the back, walk your hands back as you fold deeper from the hips.

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Pose 4 - Trikonasana or Triangle Pose

Practicing triangle pose first thing in the morning alleviates your body from current stresses, stimulates your organs, and aids in balance and stability. Starting your morning off with this pose will help prepare your body and mind for the day ahead. 

Start mountain pose, move feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, and extend your arms, so they’re parallel to the ground with your palms facing down. Take a deep breath, then exhale as you bend your body at the waist, extending to the side over the right leg. Keep the sides of your waist long, not scrunched. Lengthen your tailbone towards your back heel. As you reach your right arm down to your right foot, gently grab your ankle with your right hand. At the same, your left arm should be extending upwards, with the fingers of your left hand pointed towards the ceiling, forming a straight, vertical line with your arms and shoulders. Hold and repeat. 

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Pose 5 - ardha matsyendrasana or Seated Twist

The seated twist pose is a great way to improve your posture, stretch your neck, chest, shoulders, and lower & upper back. Doing this pose first thing in the morning, sparks life back into your upper body. 

To start, sit in a seated position. Lift up your left leg and cross it over your right leg. Bend your right leg back. Sit up straight lifting up your right arm and following it with your torso over your left leg. Take a few breaths here sitting deeper and deeper into your stretch. Rotate out and repeat second side. 

As you move through the seated twist pose, feel your shoulders, chest, lower and upper back start to open up. 

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