How To Create A Morning Yoga Routine + 7 Amazing Morning Asanas

Did you know that what we do in the morning dramatically determines how the rest of our day goes? This is why doing self-care activities like yoga can have such a positive impact on how the rest of the day flows. Those mornings when we wake up late, rush around, and skip breakfast don’t set us up for success and often have us feeling stressed and exhausted by mid-morning. Those days when we do our favorite yoga morning routine actually set us up for success! Keep reading to discover how to create a morning yoga routine and the seven best yoga poses to do when you wake up.

A morning yoga practice is one of the best ways to start your day because of the combination of movement and breath connection. 

Are you ready to take a few deep breaths and set an intention to create a more energized morning routine for yourself?! Let’s do it! 


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Is it healthy to practice yoga in the morning?

Yes, it's healthy to practice yoga in the morning and in fact, there are many reasons and benefits to practicing yoga in the morning. Physical, mental, and emotional benefits, in fact.

Yoga wakes you up and releases any muscular tension or joint stiffness you may have accumulated throughout the night. 

Yoga clears your mind and brings you into the present moment so that you can face the day with clarity and productivity. 

Emotional health benefits of practicing yoga in the morning

Yoga helps you deal with feelings of stress and anxiety, release emotional blocks, and process anything that may have happened the previous day.

What’s more, like exercise, yoga releases endorphins, feel-good hormones that boost your mood. So even if you wake up on the “wrong side of the bed,” a morning yoga practice will quickly turn things around.  

How long should I do yoga each morning?

It’s best to start with a 10 to 15-minute yoga practice in the morning and slowly increase it.

The duration of your morning practice will depend mainly on your experience and your schedule, but really, there is no right or wrong length of time to practice yoga. 

If you’re new to yoga, it’s not advisable to practice for one hour every day as it can cause muscle fatigue and increase the risk of injury.

If you have some experience and want a challenge, you can practice for a set duration every day, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. However, even in this case, always listen to your body and give yourself rest if you need it. 

Can you do yoga at home as a beginner?

Yes, you can do yoga at home as a beginner, you don’t need to be a pro to know how to create a morning yoga routine. If you’re just starting your yoga journey, you may feel you are not advanced enough to try it at home, but that is actually not true!

Your home morning practice does not need to mimic an hour-long studio session. Instead, you can simply come to your yoga mat, take a few deep breaths and do some gentle stretches or beginner poses.

If you’ve been to a few yoga classes, you might already have some favorite poses. For example, perhaps you love how the butterfly pose releases tension in your hips, or maybe the downward dog always feels like a great stretch for your hamstrings. You can create a mini morning sequence with just a few of your favorite yoga poses. 

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7 best yoga poses to do in the morning

7 yoga poses to practice in the morning 1. Downward facing dog 2. Cat/cow 3. Sun salutations 4. Standing forward fold 5. Pigeon pose 6. Boat pose 7. Bridge pose.

Here are seven simple yet energizing postures to give you some inspiration and help you get started. You can choose one or two poses or practice them all as a short, ready-made morning yoga flow.

1. Downward facing dog

Female yogi doing yoga at home in downward facing dog

If you do just one yoga pose, make it this one. Downward dog stretches the entire body, including the thighs and back, which are often stiff when we wake up.

It’s also a mild inversion as the head comes below the heart, sending fresh oxygen to the brain to energize your body and mind for the rest of the day.

Overall mind and body energization sounds pretty ideal, doesn’t it?!

2. Cat/cow

Female yogi doing yoga pose cat cow while practicing yoga at home

Cat/cow is a gentle yet effective stretch for the spine and back muscles and honestly, it feels fantastic if you make it really juicy.

As you move between flexion and extension, you’ll feel the tension melting away, making sitting at a desk for eight hours much more comfortable.

Make it juicy by giving yourself more freedom in the movement here. The more fluid you can be, the better this will feel! Personally, I like to take my cat/cows in sort of barrel rolling and circular motion patterns as well. Try it!

3. Sun salutations

How to do yoga sun salutation A and B infographic

Sun salutations are a typical yoga sequence often done to warm up at the start of a class. You know these poses. These poses stretch the entire body, and make an excellent short morning yoga flow. 

Sun salutation A is the shortest variation, and each asana is linked to a breath.

