8 morning yoga stretches to start your day

Yoga stretches refer to a series of bodily movements and postures usually practiced in the morning or at the end of a yoga session. They are known as morning stretches because they are preferred in the morning. These Yoga stretches help relieve tiredness by stretching the muscles. The best part about these Yoga stretches is that they are simple and can be done at home with relative ease.

Benefits of Morning Yoga Stretches

Yoga stretches in the morning should be done lightly and slowly, as they can help to relieve stiffness in the body. They help to stretch muscles and ligaments gently and gradually. This allows the body to gradually adapt to yoga stretches, which is known as yogic stretching. These exercises also help to promote proper joint motion, which helps when engaging in physical exercise. They are also one of the best ways to warm up before any physical activity or sports. Moreover, if done in the morning, they help to relieve any stress or stiffness that may have occurred while sleeping.

The Following Are 8 Morning Yoga Stretches to Start Your Day

1. Forward Fold

This Yoga is done by stretching the front limbs and arching the back. It helps to stretch the stomach and chest muscles, relaxes the mind, and soothes the body with a gentle stretch. Beginners may feel the stretch more in their chest than their back, but if not then flex your feet softly. It is believed to be the best morning stretch and a great way to begin the day.

How to do it

  • Stand with your feet a few inches apart.
  • Enter into a forward fold by pushing your hips back gently and bending forward at the hip joints.
  • Keep stretching until you feel comfortable.
  • The stretch should be gentle and sustained.
  • Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat it three to five times.

2. Abdominal Stretch

This helps to stretch abdominal muscles, which can be very stiff in the whole body early morning.

How to do it

  • Lie flat on your back with both legs straight and together.
  • Hold one knee with both hands and gently pull it towards your chest.
  • Repeat this movement with the other leg.
  • Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat it five times.

Note: Do not pull too hard while performing this movement as it could cause damage or injury.

3. Seated Stretch

This is a very simple and straightforward movement that helps to stretch the whole body before starting the day with gentle stretching. It can be done in the car while driving to work, as it is easy to do while sitting at a desk, as it gives your back a gentle stretch while keeping you in your allotted working area.

How to do it

  • Sit down on the floor or on a mat with your legs outstretched.
  • Stretch your arms out straight and place them on the floor.
  • Bend over from the waist in a gentle movement and hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat five times.

4. Neck Stretch

This stretch is important as it helps to relieve stiffness in the neck region after being in bed for long periods of time. It also helps to relax tense muscles in the neck and shoulders by stretching them gently.

How to do it

  • Sit down on the floor with legs outstretched.
  • Stretch your hands out straight and place your palms on the floor.
  • Turn your head gently to one side, hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat it three times.

5. Childs Pose

This is a great way to stretch the upper body and relax the mind at the start of a yoga session; especially in new beginners.

How to do it

  • Lie on your back with both legs stretched out.
  • Your arms should be stretched straight and touching the floor.
  • Place your chin on your chest and gently close your eyes.
  • You can also lower down on your elbows with knees bent if you are comfortable doing so.
  • Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat it three times.

This is a variation of the Child's pose, and also works well on stiff muscles and ligaments. While in the childs pose, raise one leg at a time slightly up in the air and hold for about five seconds.

Note: This can be repeated with both legs raised at a time if necessary.

6. Side Stretch

This helps to stretch the side muscles, which are very stiff in the morning. It also helps relieve any tension that may be occurring within the body. It is an easy way to release stiffness in the neck and shoulders towards the end of a yoga session.

How to do it

  • Lie on your side with your legs close together.
  • Stretch your arms out straight and place them on the floor.
  • Bend over from the waist in a gentle movement and hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat it two to three times.

7. Downward Dog

This stretch helps to open up tight muscle regions of the lower back, hips, hamstrings, and calves. It also helps with deep breathing and reduces stress.

How to do it

  • Come into a forward fold by bending over your legs.
  • Keep your shoulders and arms on the floor as you straighten them backward.
  • Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat it five times.

This stretch can be done while seated at the edge of a couch or chair with your legs apart. Hold on to your couch or chair for support and keep your back straight. Keep breathing deeply as you stretch.

8. Cobra

This is one of the best strengthening stretches for the whole body. It helps to strengthen the back muscles and stretches tight hips and shoulders. It also helps to calm down the mind when done in a gentle way after a day of hectic activities.

How to do it

  • Sit on your heels, facing away from you with your arms underneath you.
  • Press your feet into the floor as you straighten your legs, bringing your torso up into a crunch position.
  • Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds; then repeat it five times.
  • This stretch can be done while seated at the edge of a couch or chair with your legs apart.
  • Hold on to your couch or chair for support.

Conclusion

The health benefits of morning yoga stretches are indeed a good reason to get up early in the morning. If you can't do it every day, then at least try to do it for a few days each week. You don't need an expensive gym membership or special equipment either as long as you have enough space in your room to practice yoga.

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