Have you had days where you feel tired and just want to spend the entire day under the covers? Starting your morning is a crucial part of your day since it could go entirely wrong if you woke up at the wrong side of your bed. So say goodbye to bad mornings with these easy yoga poses. Master these and you will have a refreshing and highly-energized day.
Extended Side Angle Pose
This pose strengthens your knees, legs and ankles and also tones and stretches your abdominal muscles. In addition, it relieves stiffness in the back and shoulders as well as helps improve your stamina and energy.
- Starting position should be the Warrior II pose with your right knee bent. Then slowly bring your elbow down to your right knee and inhale while moving the left arm up towards the ceiling. Exhale while moving your arm over the ear, making a straight line with the left side of your body.
- Your right knee should be kept in a bending position over the ankle, sink your hips down towards the floor. Then reach your left fingers away from your left foot.
- Breathe and hold for 3-6 breaths.
- Release by inhaling and reaching the left fingers up and back into the original Warrior II pose, or straighten your legs coming into 5 Pointed Stars.
- Repeat on the other side.
This pose strengthens your knees and ankles and increases focus, balance, concentration and memory. Practicing this pose helps you gain poise and mental and physical steadiness. It also improves your ability to concentrate, particularly during those times when you might feel stressed and off-balanced.
- Stand straight and tall with your arms by the side of your body.
- Bend your right knee and put your right foot high up on your left thigh.
- Find your balance, making sure that your left leg is straight.
- Take a deep breath in, raise your arms over your head from the side gracefully, and bring your palms together in a “hands-folded” position.
- Look at a distant object straight ahead in front of you. Steady balanced is easily achieved with a steady gaze.
- Ensure that your spine is straight. Keep taking in long deep breaths. Relax your body more and more with each exhalation.
- Slowly bring down your hands from the sides while exhaling slowly. You can release the right leg gently.
- As you did at the beginning of this pose, stand straight and tall. Repeat this pose now with the left leg off the ground on the right thigh.
Doing this pose for a few minutes has a lot of benefits: it helps you tone your nervous system and builds stamina and endurance. It also tones all of the body’s core muscles, including within the chest, abdomen and lower back. It also improves posture as it strengthens the muscles surrounding the spine.
- Start in a Downward Facing Dog position. Then inhale and draw your torso forward. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor and shoulders directly over the wrists, torso parallel to the floor.
- Press your outer arms inward and firm the bases of your index fingers to the floor. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then spread them away from the spine. Your collarbones should also be spread away from the sternum.
- Press your thigh up towards the ceiling, lengthen your tailbone towards the heels. Lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck and look straight down at the floor, with your eyes and throat kept soft.
- You can perform this pose by itself from 30 seconds to a few minutes or you can use it as one of the positions in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence.
You don’t need to enroll in a yoga teaching training in India to be able to master these three yoga poses. Start your day with these yoga poses to help have an energized and healthy day.
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential training in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).