fbpx Skip to content

Morning Yoga to Strengthen and Energize Your Routine

Energize your body & mind with morning yoga

Starting the day with a short movement or pranayama practice energizes the body and sets a positive tone for the rest of your morning. 

The number one reason to practice morning yoga instead of later in the day is simple: we have more energy, clarity, and focus when we wake up. We’re better able to put our total effort and attention on our physical and mental wellbeing before the responsibilities and tasks of the day enter our psyche. 
If you lack energy and don’t feel in the mood for a vigorous morning yoga practice, cultivating the habit of waking up and spending 10-20 minutes doing Hatha postures or pranayama (breathing) techniques will support a more sustainable practice of making it to your yoga mat every day—no matter what occurred the day before. 

Why do yoga in the morning?

  • Greet the day with your body and breath.
  • Do a quick workout right away, when you have time!
  • Stretch and release any tension from sleep.
  • Strengthen your core to support movement.
  • Clear your mind before work.
strong roots strong glutes

Benefits of a Morning Yoga Practice:

  1. The power of the yoga practice is in alchemy; we have the ability to shift how we feel and perceive ourselves. The release of positive endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine has the power to shift your mental and physical state. The feel-good endorphins released have a positive impact on our bodies and minds to navigate the day with a more upbeat and productive mindset.

  2. Boosts blood and oxygen circulation through the body to improve the function of the organs. As we move and breathe through specific postures, we provide our organs with an internal massage to enhance their function, no matter how quickly or slowly we shift from pose-to-pose. The movement of fluids through the body, such as blood and lymph, cleanses the body of toxins to support immunity.

  3. Yoga and pranayama shift the body’s energetic state. As we’ve mentioned, you’ll feel refreshed and energized and less likely to reach for a second or third cup of coffee through the release of hormones and circulation. 

  4. Regular exercise reduces and regulates the amount of adrenaline and cortisol released in the body. Adrenaline and cortisol are known as stress hormones and helped us evolve as humans. Without these hormones, we wouldn’t have the capacity to fight or flee if in danger. Exercise is one way we place positive stressors on the body. 

  5. Over-excitement, angst, and nervousness represent an abundance of energy that may be balanced with physical activities like yoga. Physical activity fatigues the body so that we might get better rest. When we release excess energy, we have a better chance of falling asleep and getting proper rest.

▷ Take the 5 New Morning Yoga classes.

10-30 minute classes to do before work

  • Hatha, vinyasa, and core flow yoga classes.
  • Pranayama practices such as Kapalbhati, Nadi Shodhana, and Bhastrika. 
  • Sun Salutations to get the blood flowing and build heat. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

The best rituals to start your day

Do these yoga poses and pranayamas (breathing techniques) in the morning to stimulate the corresponding organs and hormone release to energize your day. 

1. Backbends

Backbends stimulate the adrenals. The adrenal glands are associated with the body’s fight or flight response and produce hormones that regulate metabolism, blood pressure, and the immune system. Due to the spine’s arch, when we perform backbends in yoga may increase the force around the adrenals and stimulate the release of additional adrenaline into the body’s system. Too much adrenaline keeps us feeling awake and alert. 

Backbending is also very energizing due to the increased blood flow throughout the body, so if you do backbends in the evening, you want to be mindful of how close it is to bedtime. If you do backbends in the evening practice, add a longer cooldown to allow the body to settle and ground. 

The other reason to do backbends in the morning is to open the shoulders and chest. Especially for those who work at desks, drive, or rock children all day, opening the chest in the morning to stretch all the muscles across the front of the chest feels excellent. 

2. Twists

B.K.S. Iyengar referred to twists as the squeeze-and-soak action as the twist creates an intra-abdominal compression. Twisting stimulates blood flow around the muscles of the abdomen. When the twist is released, the digestive organs receive blood rich in oxygen and nutrients. Twisting to the left compresses the descending colon, which pushes everything in the direction to relieve digestive stress. 

Twists enhance the mobility of the spine. As we age, the muscles surrounding the spine become stiff and sticky, which leads to a decreased range of motion and discomfort in the surrounding areas. Twisting creates length between each vertebra to lengthen the spine and space between the bones. While core exercises create strength and stability, twisting creates length and improves range of motion. 

