5 Yoga Poses For An Energized Morning

by Carina Wolff

Unless you're very much a morning person, most of us wake up each day bleary-eyed and groggy, ready to grab that cup of coffee before starting the day. Exercising in the morning is a good way to get your blood flowing, especially certain yoga poses that can energize your morning. Not everyone is up for a run first thing in the a.m., but yoga can be a feasible choice for those trying to start their day on a high note.

"Your first yoga poses of the day should fill you with the energy you’ll need to fully savor your daily adventure, so choose poses that invite you to open both your limbs and lungs," yoga teacher Andrea Gilats tells Bustle over email.

Generally people do not feel energized until their blood and oxygen start to move through their bodies, and full body yoga poses and stretches are a great way to stimulate the body without overdoing it in the first hour of your day. Next time you need to feel a little boost in the morning and don't want to opt for your daily cup of joe, try these five yoga poses that will have you feel refreshed and energetic in no time.

1. Cat Cow

"[Cat Cow] wakes up the back and rinses synovial fluid in between the discs to lubricate and limber your whole spine for the day," Canadian yoga instructor Sheena Ritchie tells Bustle over email. It also stretches the neck and opens the chest, allowing easy breathing and encouraging calmness.

2. Sun Salutations

"Sun salutations have their name for a reason," says New York-based yoga teacher Mackenzie Kay over email. "As you salute the sun, you are offering up gratitude for a new day. On a physical level, sun salutations quickly bring you into you body. You get the blood moving, the breath moving and you quickly get out of your head and directly into your body."

3. Standing Twist

With a softness in the knees feet still hip width apart, swing your arms to create a twisting motion on the spine," says Katie Brauer, director of yoga programming at Yoga Six over email. "Hands will gently slap your lower back to continue stimulating your metabolism." You can also get on your knees for a deeper twist, if your body is feeling ready for it.

4. Bridge Pose

Bridge pose opens the spine, neck, chest, and legs, waking up your entire body. "Backbends are stimulating to the nervous system," says Kay. This pose is also great for rejuvenating tired legs, getting you ready for the rest of the day.

5. Forward Fold

"Forward folds release tension in the backs of the legs and lower back," says Richie. "Standing forward folds are safer for the spine than seated forward folds, especially in the morning when we are most likely to be stiff."

Will this making waking up earlier easier? Maybe not totally, but it will give your morning a burst of energy, and everyone could use that every now and then, right?

Images: Julia Herrera; Sarah Ezrin; theboth, adrianv, kellinahandbasket/Flickr; Charles James; Sarah Ezrin