10 essential morning yoga stretches to start your day feeling incredible

Starting your day with yoga can make a world of difference.

Yoga isn’t just about flexibility and balance, it’s about setting a positive tone for the day ahead.

When you roll out your mat first thing in the morning, you’re choosing to prioritize yourself and your well-being.

These ten morning stretches aren’t just good for your body, they’re also good for your mind.

They’ll help wake you up, energize you, and leave you feeling incredible.

With these simple movements, you’re not just stretching your muscles, but also shaping your day.

So, let’s dive in and discover these 10 essential yoga stretches to start your day off right.

1) Gentle wake up stretch

We all know how tempting it is to hit the snooze button in the morning.

But what if you could start your day feeling refreshed and ready to go?

Meet the gentle wake up stretch.

This simple yet effective yoga pose is perfect for transitioning from the comfort of your bed to the hustle and bustle of your day.

It’s all about easing into movement and letting your body slowly wake up.

The beauty of this stretch is that you can do it right in your bed.

Just extend your arms above your head, lengthen your legs, and stretch from fingertips to toes.

It’s like a big yawn for your entire body, preparing it for the day ahead.

Practicing this gentle wake up stretch every morning won’t just make your body feel good, it’ll also set a positive tone for the rest of the day ahead.

2) Downward facing dog

Now, I’ll be honest, this wasn’t always my favorite pose.

The first time I tried a downward facing dog, it felt awkward and challenging.

But with regular practice, it quickly became an essential part of my morning routine.

Downward facing dog is a great full-body stretch that targets your hamstrings, shoulders, and even your hands and wrists.

It’s also an excellent pose for energizing the body and calming the mind.

Every morning, after getting out of bed, I roll out my yoga mat, get into this pose and take a few deep breaths.

It’s my personal moment of peace before the day begins, a chance to check in with myself.

I can tell you from personal experience, starting your day with a downward facing dog will leave you feeling more awake, balanced, and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.

3) Cat-Cow pose

In yoga, the Cat-Cow pose is a gentle flow between two poses that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine.

It’s a wonderful way to kickstart your digestion system for the day, as it stimulates the stomach and intestines.

This pose involves moving from a rounded spine (the ‘cat’ part of the pose) to an arched back (the ‘cow’ part).

It’s a fluid movement that helps you connect with your breath, as you inhale on the cow pose and exhale on the cat pose.

Practicing this sequence of movements can greatly improve your spinal flexibility and abdominal strength over time, making it an invaluable part of any morning routine.

4) Standing forward bend

After warming up the spine, it’s time to give your legs some love.

The standing forward bend is a simple, yet powerful pose that stretches the hamstrings and calms the mind.

This pose encourages blood flow to the brain, which can help wake you up and can also reduce stress and anxiety.

To perform this pose, stand tall, then bend from your hips, allowing your head to hang down towards the floor.

You can keep your knees slightly bent if you need to.

Adding this pose to your morning routine will help you start your day feeling grounded and at ease.

5) Child’s pose

Child’s pose is a restful, comforting stretch that is ideal for soothing the mind and gently stretching the body.

It works especially well after more intense poses, giving your body a chance to relax and recharge.

To do the child’s pose, you kneel on the floor, sit back on your heels, then lean forward and stretch your arms out in front of you.

The aim is to feel a gentle stretch in your back and hips.

Starting your day with a child’s pose is like giving yourself a warm, gentle hug.

It’s a reminder to treat yourself kindly throughout the day, no matter what challenges you might face.

6) Warrior II pose

Warrior II pose is about more than just physical strength and flexibility.

It’s a pose that embodies confidence, determination, and resilience.

As you stand strong in this pose, you’re not just awakening your body, you’re also awakening your inner strength.

It’s a moment to remind yourself of your capabilities and your power.

This pose involves standing with your feet wide apart, stretching your arms out to the sides, and bending one knee while keeping the other leg straight.

As you hold this pose, imagine yourself standing strong in face of the day ahead.

Incorporating the Warrior II pose into your morning routine can help you start the day feeling empowered and ready to face any challenges that come your way.

7) Tree pose

Balance isn’t always easy.

I’ve wobbled and even fallen while practicing the tree pose, but that’s all part of the journey.

This pose is a lesson in maintaining balance, not just physically, but also in life.

The tree pose involves standing on one leg with the other foot resting on your standing leg, while your arms reach towards the sky.

It’s a test of focus, stability, and patience.

Even on days when balance seems elusive, this pose serves as a gentle reminder that it’s okay to wobble, it’s okay to fall.

What matters is that we get back up and try again.

Incorporating the tree pose into your mornings can help you cultivate a sense of balance and resilience for the day ahead.

8) Corpse pose

It might seem strange to end an energizing morning routine with a pose typically used for relaxation and rest.

But the corpse pose, or savasana, is about more than just lying on your mat.

This pose encourages mindful stillness and deep relaxation.

It’s an opportunity to let your body absorb the benefits of your practice, and to set an intention for the day ahead.

Lying flat on your back, with your arms and legs slightly spread out, you simply close your eyes and breathe.

Beginning your day with a moment of stillness can help you maintain a sense of calm and focus throughout the day.

9) Seated forward bend

The seated forward bend pose is a simple, yet effective way to stretch your spine and hamstrings.

It’s also a perfect pose for promoting calmness and reducing anxiety.

To do this pose, you sit on your mat, extend your legs in front of you, and then slowly lean forward from your hips, reaching for your toes.

Adding this pose to your morning routine can help release tension in your body and prepare your mind for the day ahead.

It’s a little act of self-care that can make a big difference in how you feel throughout the day.

10) Sun Salutations

Sun Salutations are the heart of any morning yoga routine.

This sequence of poses not only stretches and strengthens every major muscle group in your body, but it also connects your movement with your breath, creating a sense of harmony and unity.

Each Sun Salutation begins and ends with a moment of gratitude, a reminder to appreciate the new day and the opportunities it brings.

Practicing Sun Salutations each morning can transform your day, infusing it with positivity, energy, and a sense of purpose.

It’s more than just a yoga sequence; it’s a way to celebrate life, one breath at a time.

Embrace the morning calm

The beauty of yoga isn’t just about the physical stretches and poses.

It’s about the calm stillness, the quiet moments of reflection, and the deep connection with our own bodies.

When you roll out your mat each morning to practice these 10 essential stretches, you’re doing more than just awakening your muscles.

You’re creating a space for mindfulness, peace, and gratitude to flourish.

Whether it’s the gentle wake up stretch that eases you into the day, the empowering Warrior II pose that reminds you of your strength, or the meditative stillness of the corpse pose, each stretch is a step towards an incredible day.

As you move through your morning yoga routine, remember that it’s not just about the poses.

It’s about how they make you feel.

And isn’t that a beautiful way to start each day?

Tiffany Mcgee

Tiffany Mcgee

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

The latest Move news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.