3. Core

Core strength is essential to the spine’s longevity, and mobility as the core muscles support the spine and affect the hips and pelvis.

A strong core means strengthening the transversus abdominis, internal and external obliques, the rectus abdominis, and the pelvic floor muscles. 

A weak core may result in lower back pain; low back pain indicates the need to strengthen the core, including strengthening the back body’s muscles known as the erectors. The erector spinae is the group of muscles and tendons that run laterally down the spinal column from the skull base to the sacrum beneath the lower back. 

Strengthening the core abdominals and erectors creates a corset to support the spine. In yoga, we use the definitions sukha and sthira to describe the qualities of a healthy spine. Suka translates as flexibility, suppleness, and ease. Sthira translates as stability and strength. Ideally, these two aspects are balanced within the spine and the overall posture of the individual. When we tend to one quality over the other, we’re more prone to injury. 

To strengthen the core and back muscles, here are a few exercises to do at home:

  • Bridge pose, locust pose, and plank pose with a block between the inner thighs to isolate the core stabilizers.
  • Small crunches with the lower back and back ribs compressed on the ground to maintain spinal integrity and length. The spine should be neutral during sit-ups and crunches, aiming for the spine’s minimal curvature and the back pressed to the ground.
  • Leg lifts, either one or two legs at a time, depending on how you feel, with the back compressed to the ground. This action may be done with bent knees as toe taps to begin. 
  • Side plank poses to target the side body and obliques.
  • Leg and arm extension from plank pose or tabletop if a plank is too much; this strengthens the core and the erectors. 

These actions will engage the gluteal muscles (buttock) and hip flexors (muscles at the front of the hips) to create stability throughout the entire body and not just the core and back. 

A practice that focuses on core engagement may be performed several times a week. Ideally, 2-4 times weekly. It depends on the practitioner’s level and how their body feels. Other muscles step in to compensate for the fatigued area when we’re tired, so it’s all about listening to your body and addressing where you are at each day over pushing through a set plan. 

4. Kapalbhati Breathing 

Kapalbhati is very stimulating and excitatory; it generates heat, enhances circulation and digestion, and improves liver and kidneys’ function. Kapalabhati translates from Sanskrit as Kapal, meaning the forehead, and Bhati, meaning light or knowledge. This pranayama brings lightness and clarity to mind and frontal cortex of the brain. 

This pranayama style involves sharp, active exhales through the nose to stimulate the clearing of the lungs by clearing the stagnant air that collects around the sides of the lung cavity. The sharp exhale pulls the stale air in toward the center of the lungs and pushes it out. Energetically, we’re drawing the air upwards to revitalize the mind and body. The inhale is passive, and as kapalabhati breath is performed, the abdomen repeatedly contracts on the exhale and releases on the inhale. This pranayama is best done on an empty stomach during the earlier part of the day as its excitatory and stimulates the digestive fire.

Benefits include:

  • Enhanced mental focus and clarity
  • Clearing of the lungs and nasal passages
  • Excitatory to stimulate blood flow and boost circulation
  • Tones the abdomen and lower organs
  • Sharpens senses and concentration
  • Balances nervous system
  • Stimulates the digestive fire and appetite 
  • Purifies the nadis (energy channels) of the body through prana (breath

Backbends

Examples of backbends to boost the adrenals:

 

Twists

Examples of twists to stimulate the digestive system:

Core

Do these classes to strengthen your core: 

Kapalbhati Breathing

Join me for an experiential practice

▷ Visit the Morning Yoga playlist and choose from open-level, intermediate, and advanced morning yoga classes. 

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.

✧ Join the Community ✧

Our community boasts yogis from countries all over the world who gather and co-create the spaces we share on the Practice with Clara platform.

Join a community of over 1.3k yogis from around the world in the Practice with Clara Facebook Group

· Share your feedback

· Seek help and motivation from the community

· Discuss and receive input on yoga challenges and injuries

· Cultivate a global community

· Exclusive access to content and upcoming events

· Bring your ideas and questions to the Practice with Clara Ambassadors 

Take a LIVE yoga class with Clara each week and join hundreds of yogis worldwide. 

