Here is a short asana sequence to practice in the morning along with any meditation or pranayam that you want to incorporate with your movement. These poses are rejuvenating and help you start off your morning feeling a little more awake.
1. Bitilasana / Marjaryasana (Cat-Cow)
Beginning on your hands and knees in a table-top position, raise your chin and tailbone while dropping your belly and opening up the chest and throat. Closing your eyes, take a deep inhale and follow the flow of your breath inward as your chest and belly expand.
As you exhale, round the spine, tucking the tailbone, bowing the head and looking towards the belly button. Follow the flow of your breath outward and notice how it is expelled through the chest and throat by this pose.
Repeat these postures moving slowly to the flow of your breath. With each inhale come into Cow, opening up the chest. With each exhale, round the spine and come into Cat, expelling the air from your lungs and rounding the spine. Follow this for 8 slow + mindful breaths.
2. Balasana (Childs Pose)
From your table-top position, press your hips back lowering them onto your heels. Feel free to widen the knees to where it feels comfortable for you. Walk the arms out long to the top of your mat and rest your forehead on your mat. This pose is great for providing support to the low back and stretching out the spine.
Rest here for 2 minutes.
*Option to place the left hand over the right in this pose to stretch out the left side, and vice versa on the right side*
3. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Sleeping Pigeon Pose)
A wonderful hip opener, Sleeping Pigeon also focuses on the root chakra and sacral chakra.
Coming back into table top, bring your right knee up to your right wrist. Bring your right foot in to either the upper left thigh or all the way across + parallel to the left wrist. If the right foot doesn’t make it all the way up to the left wrist that’s okay! Leave it where it feels best; the goal here is not to over-stretch.
Squaring the hips, extend your left leg back behind you with the goal of resting your left thigh, knee, shin and foot on the mat.
From here you can keep your palms pressed into the mat, lower onto your forearms, or walk your hands up your mat to come into a complete fold over the right knee.
Repeat on the left side for a total of 2 minutes each side.
4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog)
Coming back into your table-top position, walk your hands one handprint up the mat, tuck the toes and lift up into Downward Dog. The goal here is a straight back, so a slight bend in the knees is perfectly okay. Actively press away from the mat to open up the upper back + shoulders instead of letting your weight fall into your shoulders.
Stay here for 1 minute, peddling the heels and finding movement that serves you.
5. Anjaneyasana (Crescent Lunge)
From your Downward Dog, bring your right foot up between your hands and bend into the right knee, lifting the arms up above your head.
As you inhale, cactus the arms out from your sides and open up the chest for a mini back bend.
As you exhale, bring the arms back up and lengthen the spine.
Repeat this for 8 breaths, staying strong in that front leg and pressing into your back heel to maintain stability.
Return to your Downward Dog and repeat on the left side.
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Bringing both feet to the front of your mat into a forward fold, inhale and come to a standing position. Arms lift towards the sky.
As you exhale, bring the hands to heart in Anjali Mudra (prayer pose).
Follow your breath here, lifting the arms as you inhale and slowly lowering them to heart as you exhale.
Repeat for 8 breaths.