On Morning Rituals: Part I (Yoga)
Yoga Morning Ritual
Life can be stressful and uncertain at times. In order to manage stress, it's a good idea to set-up some positive morning rituals. I truly believe a good morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day. This beneficial behavior doesn't need to be long or complex but does require some dedication and consistency. Yoga postures are perfect for morning routines since it does not require any specialized equipment, it can be modified for any fitness level and performed in almost any room of a home. These five yoga poses are something I do as part of my morning ritual, these exercises prep me for the day ahead and help keep me calm and centered. Pictures of basic poses can be found here.
5 Beneficial Morning Yoga Poses
- Mountain: This pose is really more mental than physical. It is about setting the tone for the day. Clear your mind and focus on your breathing. When ready; stand with feet hip-width apart with arms raised to the ceiling, palms facing one another. After a few deep inhales and exhales, lower the arms your sides. Do this a few times, remember to focus on your breathing and keeping your mind focused on your body.
- Forward Bend: Keeping your feet shoulder width apart, bend forward at the hips; folding yourself in half. Stay in that position for several deep breaths. This pose will add in blood circulation which is badly needed after your night's rest.
- Plank: After several deep breaths in the forward bend position, place your palms on the floor or mat and get into a push-up position. Plank pose will challenge your core and really wake you. Try to stay in this position for five or six slow deep breaths.
- Cobra: Lower yourself from the plank position while keeping your palms on the ground. Lift only your chest off the ground and feel the stretch in your spine as you look up.
- Downward Dog: After lowering from Cobra, lift your hips off the ground and get into an inverted V position with your palms and toes touching the ground. Try to lower your feet as much as possible and stretch those tight hamstrings.
After Completing Yoga Exercises
Once you're finished with your yoga exercises, consider getting into a seated position and completing one final meditative exercise. Consider focusing on your breathing for a few minutes, this will go a long way in building resiliency, as well setting up a positive start to your day. Once completed, you will feel refreshed. This simple daily ritual can be done not only in your home but at your office as well. If this is too much to start right now, try something very simple, like making your bed. What are the morning routines that you find beneficial?
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