The #1 Morning Yoga Flow That Will Keep You Energized All Day, Expert Says
Whether you're about to start a hectic workday and need to relieve some stress, or you'd simply love to stretch it out on a slow Saturday morning, yoga might be your favorite go-to. Mornings can be tough, and this is the perfect solution. One of the most special parts about this beautiful practice is certain moves and sequences can help you target and work on different things—whether that be a body part, how you're feeling, or a particular kind of pain you're dealing with. There are yoga moves that help ease period cramps and also yoga poses that relieve lower back pain, to name a couple of examples. And now, we're bringing you the number one morning yoga flow to stay energized all day long.
We spoke with Thara Prashad, certified yoga teacher and health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, who shares with us this amazing flow you'll want to start every morning with. As she puts it, "This is one of my all-time favorite sequences, and you will rarely take a class with me where we don't do these postures." Read on to learn more and give your body a much-needed morning boost. Next up, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Here's how you do the "Half Moon Yoga Flow" in the morning
Prashad demonstrates above exactly how you can replicate the "Half Moon Yoga Flow" at home to get the spine moving and receive a major daily energy boost. "Bringing the arms over your head opens the shoulders and builds strength in the arms. We increase the space between the ribs, creating more space for the lungs to expand," she explains. "These postures allow the spine to lengthen as well as opening up the heart space. We fire up the quads and glutes through chair pose and even give the heart a little massage as the diaphragm moves up."
You'll want to stay in each pose for around 30 to 60 seconds, and don't forget to work on your breathing. "We often get into a pose and hold the breath, which creates constriction and tightness," Prashad says. "Allow the breath to be fluid, and let the body gradually open deeper and deeper." When you wrap up the flow, bring your hands to your heart, and set your daily intention.
Related: The 5 Best Yoga Moves for Back Pain, According to Experts
Sitting at a desk can be a major energy drainer
One of the reasons why you may feel like your energy is drained during the day is because you're sitting at your desk for too long. You're also not giving your spine the movement it should be getting, as Prashad points out. (Spending too much time hunched over, looking down as we play on our phones, is also a major contributor to this.)
Previous research at the University of Georgia concluded that otherwise healthy, but sedentary adults who performed just 20 minutes of a low-to-moderate intensity aerobic workout for a total of 3 days per week for 6 weeks in a row revealed they experienced a boost in energy and felt less tired. (In fact, the research team concluded low-intensity exercise can make symptoms of fatigue drop by a whopping 65%!)
Many of us are guilty of not moving our spines as often as we should, which can, unfortunately, lead to body discomfort and pain. That's why doing a low-intensity yoga flow can be really important to start your day with—you're getting the spine and your whole body moving before you head to work or wherever the day may take you.
The benefits of yoga in the morning are hard to beat
According to John Hopkins Medicine, yoga can provide a physical energy boost, improve your mood, and help you feel less stressed. Studies have also shown the amazing way doing a yoga flow can impact a good night's sleep. (For example, a study published in 2012 revealed pregnant women who do yoga experience fewer sleep disturbances, along with less prenatal depression.)
Related: Secret Effects of Doing Yoga, Says Science
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