Below are 6 easy yoga poses that can be done in 15 minutes. No matter if you are a beginner or advanced in your yoga practice, these basic yoga poses will help kick start your day, waking up the body and bringing awareness to the breath.
- Stand with your arms hanging straight at your sides, feet together in the yoga pose referred to as mountain pose. Close your eyes and take five to 10 slow breaths through your nose. On the inhaling breaths bring your palms together overhead swinging across the side of your body, across the horizon and as you exhale bring your arms down in front of your hearts center and look down at your hands. Attempting to keep your arms in a nice comfortable flowing motion. Inhale as you are moving your arms up in the yoga pose and exhale as you are moving your arms down.
- On your final inhale with your hands up in the air, interlace your fingers and try to really extend your back, reaching for the sky as you slowly look up at your hands gently tilting your head back. For those of you with a little more flexibility, feel free to arch your back just slightly after you have exhaled, but only at the point of exhalation and completely reaching up in the air with your elbows fully extended. This yoga pose is referred to as a back bend.
- Release your hands and hinge at your hips, trying to keep your back straight lowering your entire body into the yoga pose called a forward bend. In this position your arms, shoulders, head and back should be working with gravity, letting them hang as you breathe deeply. Your legs active and your head should feel like a bowling ball. This yoga position is called standing forward bend and you can hold for 5-10 breaths.
- Now for an easy balancing yoga pose. Follow closely… Stand with your legs and feet together, hands on hips. Transfer your body weight into your left foot as you bend the right knee and place the sole of the right foot on the inside of your left leg (beginners start at the ankle; more advanced, raise the right foot to the inside of the left thigh. CAUTION – Never on the knee). Gently press the sole of the right foot against the left ankle or thigh. Bring the palms of your hands together in front of the heart to help with balance. Breathe smoothly and completely for 5 slow breaths and then switch to the opposite side, placing your left foot on your right ankle or thigh.
- Now a gentle lateral side stretch. As you lower your foot down from the balancing yoga pose, place them parallel to each other, a couple of inches wider than shoulder width apart. (Don’t worry if the picture appears to be a little more than that, we are not as flexible in the morning as our friend Mr. Stickman). Extend your arms out to the side on the inhaling breath, keep your shoulder blades down, slowly let your torso lean to the right side of the body, keeping the right side of your torso in alignment with your right leg. Keep your arms in line with each other and look up at the left arm, do not over extend, just keep it gentle and hold for 5 breaths. The key is to keep your torso inline with your leg, not to reach all the way to touch the leg or the ground. Come up on an inhaling breath and do the same for the other side.
- Now for the final pose, when you come back to a neutral position from the previous pose, keep your left foot in the same position and open your right foot out to the side. Interlace your hands behind your back, on the inhaling breath open your chest and then fold over your right leg as you exhale. Careful not to hyperextend your right knee. For the morning, a slight bend in your right knee is good for this yoga movement. Only take two deep, complete breaths here in this yoga pose. Returning on your inhaling breath, switch sides.
Have a great day and remember to breathe throughout the day. These movements may actually help you skip the morning coffee, but no guarantees on that one…. If you have any injuries, pains or illnesses or preexisting conditions, consult your doctor before performing any of these movements or other physical activities.