During March, I’ve been writing about my morning ritual, which includes writing, working with affirmations or gratitude, and yoga. Today I’m sharing more details about my easy morning yoga practice—most of which involves lying down—and a few props that can help with it.
Although I’ve practiced yoga on and off for years, I always approach it from a beginner’s mindset. For me, yoga is not about power poses or extreme flexibility. Instead it’s primarily about calming and focusing my mind, of being mindful of where I am in the moment.
My Easy Morning Yoga Practice
My favorite way to begin a morning practice is with purna yoga’s morning series. It’s perfect because it’s all done while lying down. You can literally roll right out of bed and onto the floor to get started.
YogaTeacherDebbie’s morning series video below is a bit long but I like it because it shows how she uses a strap to assist with suptapadangustasana (aka the leg stretch), as I do:
After morning series, I move on to hip opening series. PetraYoga’s video shows an advanced version, without props, which will give you something to aspire to. The movements are still simple enough to follow here. Just remember that it’s very important to listen to your body, not push yourself, follow any inward hip rotation with external rotation, and repeat the exercises on both sides of your body:
If I get through morning and hip opening series and still want to do more, I may add downward dog, warrior I and II, and/or triangle. If I need a back stretch, I alternate cat and cow poses followed by child’s pose. To work a bit more on core strength, I hold plank pose for 30 seconds (variation 2). And then move onto meditation, as suggested above.
An Invigorating Morning Yoga Series
Because I usually awaken ready for the day, I don’t do exercises designed to enliven and awaken. However, if you need to get more blood flowing first thing, you could try the 5 Tibetan Rites. The series is five simple exercises designed to be done 21 times each in sequence. To get started, though, it would suffice to do each exercise only three or eight times each. Another inspirational video is below:
What You Need to Get Started with Yoga
If you’re brand new to yoga, you may now be wondering what, if any, special gear or props you need before getting started. To complete morning and hip opening series, all you need is yourself and (probably) a strap. I use the Manduka cotton yoga strap, which we have in the 10-foot length because my husband is 6’4”. If I’d been buying the strap just for me, I’d have gotten the 8’.
Another prop that can help with poses like triangle or the ending thigh stretch in hip opening series is a block. (Note: for hip opening series, you can sit on the block instead of directly on your knees, and you don’t need to lay all the way back. Instead stretch back only as far as is comfortable.)
At home, I practice yoga on a carpeted floor. For class, I take along an Aurorae mat and Brian takes his ginormous, man-sized mat. Both are thicker than typical mats to provide a little more cushion between the hard floor and our bodies.
Don’t let the idea that you need gear become a barrier to trying yoga. Really you need nothing more than yourself. And if getting out of bed is too much, you can also do some yoga poses without leaving your bed.
I hope you enjoyed my suggestions for easy morning yoga. Newbies, do you have any questions or comments? Yoginis, anything to add? Please share in the comments.