5 Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Angie, our favorite globetrotting yoga instructor and coach, shares her morning yoga routine:

A morning routine that incorporates yoga to connect your mind and body with an energetic start to the day is 100% better than rolling out of bed and grabbing your phone; diving into emails or social media. Before you scroll through unrealistic Instagram feeds, take 20 minutes to give yourself some love.

Yoga not only helps to tone and strengthen your body, it has internal benefits as well. Research and ancient wisdom prove that yoga will help to boost your immune system, encourage better sleep patterns, balance hormones, aid in digestion, and get your blood flowing to improve your heart-rate. When you’ve had a chance to create awareness on the mat you will notice your focus improve in the day; helping to analyze situations in a less stressful manner.

For me, morning yoga gets my workout done early so I can feel less guilt (it also prevents me from wearing yoga pants all day). Whenever I put off a yoga routine to do later, something inevitably comes up to derail me. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I'm in savasana at the end of a session, and that in itself is a great feeling to begin your work or daily tasks.

Here are 5 poses to start your day. All you need is a  little space in your apartment.

Happy Baby Pose: “Happy baby,” is very popular in contemporary practice. Its benefits include stretching the outer hips, inner groins, chest, and shoulders, lengthening the spine, and releasing tension in the low back.

Bound Ankle Pose with Forward Fold: Be careful with this one - if you feel your hamstrings are too tight you can always slightly bend your knees. This pose stretches groins, thighs, lower back and knees. It also stimulates abdominal organs and improves circulation. Try taking it further by clasping your hands behind your back and stretching them over your head. It's a perfect shoulder stretch.

Cat Cow: This a gentle flow that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine. It stretches the back torso and neck, and softly stimulates and strengthens the abdominal organs. It also open the chest, encouraging the breath to become slow and deep.

Gentle Neck Stretch: Whether you woke up with tension in your neck or you often have low-grade pain because you spend so much time hunched over your phone or laptop, you know that neck strain can be terrible. What’s worse, it can also lead to poor posture, irritability, and even migraine headaches. This stretch sets you up for better alignment that lasts all day.

Camel Pose: Camel Pose stretches the front of the body including the chest, abdomen, and quadriceps. It improves spinal mobility as much of the day you are likely to be sitting or slouching and bending your spine forward. By doing a backbend you are flexing your spine in the opposite direction and it may help you develop better posture.

For more yoga, travel and wellness trip, follow our yoga instructor and coach, Angie, on instagram @aj.instalife