How to Start Every Day with a Morning Yoga Routine

A woman sits in lotus pose outside in front of a leafy background

A morning yoga routine is a calming way to start your day.

Our mornings are usually anything but calm. From the bleating of our alarm clock to the chaos of morning rush hour and the flood of incoming work messages, the first part of our day is pretty stressful to say the least.

But what if we could flip the script? Instead of rushing around the house in the morning, we could use that time to prioritize our well-being. Instead of fueling ourselves with multiple cups of coffee, we can get energized with a sequence of yoga poses. 

Of course, in an ideal world we would have plenty of time for a soothing morning routine. And we don’t exactly need to add another item to our lengthy to-do list. But the great thing about doing yoga in the morning? You don’t need to drag yourself off to the gym. You can do it from the comforts of your own home, as long as you have a soft rug or yoga mat. And you don’t need a generous amount of time to get the positive benefits. 

Here are some yoga poses that you can incorporate into your morning routine to get your day off on the right foot.

Benefits of a morning yoga routine

There are lots of reasons to have a regular yoga routine. From relieving stress to gaining more flexibility, yoga offers tons of physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. But did you know that doing a yoga routine in the morning can be particularly beneficial?

These are some of the ways that a morning yoga routine can benefit you:

Wakes you up. After sleeping for several hours, it’s inevitable that you’re going to experience brain fog the next morning. Yoga helps you get your blood circulation going, which, in turn, will help you feel less tired and groggy, and more alert and refreshed. 

Reduces tension and stiffness. Sleep can also affect the way our muscles feel the next day. We may experience stiffness in our joints after lying in the same position all night. Or we may be holding tension in different parts of our body due to stress and anxiety. A yoga morning routine is a good way to alleviate the tension in our bodies and help us relax. 

Focuses your mind. In the mornings, your mind is thinking about a million different things. What you’re going to wear to work. The presentation you have to give. Your breakfast. Morning commute. The list goes on. Taking a few moments to breathe and stretch will help slow down your mind.

Achieve a positive mindset. Let’s be real, mornings are hard. Rarely do we find ourselves jumping out of bed ready to face the day. Instead, we drag our heels, dreading our morning commute or bracing ourselves for the fires we have to put out that day. But a yoga routine can help us shift our mindset and quiet the negative thoughts. Instead of worrying about the past or future, it can help us get back to the present moment. Plus, doing something nice for yourself first thing in the morning is going to make you feel good about yourself for the rest of the day. 

Equipment for your morning yoga routine

Here are some basic yoga tools to help you do yoga at home. 

Yoga mat. If you don’t have a yoga mat, a carpeted rug or towel is fine. Just keep in mind that you don’t want it to slip around when you’re doing your poses. 

Comfy, stretchy clothes. Most people prefer stretchy, elastic material when they’re doing yoga. You’ll want something that you can move around in, without worrying about the fabric getting in your face. 

Yoga block. Yoga blocks help provide support and stability for your poses. If you don’t own a yoga block, you probably have something around the house you can use. Yoga block substitutes include a book, a folded up towel, or blanket. 

Journal. You can use a fitness journal to help stay on top of your yoga routine, take note of favorite poses, and record any thoughts to help you clear your head. 

Online videos for a morning yoga routine

If you’re new to yoga, it’s definitely a good idea to take a few classes first, before trying a morning routine on your own. A teacher can provide guidance and correct your form, so that you don’t injure or strain yourself in the process.  

If you’re at an intermediate or advanced level, there are online yoga videos that can offer guidance while you do a morning routine at home. As always, make sure to listen to your body so that you don’t overexert or injure yourself. And avoid attempting a new pose without getting clear and proper instruction from a trusted teacher. 

Sunrise Yoga With Energy. Kassandra Reinhardt was recommended by Elle Magazine as one of the top yoga instructors online. Her 10 minute sunrise yoga routine would be a slow and soothing way to start your morning. You can watch the video here

Make-It-A-Good-Morning Yoga. If you have time for a longer routine, this online video by Yoga Journal uses breathwork and gentle poses to relax and prepare your body for a great day. You can check out the video here

Kickstart Your Morning. Instructor Jason Crandell’s 15 minute morning yoga routine incorporates sun salutations, strengthening exercises, and gentle poses to help you feel energized and focused for the day ahead. You can watch the video here

Masterclass With Donna Farhi. If you have a Masterclass subscription, check out instructor Donna Farhi’s online yoga videos. It consists of a series of short videos that offer guided instruction on breathwork, warm up poses, and sun salutations. You can watch the video here

If you’re running short on time and not sure you can squeeze in a yoga routine, there are other calming activities you can incorporate into your morning. 

Meditation. Use an app like Calm or Headspace to do a short meditation exercise and get into the right mindset for the day.

Journaling. A few minutes of journal writing can help you gain clarity and get a headstart on your day.

Morning stretches. Light stretches can get the blood flowing and ease tension in your body. And the best part? You can do them while you’re still in bed.
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