One of the main benefits of Yoga is that it improves our flexibility by a huge degree. This is even more noticeable when we focus on asanas in the morning that ease out the aches and stiffness from a night spent in bed.

Other benefits of Yoga in the morning is that it allows us to fully awake our minds and bodies with out the shock of a more intense workout. Couple your morning yoga routine with a glass of lemon water, and you’re off to the perfect start!

7 Morning Yoga Poses To Boost Your Flexibility

Garland Pose – Malasana

Description: Begin in Mountain Pose and keeping your heels on the floor, extend your arms directly in front of you, bending your knees and folding your body forward and downwards byMalasana dropping your pelvis and moving your thighs slightly wider than your torso. Exhale and lean your body forward so it fits snugly between your thighs. Press your palms together as in prayer, and place your elbows against the back of the knees. Press your knees into your elbows, inhale and hold for 30 second to 1 minute. Exhale and straighten your knees, slowly returning to the mountain pose.

Benefits: The Garland Pose tones abdominal and pelvic floor muscles while stretching the snakes, groin, legs and lower back.

Common postural errors: Leaning forward or sinking shoulders.  Tips: When you Squat, if your heels come up and don’t lie flat on the floor, try placing a blanket or towel underneath and start again.

Cat Pose – Marjaryasana

Description: Start on your hands and knees, hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Keep your fingers facing forward and hands, shoulder width apart. While exhaling, round your spine upwards towards the ceiling and drop your head, tightening your abdominals in towards your spine. Inhale and uncurl your spine, remaining on your hands and knees.

Benefits: Stretches out your abdominals, spine, neck and chest.Cow-pose cat pose

Common postural errors: Arching the lower back.  Tips:Draw your shoulders away from your neck to keep the curve at the centre/top of your back.

Cow Pose – Bitilasana

Description: After exiting Cat Pose, on your next inhalation arch your spine, lifting your chest and sit bones towards the ceiling , keeping your head straight and gazing forward. Exhale and return to a neutral position.

Repeat the Cat into Cow poses 10-20 times.

Benefits: Stretches out your abdominals, spine, neck and chest.

Common postural errors: Jutting your rib cage out.  Tips: Focus on raising hi bones and keep your gaze forward, neck lengthened.

Cobra Pose – BhujangasanaThe Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Description: From a prone position, place your palms under your shoulders and legs flat to the floor. On inhalation slowly raise your chest up, bending backwards as much as possible and hold for 10-15 seconds. On exhalation bring your body back down to the prone position. Repeat 5 times, taking a 15 second break between each hold.

Benefits: Strengthen the spine, stretches the chest, shoulders, and abdomen, firms the buttocks, and relieves stress and fatigue.

Common postural errors:  Overarching the neck and lower back. Tips: Keep your gaze directed down at the floor and focus on bringing movement into the area between the shoulder blades.

Upward-Facing Dog Pose – Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Description: Start by lying in a prone position on the floor. Bend your elbows and place your hands directly beneath the, flat to the floor on either side of you. Separate your legs slightly,Urdhva-Mukha-Svanasana-Upward-Facing-Dog-Pose extending your toes backwards so the tops of your feet press against the floor. Inhale and push against the floor with your hands and tops of your feet, lifting your torso and hips from the floor. Contract your thighs and tailbone toward your pubis. Continue lifting until your arms are fully extended, creating an arch in your back. Push your shoulders down and lengthen your neck, gazing slightly upwards. Hold for 15-30 seconds and exhale as you lower your self back to a prone position.

Benefits: The Upward Facing Dog Pose improves your posture and strengthens your spine, arms and wrist.

Common postural errors: Raising the shoulders or dropping the thighs to the floor.  Tips: Make sure your arms and legs are fully elongated to create the full extension, and drop your shoulders while lengthening your neck upwards.

Standing Forward Bend – UttanasanaUttanasana

Description: From the Mountain Pose, exhale and bend forward from your hips, sweeping your arms to the sides, with your palms facing the floor. While lowering your torso, keep your back flat and tuck in your abdominal muscles to lengthen your spine. Keep folding your torso forwards until they are parallel to your legs (Or as close as you can get). Grasp the back of your ankles and contract your thighs to keep your knees as straight as possible.

With each exhalation, draw your sit bones upwards, elongating your spine and lengthening the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute before moving onto Standing Half Forward Bend.

Benefits: Stretches the spine, hips, calves and hamstrings while strengthening thighs and improving posture.

Common postural errors: Rolling the spine. Tips: If you find this difficult, then bend your knees as you bring your torso forward, and then straighten on each exhale afterwards.

Low Lunge Pose – Anjeneyasana

Low Lunge Pose - Anjeneyasana

Description: Step your right foot forwards, aligning your right knee over your heel. Then lower your left knee to the floor, making sure you keep your right knee steady and in the same place. Slide your left foot back along the floor until you can feel a comfortable stretch in your thigh and groin, resting the top of your left foot against the floor. Lift your torso upright while inhaling, sweeping your arms up by your sides until they point at the ceiling. Push your tailbone down toward the floor and lift your pubis up. Tilt your head and gaze upward while reaching toward the ceiling, and hold for 1 minute before moving into the plank pose.

Benefits: The low lunge pose tones hips, arms and shoulders while stretching knees tendons and ligaments.

Common postural errors: The knee leans to one side rather than being straight.  Tips:  If your lowered knee is uncomfortable, place a folded blanket underneath it.

Image Sources

Garland Pose  |  Cat Pose  |  Cow Pose  |  Cobra Pose  |  Uttanasana  |  Upward Facing Dog  |  Anjeneyasana

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