· Ask Clara questions in the live Q&A after class

· Participate in a class with Clara and the community

· Put in your request for a specific class

· Build to a peak pose in a vinyasa-style sequence

· Learn modifications for injuries

· Receive how-to guides to advance your practice

More Opportunties on Practice with Clara

See the History of Our 30-Day Yoga Challenges 

Take a look at the past 30-day yoga challenges. 

Read the history of the 30-day challenges with the past partnerships, themes, interviews with professionals, and more. 

Join an Upcoming 30-Day Yoga Challenge

See when the next 30-day yoga challenge is hosted to join the LIVE yoga & meditation classes.

Check out the events page to learn more. 

Are you looking for more opportunities to practice yoga, for free? 

Check out our Free Yoga page to see the latest offerings. 

Choose from three unique, free, offerings: 

30-day challenge
7-day series for beginners
7-day series for advanced vinyasa yogis 

✧ Community Feedback ✧

vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga
vinyasa yoga

✧ Frequently Asked Questions ✧

1. What is the Practice with Clara Membership & App?

Practice with Clara is an online platform and Apps that allow you to take your yoga with you anywhere, anytime! With hundreds of classes in various styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative, Yin, Prenatal, and Meditation, there’s something for everyone at any level of the practice. The Practice with Clara Membership provides a monthly or yearly subscription package with the first 7-days free for you to experience the courses. 

2. How is the Membership Different from the YouTube Playlists?

A membership to the Practice with Clara Apps provides:

  • Access to the members-only library of yoga classes
  • Weekly LIVE classes with Clara
  • Unique events and workshops
  • Downloadable assets including:
    • Monthly Calendars
    • Journaling Booklets
    • Spotify Playlists
  • Access to a community of yogis worldwide 
  • Q&A sessions with Clara
  • & much more!

Clara’s YouTube Channel provides carefully curated playlists to introduce you to the free programs and yoga challenges for you to get a taste of what’s offered and commit to your wellness!

3. What Do I Get When I Join the 7-Day Program?

The 7-day programs include: 

  • 7-Days of Vinyasa Yoga Intensive
  • 7-Days of Yoga for Beginners

These programs provide a weeks-worth of yoga classes to ignite your yoga practice and cultivate a new, healthy habit. 

When you sign-up for one of these programs, you’ll receive:

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 1-week
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

These programs are free with no hidden costs or fees; PLUS, you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

4. What Do I Get When I Join the 30-Day Yoga Challenge?

We host quarterly 30-day yoga challenges that are always free for all members of Practice with Clara. Each yoga challenge is themed based on the season. We’ve provided our inaugural challenge, Reconnect | A 30-Day Yoga Challenge, as an email series for you to try to test your physical and mental discipline and endurance!

What you receive in Reconnect | 30-Day Challenge

  • A welcome email to the program from Clara
  • A class each day for 30-days
  • Curated Spotify playlists to accompany each course
  • A calendar to track your progress
  • A journaling booklet to incite self-reflection 
  • Access to the private Practice with Clara Facebook Group

This program is free, anytime, with no hidden costs or fees, PLUS you’ll still receive the 7-day free trial on the Practice with Clara Apps once you complete the series!

 5.  I Want to Try the App, What’s Next? 

Great, we’re so happy to have you join our community!

To set up the Practice with Clara App, here are your next steps:

6. I’m Injured, Pregnant, or New to the Practice—Can I Join?

YES, no matter where you are at in your practice, there are classes for you on Practice with Clara. 

We’ve created playlists for beginners and those who are new to the practice.

we also have the Prenatal Collections with classes from the 1st – 4th trimesters that I created when I was pregnant with my daughter. 

Finally, I offer PLENTY of modifications and suggestions based on injury in all the platform classes. 

The biggest thing is to always listen to your body; your body is the greatest teacher.

Join Practice with Clara

New members get 7-days FREE!

Sign up for a recurring subscription and get access to hundreds of different yoga classes and join the weekly LIVE yoga class.