  1. Starting in Tadasana, inhale to Urdhva Hastasana and exhale to Uttanasana. 
  2. Inhale to halfway lift before stepping back to a plank position and lowering down to chaturanga. 
  3. Inhale to upward dog, exhale to downward dog and hold for five breaths. 
  4. Step or hop forward to halfway lift on an inhale and fold forward on an exhale.
  5. Inhale as you rise to Urdhva Hastasana, then return to Tadasana on the exhale.

If you want an extra challenge, you can also try Sun Salutation B, with additional postures like Warrior 1 and Chair pose. 

4. Standing forward fold

Female yogi in standing forward fold while practicing yoga at home

Like the downward dog, the standing forward fold is a mild inversion as your head hangs below your chest. Thus, this is another excellent asana for waking you up, boosting brain functioning, and relieving headaches or mental tension.

It also gives a deep stretch to the legs and back. I like to make this juicy by giving myself and very generous bend in my knees and really letting the tension in my neck go completely. This feels amazing.

5. Pigeon pose

Female yogi practicing pigeon pose yoga pose

If you work a stationary job sitting at a desk for long periods, you may notice hip pain and stiffness over time. Pigeon pose is one of the best asanas for improving the mobility of the hip joint and flexibility of the surrounding muscles. Moreover, opening the hips will ease pain in the lower back and improve your posture.

Pigeon pose is more of an advanced posture, so if you are a beginner, be sure to learn about the various props you can use to support your body and make this pose a little less deep.

6. Boat pose

Female yogi practicing yoga doing boat pose

Granted, core work may not be something you feel like doing first thing in the morning, but its benefits are worth the short struggle.

The core engagement of the boat pose stimulates the digestive system and kick-starts your metabolism, relieving any feelings of fullness from a heavy dinner the night before.

Boat pose also stimulates the Manipura chakra, which is the center of our personal power. Thus, practicing this asana can boost your confidence and fill you with courage and self-belief, perfect for if you have a big meeting or interview coming up. 

7. Bridge pose

Female yogi practicing yoga doing bridge pose

As a backbend, bridge pose improves blood circulation, stretches the entire spine, relieves mild lower back pain, and boosts energy. Moreover, it boasts heart-opening qualities like joy, compassion, and gratitude. So you won't just feel in a better mood, you'll also enjoy more positive interactions with others. Yay!

How to learn these yoga poses at home

If you still feel wary about practicing yoga at home, don't worry. There are many great free yoga videos on Youtube and online classes you can follow along. 

I recommend Yoga With Adriene, a world-famous yoga teacher with many Youtube videos suitable for beginners. Her videos typically range from 10 to 45 minutes, so you will always find a great free online class to fit your schedule.

You can also check out video-on-demand yoga subscriptions like Yoga Download, which has many free lessons, or a yoga app.

Takeaway on how to create a morning yoga routine

Now you know how to create a morning yoga routine! Nothing should be stopping you from enjoying a fantastic start to each day. Remember that yoga poses are just one part of yoga, though. There are actually 8 limbs of yoga, so, if you don't feel like physically moving your body, why not do a short meditation or some pranayama breathing before the day's craziness begins?

Basic to intermediate yoga pose guide

If you are brand new to yoga, these poses below will be ones you will likely soon master with your own expression by repetition! As well as getting acquainted with the asanas mentioned above, and shown below, we encourage you to look at Yoga Journal's pose guide, and most importantly, listen to your body.

Basic yoga pose guide for a morning yoga routine 1. child's pose 2. low lunge 3. triangle pose 4. tree pose 5. warrior 1 6. warrior 2 7. reverse warrior 8 dancer

FAQ about how to create a morning yoga routine

Is 20 minutes of yoga a day enough?

If 20 minutes each day is all of the time you can set aside for yoga then yes, 20 minutes each day will do! Ideally you will want to work up from there, but 20 minutes of yoga every day is a great starting point.

Can yoga transform your body?

Yoga can certainly transform your body. In fact, I think that yoga is one of the most effective ways to exercise, which many people do not know! For example, a vinyasa yoga class will have even the fittest athletes shaking and dripping in sweat!

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Gemma
Gemma

Gemma is a Certified Yoga Teacher of over 5 years. Aside from being a CYT 200, Gemma is also certified in Yin and Yoga Nidra. Gemma is passionate about sharing her expertise of yoga and wellness through words, guiding others along the path of personal and spiritual development. She is in LOVE with everything related to personal-growth and psychology. Aside from helping others find more peace and stillness, Gemma runs a kitten rescue project in Thailand, where she is currently residing. Gemma can be reached at gemmac@theyogatique.com, or you can connect with Gemma on LinkedIn.

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