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7 of the best morning yoga poses

By taking just 10 minutes every morning you can set yourself up well for the day ahead. Releasing the fatigue, stiffness and tiredness you usually feel for a positive, energised start will have you enjoying less stress and better concentration throughout the day.

You can use these 7 poses alone or as a starting point for a longer practice.

(1)  Child’s Pose:

A gentle way to ease the body into movement each morning and also a fabulous stretch for the arms, shoulders, back and glutes. Start with knees apart, big toes together and actively stretch the fingertips forward, resting the head down.

(2) Twist

Sit cross-legged, extending tall through the spine. Take the right hand behind the right hip and rest the left hand on the right knee. On each inhale breath, extend tall through the spine and on each exhale ease a little deeper into the twist.

(3)  Cat-Cow:

Start bringing movement into the spine and connecting with the breath. Start on all fours, palms under shoulders, knees under hips. Inhale and drop the tummy toward the mat, gently lifting the chin. On the exhale breath, lower the head, press the palms into the mat and extend the spine toward the sky. Flow smoothly from inhale to exhale breath.

(4)  Downward Dog

From cat-cow, tuck the toes under and lift hips to the sky. Walk out the feet, finding length through the backs of the legs. Extend through the arms and rotate shoulders inward. Relax the head and neck and enjoy the increased blood flow to the brain, helping you find mental clarity for the day ahead.

(5)  Forward Fold

From Downward Dog, bend your knees and walk hands toward your feet. With a soft bend in the knees hang forward and gently sway from side to side perhaps taking opposite elbow in each hand. Slowly roll up to standing,

(6)  Low Lunge

Take a large step forward sinking low into the front knee. Protect the knee joint by keeping the knee over the ankle (no further forward). If this is too strong just drop the back knee to the mat. Keeping the hips square enjoy the deep stretch through the hips. You can even take it into a gentle twist by tucking the opposite elbow behind the bent knee.

(7)  Warrior 1

From the lunge position, stand taller while still keeping a bend through the front knee and hips square. First take hands to the hips then extend arms high overhead. Stretch long through the spine and draw the crown of the head high. If taking the arms overhead is uncomfortable for the shoulders take the forearms to the side parallel to the ground and point fingers to the sky (often referred to as totem pole arms).

For each pose take a minimum of 10 breaths bringing your attention inward. Try to keep away thoughts of the day ahead, keeping your focus on your breath. You’ve found your happy place.

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