The benefits of yoga in the morning have espoused to no end - from physical benefits such as promoting circulation and wakefulness, to psychological ones like mental clarity and goal setting in the morning.
Finding time in the morning for yoga stretches might seem like a challenge in Singapore, but here’s the good news - the boons of morning yoga doesn’t necessitate completing a full flow sequence. Just a few minutes every morning to stretch out your muscles and set your intentions for the day will help start your mornings on the right note. If you’re still unsure where to begin, try out some simple yoga poses recommended by our yogis at Lab Studio work your way up!
The standing forward fold, or Uttanasana, is a fantastic starting point for the day. Especially after a long and restful sleep, this pose focuses on stretching out the muscles in the back and hamstrings. As the name implies, this yoga pose can be done simply by standing up and ‘folding’ your upper body forward. Remember to focus on relaxing your body instead of pushing yourself downwards. The goal of this pose is to promote circulation by dropping your head below your heart, while lengthening out in your hamstrings and calves.
Cat and Cow
Moving our poses closer to the ground, the next stretch entails the practitioner coming to table pose - placing your palms on the ground shoulder distance apart, while resting on your knees hip-width distance apart. The process of Cat and Cow involves inhaling and dropping your belly while elevating your sit bones and pushing your chest forward. As you exhale, the motion is reversed. This particular sequence in Cat and Cow activates the muscles in your entire back, abdominals, and hip flexors. Overall, the activity translates to increased mobility and better posture, crucial for those of us who might be spending consecutive hours of our days sitting at a desk.
Sitting at your desks for long periods of time often results in shoulder tightness. As such, it is important to clock in stretches regularly so that your shoulders do not ache as often.
Downward Facing Dog
A pose synonymous with yoga itself, Downward Facing Dog is truly a cornerstone in any yoga flow. Unlike Cat and Cow, this pose requires you to place your hands shoulder-width apart, with your shoulders above your wrists, and lift your knees such that your toes are tucked in against the mat. The end result should resemble an inverted “V” shape, as your body weight is split between your hands and feet. To gain full benefits from Downward Facing Dog, extend your spine while simultaneously pressing through the palms of your hands and balls of your feet. Done properly, this pose promotes blood circulation and flexibility in the entire body, building on top of the ‘warm up’ activation of the prior two poses.
Low Warrior with hands behind the back
Another pose close to the ground, Low Warrior entails taking a wide step forward and bending both knees, with your back knee bending all the way to the mat. Ensuring your front knee isn’t extending past your ankle, reach your arms around your back and clasp then. As you stretch your arms, lift and open your chest before repeating on the other side to completion. With a stronger emphasis on your core, this pose works to activate your thighs while stretching your upper back and improving flexibility. Again, crucial in helping you prevent backaches after long hours at the desk.
Ending these sequences of easy poses, Reclined Twists are carried out as you are lying down on your mat while your knees are bent and your feet are flat on the floor. Extend your arms out to the sides while dropping your knees to the right and gazing to the left. Focus on your breathing as you inhale and exhale through your nose, taking three to five cycles of breath before repeating on the other side. Done properly, this opens up your hip flexors and sit bones while activating your neck and shoulder muscles, making it a crucial yoga pose for those with back pains.
More Than Just Stretches
Daily yoga stretches in the morning are a great way to begin the day bursting with energy and positivity, and if you’re looking for a little more guidance and development for your morning yoga - check out Lab Studios’ morning yoga classes. Conducted in-studio as well as online, sign up for a more in-depth morning yoga experience today!
If you are a newbie here at Lab Studios, then we have good news for you! Sign up today to enjoy a special promotion on our classes - two classes (of your choice) for just $40 at any of our 4 studios islandwide! There’s no better way to ease into the flow than with us.