Energizing Morning Yoga Routine

Energize Your Morning with 4 Wake-Up Moves

We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on FitSugar!

Can't get through your morning without your daily java fix? You're not alone. According to a survey conducted by the National Coffee Association, Americans spend an average of $164.71 on coffee per year. That's almost enough for a monthly car payment or a couple of weeks worth of groceries!

Want to wean yourself off of overdoing the caffeine without sacrificing your sanity? Then look no further than your local yoga studio. Warming up your body in the morning helps the natural release of endorphins, says Desiree Bartlett, a Los Angeles-based yoga instructor.

Not only does yoga do the body good, the energy you cultivate in a yoga class stays with you all day long. "There is a natural gauging of energy and we release old thoughts or judgments we no longer need," says Bartlett. "Through this practice of steadying the mind and observing the breath, the mind stays present, sharper and clearer because it is no longer reviewing the past or making to-do lists for the future."

Incorporate these four moves into your regular routine five days a week to start each day "with strength, clarity and a sense of empowerment." Desiree may have shot these on the beach (we're jealous!) but you can do them on your bedroom floor!

Get the moves after the break.

Setting an Intention
Sit or stand with palms pressing together fingertips pointed towards the ceiling in "namaste." Namaste is a salutation that means "The light in me recognizes and bows to the light in you." Hold for one minute.

Up Dog
Begin in a high push-up position. Let your hips come down toward the floor and your chest rises as your head lifts upright (below). Try to keep your thighs off the floor by engaging the strength in your triceps. Your arms will be straight and remember not to lock out your elbows. Hold for one minute.

Warrior 2
Begin with your feet planted on the floor about four feet apart. Turn your right foot out to the right and your left foot turns in slightly. The right knee bends to a 90-degree angle while the left leg remains straight. Lift both arms to shoulder level and reach out actively through both arms (below). Remember to engage your core muscles here and turn your head gently to face your front hand. Hold for one minute.

Boat Pose
Begin in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you. Lift your arms until they are shoulder height and lean back in the upper body until you can feel your belly muscles engage. When you are ready, work towards lifting both legs off the floor and try to keep them straight (below). If you need to, start with the knees bent but keeping both legs straight will give you more challenge in the core. Relax your shoulders, lift your sternum and breathe deeply. Hold for one minute.

More on Desiree Bartlett

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