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4 Basic Yoga Poses to Practice Each Morning

Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 at 3:41 pm under Play Hard.

Yoga is a great way to begin your day. You don’t need to squeeze in an hour long session at your local yoga studio, or sweat it out in a room full of your closet strangers in order to benefit from this tradition.

The four yoga poses will brighten your morning before you head off to face the world. Adjust the intensity to fit your level. Yoga should be relaxing, not painful. If it hurts, modify the movement so that it’s comfortable.

We suggest doing two to three rounds of these poses each morning before breakfast.

 

Forward Fold

forward fold yoga

Forward fold

This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips, all muscles that get pretty tense after sitting in an office chair all day. It also helps to strengthen your legs and the muscles and joints around your knees.

To practice this movement, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Gently hinge forward at your hips, lowering your torso toward the floor. To take any pressure off your low back, bend your knees. Relax your head, neck and shoulders, slowly moving your upper body toward the floor.

 

Warrior 1

warrior 1

Warrior 1

This pose stretches your shoulders and hips, while strengthening your upper and lower body.  Come into a lunge position with your right foot facing forward and your left toe facing out. Inhale and reach your arms up alongside your head with your palms facing in. Drop your shoulders and lengthen your torso up high. Repeat on other side.

 

Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog

Downward facing dog

This pose is excellent to improve foot and ankle flexibility, stretch your calves, hamstrings and back, and strengthen your upper body. Start in a table top position on your hands and knees. Lift your knees off the floor and straighten your legs. Walk your hands forward a few inches  and walk your feet back the same distance. Press your heels down toward the floor (your goal is to have flat feet on the floor). Let your shoulder blades relax back toward your feet, and relax your head. Engage your core muscle while breathing deeply.

 

Cobra

cobra pose

Cobra pose

This is a great transition from downward facing dog. It stretches your abdominals, chest, and front shoulders.  Lie facedown on your yoga mat, placing your hands by your chest. Press up, raising your head and chest off the floor, lifting your entire torso while keeping your lower body in position. Raise as high as you can comfortably and lower back down.

 

The Big Question:

 

Did we miss your favorite yoga pose? Share it in the comments below!
  • Yoga exercise

    hi,
       please share 1st step of yoga because every site is sharing info about yoga and all steps but no where i didnt found any suitable info about yoga s ist step.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1371462943 Lia Becas Jacobsen

      I would be very interested to know this as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000259327502 Veronica Depew

    nope cobra is my fave

  • http://twitter.com/meghanjo91 Meghan

    I love doing yogo! Been doing it for 4 years! I love to stretch before workouts. So relaxing.

  • http://twitter.com/meghanjo91 Meghan

    I like downward facing dog. Great stretch.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002347159321 Sara Cubba

    You got them all! My sister introduced me to it and I use it to relax at night. When the kids go to bed. ;) Downward dog and Forward fold are awesome! Though, I’m not the best at forward fold….yet. ;)

  • Tammyjnim

    I love downward dog, could do it for hours.

  • Jeanne

    No, you didn’t miss my favorite pose, because unfortunately, I don’t have one.  I bought a Yoga CD a while ago, but have never used it because my FMS is so bad, I thought it would make it worse.  What do you think?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Leslie-Fox/100000565932037 Leslie Fox

    I like the tree and the triangle.

  • mj webster

    How funny – I don’t do yoga,. But I do those stretches in the morning – helps me start moving – gets the blood flowing.  Maybe I am doing yoga and just didn’t know it!!! LOL!!!  I do other stretches that’are not on here. Feet spread apart, arms straight out from the side, and slowwwwwly move them to the back until you feel a stretch.  Arms straight out from the side, Spread fingers out until you feel a stretch…etc   LOL…I’m still giggling about the yoga thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000211778142 Cynthia Hyde

    i did yoga back in my 20′s (i’m older than King Tut) and now that i have problems with mobility and balance i find that the downward facing dog and the cobra as well as the cat pose keep me fairly flexible.  if i hadn’t been a yoga fanatic way back then i think it’s likely that i’d be in big trouble now.

  • Jennifer Dysart

    No you didn’t miss it, the cobra is actually my favorite! My second fave is the child pose…I do mostly pilates so I only know a handful of yoga poses to begin with though!

  • colleen

    I LIKE THE DOWNWARD FACING DOG, AND THE COBRA,DO THOSE FOR AWHILE AND YOU WILL FEEL GREAT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.a.edge Jeremy AndMary Edge

    I technically have never done yoga in my life so I don’t know if you missed my favorite pose or not. :) However, Jeremy has me doing this UFC Trainer “game” on the PS3 with him every night.  There has got to be some kind yoga in there.  Believe me, it doesn’t leave me with any cold muscles and it often tells me we are stretching my hips…Warrior 1 style…maybe~~LOL…our kids think we are nuts!!!

  • Kuuleivic

    Victoria Dossey Findley Ummm no yoga.. try to do some stretching .. I am lucky to work that in.. with my walk or bike ride.. I so applaud people who are that disiplined. It’s either be here with you guys or take up yoga…ummm Ya.. I choose you !!! xoxo

  • Coupongirl4587

    I’m a huge fan of the sun saluation.  It’s a great way to start your day, espcially when you wake up to a face full of sun coming through the window.  It’s amazing.  :)

  • Geet Maha

    Yes, I do yoga! I know many yogasanas. MY FAVORITE IS shavasana (corpse pose). After the exertions of the practice, Shavasana allows the body a chance to regroup and reset itself.

  • Deborah Golden

    Upward facing cat…

  • http://twitter.com/DianaS58 Diana S

    I’ve been working on the Utthita Parsvakonasana, which is my favorite at the moment. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1371462943 Lia Becas Jacobsen

    This is a great article for me. I am going to start doing Yoga once we are settled from our move. This gives me the perfect starting point! Thanks!

  • Leaveseyesfan

    I like the Warrior pose.  I feel better after doing this pose