3 Minute Morning Yoga

This post comes from wellness contributor Kristen Hedges.

In the morning, as the sun breaks through from the other side of the world, there is a moment that can be snatched up and savored, if only you do not miss it for desire of a longer sleep. Morning person or not, you have to admit that the quiet sliver of time between sunrise & afternoon really is quite beautiful. And if you spend a couple of minutes each morning doing something to benefit your body & mind, you might find that your entire day is kick-started in the right direction.

I’ve been practicing yoga for so long that a day without a bit of movement feels terribly wrong. Even if I only spend three minutes in the morning – that can determine whether my day is foggy, or clear; mindful, or preoccupied.

Start in bed, right after you wake. Baddha Konasana {bound angle pose} is one of my favorites. It helps to open the hips & stretch out all the tender muscles that we often forget about.

Bring the bottoms of your feet together & allow your knees to fall out to either side. Back straight, breath slow, you can gently press down on your knees with your palms, or wrap your fingers around your toes, and close your eyes. Even if your knees are quite far from the floor {mine are!} this pose will still feel wonderful. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute.

morning yoga

Now, rest first on your knees, then sitting to the right side of your heels. Grab hold of your left shin and gently cross your left leg over the top of the right so that your knees are stacked. Your left foot will be by your right hip, and the right foot near the left hip. Rest here for a moment with a straight spine, noticing all the little, taught muscles unraveling.

morning yoga

morning yoga

morning yoga

morning yoga

When you’re ready, switch sides. Sit over to the left side of your heels, and cross your right leg over the left.

Untwist yourself and stretch your legs out in front of you. Inhale here, noticing the release of the muscles in your ankles, thighs, and hips. Reach your arms up overhead, straighten your back, and lean forward, reaching first for your knees, then your shins, and maybe even your toes. If it’s available to you, wrap your pointer finger around each big toe. While you’re here, it’s important to try & keep a flat back – you don’t want to round or strain the spine. If this means that you can’t reach as far forward, then that’s okay! It’s better to lengthen the muscles in the thighs & calves than to harm the back. Rest here for 30 seconds to a minute.

morning yoga

From here, I like to bring my right heel in near my pelvis and extend the left leg out to the side. I reach up, straighten my spine, and twist my torso over to the right before gently stretching over to reach my left toes. It’s a beautiful way to both stretch & twist the spine and muscles in the back. Plus, it feels absolutely lovely after a good night’s rest. Stay here for as long as you’d like before switching over to the right side.

morning yoga

morning yoga

morning yoga

morning yoga

To end your practice, no matter how long, we bring our palms together & press the inside edges of both to our heart. Breathe in, and out, feeling the steady thump, thump, thump that will carry you through the day. Savor this moment. Let it melt on your tongue. Then, move forward.

morning yoga

You can find Kristen here, and at facebook.com/withonlylove. If you need a bit of stillness in your life, join her free Monday Night Meditation Group.

Comments

  1. This is beautiful and I have been meaning to start a routine. I used to walk one of my dogs every morning and it really did set the tone for the entire day. I was happier and way more productive. But with temperatures of -1 in the morning… neither of us are up for it. I will try these gentle stretches instead, and maybe a few sun salutations. :)

  2. Thanks for posting this! I’m going to be trying it. Where do you get your clothes, by the way? I love the outfit.

  3. This is perfect! I always think that I can only do yoga if I have a good hour gap. But this sinple routine is perfect for any time!!

    Xo Christine

    Bossdaily.blogspot.com

  4. love this! I am a runner as well as a yogi so I know exactly what you mean about feeling off when you’ve haven’t moved in a day or two. these are great to start the day!

  5. One of my new years resolutions is to get back into yoga, it’s one of the only exercises I can do with my scoliosis and it really helps me to stay in a positive mood for the rest of the day. Thankyou for this post, I’ll be trying this first thing in the morning

    tie-dye-eyes

  6. I love this! I’m a huge fan of setting small, attainable goals that prove to myself, I can do it. And seeing as my yoga practice has gone into hibernation these last few months, this is a perfect way to wake it up! Thanks.

  7. I read this yesterday, I did it this morning and felt great! My husband was like, What are you doing?! as he laid in bed next to me, so I explained, he laughed, so I made him join me! We stretched, we inhaled, and were ready for the day in 3 min! Great start, and fun way to say good morning to your partner! Thanks!!

  8. Just completed this short sequence for the first time today! I feel great. I ended up meditating (one of my New Year resolutions: more meditating) at the end of it… I feel so accomplished and it took less than 10 minutes!

  9. I just did this after I woke up and I feel great! Such a calm and mindful way to start off the day. Great post!

  10. I love yoga!! Especially in the morning I find even the smallest amount makes such a difference… I’ll have to give this a go xxx

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