Establishing an energising morning routine helps lay the groundwork for feeling less stressed and more motivated during the day. We all want that! So, what’s the secret? Yoga.

Whether it’s a groggy Monday or the start of your weekend, focusing on your breath, while getting your body moving is an incredibly powerful tool to reduce anxiety and promote overall calmness. These poses are my staples for any morning yoga practice.

Cat & Cow Flow

How to do it:

Start on all fours with your back in tabletop position—stack your shoulders over your hips and your hips over your knees. Distribute your weight evenly through your hands and legs to neutralize your spine. Spread your fingers wide, so you feel the webbing in between start to stretch, while pressing the tops of your feet into your mat. On an inhale, tilt your tailbone towards the ceiling and expand your belly towards the floor, as you lift your gaze and pull your chest forward, squeezing your shoulder blades together behind you.

As you exhale, tuck your tailbone and pull your belly button towards your spine. Hollow out your chest, as you push the mat away with your hands, broadening your shoulder blades. Relax your neck, and draw your chin to your chest. Complete as many rounds as feels intuitive for you to wake up your body.

Why it works:

Cat & Cow flow stretches the back torso and neck, while massaging the spine and belly, helping to wake up digestion and prepare your body for additional movement.

 

Tadasana—Mountain Pose

How to do it

Stand with your big toes together with a slight sliver of space in between your heels, so that your second toes are parallel. Let your weight balance evenly on your feet. Engage your thighs by lifting your kneecaps and slightly tuck your tailbone down. Lift your belly button up and in towards your spine, and let your shoulder blades glide gently down your back. Avoid making a c-shaped curve in your low back. Widen your collarbones and hang your arms by your side.

Why it works:

Mountain pose is the foundation of all standing poses. You can use it to improve your posture, as a resting pose between moves, and to set your intention for your practice and your day.

 

Ustrasana—Camel Pose

How to do it

Start in a kneeling position with your thighs hip-distance apart. Press down through the tops of your feet, and place your hands behind your low back, fingers pointing down. Keep your pelvis neutral, as you lift your chest upward. Inhale, and lift your gaze. Imagine a line on the ceiling. Then, follow the line from the top of your head towards the back of the room. Keep your chin and chest lifted and your thighs stacked over your hips as you bend. Avoid dropping your head all the way back. Focus on your breath; take deep inhales and slow open-mouth exhales to avoid feeling dizzy or lightheaded.

Why it works:

Camel pose is a huge heart chakra opener that can help build confidence and leave you feeling empowered and energized. It also helps alleviate back pain and can counteract the slouching and poor posture that often occur from sitting at a computer all day.

 

Supta Baddha Konasana—Reclining Bound Angle Pose

How to do it

Lie down on your back, and bring the soles of your feet together. Let your knees drop outward. Rest your hands on your belly or by your sides.

Why it works:

Our hips are our emotional center for creativity, self-expression, and well-being. Reclining Bound Angle helps relieve symptoms of stress, increase circulation in the lower abdomen, and boost range of motion in the hips. Introducing this pose can help spark motivation and inspiration for the day ahead.

To learn more about morning flow with Riv, follow her on Instagram @rivyourbestlife.