*This is a guest post
Mornings can be madness, or you can get up five minutes early and begin on the right foot. Literally! Waking up in the morning usually brings along the anxiety and jitters of the long list of commitments and tasks lying ahead of us. The sheer thought of this list is enough to make us all feel grumpy inside. But a little workout for the body and mind can really help a long way.
All it takes is five minutes of morning yoga to do this. Five minutes of morning yoga is the ideal workout routine for all ‘busy’ or ‘stuck’ souls who are unable to devote time to a regular yoga class (read: most mums!) but wish to reap just mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga practice. It’s the perfect wake up call to prepare the mind and body for the day ahead.
With a small morning yoga sequence, we can extract amazing benefits for our mind and body both without compromising on our daily schedule. All it takes is waking five minutes earlier than usual and we can be on our way to a healthier and a more active life. Spare five minutes of your morning to these five yoga asanas I personally recommend and gift yourself a healthy, active, and an inspiring day ahead too.
Child’s Pose (or Balasana)
Waking up with a start to the piercing buzz of an alarm or a child screaming at you is something a majority of us do. Although it is a necessary habit for many, it is not a healthy one. Preparing the body for waking up should ideally be a slow and gentle process. Else we would just feel sullen and inactive the entire day. Child’s pose is an excellent yoga asana to start with. Surrender to the ground like a child and let all your stress and anxiety wash away as your body and mind awaken to the comfort and space you are providing from within.
How to perform: Sit on a yoga mat with your ankles under the sit-bones. Keep your knees relaxed and hip-width apart. Exhale deeply while resting the upper body on the thighs. Make a gentle effort to lengthen your spine and neck in a long smooth curve while resting the forehead on the floor. You can use your arms or a cushion to rest your head. Close your eyes and count to 12 deep breaths.
Cat/Cow Pose (Marjaryasana/Bitilasana)
The Cat/Cow yoga pose is excellent for warming up the spine and for flexing the neck and shoulders after a sturdy sleep cycle. The pose also heals any strain caused in the neck or back due to a possible wrong position adapted during the sleep. The pose also fires up the core so you can have a healthy stomach all day long. The important technicality to look forward to during this pose is to coordinate the breath with the movement for maximum output.
How to Perform: Form a table-top position on the mat. Make sure your palms are aligned to the shoulders and shins are at right angle to the core with hip-distance gap. Gently exhale and curve your spine outwards deeply engaging your core. Let your chin touch the neck. This is cat pose. Now inhale and push your spine inwards towards the floor while turning the neck and face towards the sky along with the tailbone. This is cow pose. Repeat up to 10 times.
Tree Pose (or Vrikshasana)
Stand firm, tall, and feel powerful, inspired from deep within with Vrikshasana. This pose instills balance and equilibrium within the body and spirit — a perfect asana for exercising focus and for acquiring mental peace to go on for rest of the day.
How to perform: Stand on the mat with a feet-width gap between the ankles. Take a deep breath and lift both the arms straight overhead. Stretch the upper body as if you are reaching for the sky. Join both the palms in Namaste Mudra. Lift the left leg at the knee and rest the ankle on the right inner thigh. Close your eyes and let go. Remain in the present moment are you stand in this pose, sturdy, tall, and balanced.
Downward Facing Dog (or Adho Mukha Svānāsana)
An amazing morning yoga pose to activate the internal organs and muscles in the entire body, the downward facing dog pose also renders an awesome stretch to the legs, calves, hips, while lengthening the spinal region.
How to perform: From a table-top position, raise the lower body to lift the tailbone towards the sky. Distribute the body weight evenly on the legs and palms. Make sure that it is your core that is bearing at least 60 percent of the body weight. Keep the feet and palms flat on the mat for maximum stretch. Hold the position for 12 seconds.
Equestrian Pose (or Ashwa Sanchalanasana)
This intense low-lunge pose needs no introduction. From activating each and every muscle in the lower body to engaging the core, it does it all and prepares you right for the long, churning day ahead.
How to perform: Stand with both feet together. Exhale and step the right leg back as far as possible while bending the left knee at 90 degrees to the shin. Press the upper body against the shin while supporting the position with the palms.
We all have jobs to do and roles to play but a five minute morning yoga sequence is all it takes to accomplish the daily goals with much more ease, without feeling burdened or worn out.
Author Bio: Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi and Yoga Teacher.He provides yoga teacher training and loves writing and reading books related to yoga, health and nature. For more information about him visit his website.