Mornings can set the tone for the entire day, and practicing daily morning rituals are a great way to enjoy waking up. The ‘wake n’ bake’ is a classic stoner way to start the day, and it just so happens that yoga is the perfect complimentary activity.
The following are four asanas to practice in the morning that will awaken the mind and enliven the body. Combined with your favorite wake-and-bake strain, it’s a formula for a perfect start to your day.
As always, please remember that yoga should never be painful, and to always should practice at your own pace. Consult a physician before practicing if there are any medical conditions or injuries present.
Downward Facing Dog
Photo: Your Queen
Begin on your hands and knees, with legs spread hip distance apart and hands shoulder distance apart. Take a deep breath and slowly lift your hips up and into the air. Palms should be pressing firmly into the mat with fingers gently splayed, and heels should press down towards the floor, regardless of whether or not they actually touch. Legs and arms press straight, without locking knees or elbows.
Let the shoulders relax and the head hang. With eyes closed come back to your breath, and check in, allowing yourself to feel the body awaken as the back, neck, arms and legs all receive a thorough stretch. Hold the pose for as long as is comfortable, and then slowly lower back down to hands and knees to release the pose.
Warrior Pose II
Photo: Pop Sugar
Begin standing in a wide legged stance, with feet about a foot and a half apart. Then, turn the right foot out so that it is pointing straight ahead, the turn the left foot in. Slowly, bend the right knee, but do not allow it to go past the ankle. Feel free to step your left leg back a bit. Ease into the pose, lifting the arms so they are parallel with the shoulders. Look over the right shoulder, and sit down a little more into the pose, feeling the stretch in your legs.
Maintain a slow, steady breath in and out as you hold the pose for as long as is comfortable. When ready, release the arms back down to your sides, straighten the legs and return to a neutral, wide legged stance. Switch sides, turning the left toes out and the right toes in, and repeat.
Begin standing with both feet together, firmly on the ground, toes pointing straight ahead and arms at your sides. Find a point in front of you to fix your gaze, and allow your eyes to stay focused on this spot as you move into this balancing pose. Begin by bending your right leg at the knee, and placing the bottom of your foot either just above your ankle, below your knee, or above your knee. Practice at your own pace, finding your own balance. Be comfortable with where you are now.
Then, slowly, while maintaining visual focus on the space in front of you, begin to slowly lift your arms straight up and over your head, until the palms touch. The slower you move, the easier it will be to maintain balance. Hold this pose as long as is comfortable, and then gently release. Plant both feet firmly back on the floor, and get grounded again, before repeating on the opposite side.
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Begin again on your hands and knees, with knees hip distance apart and arms shoulder distance apart. Take a deep breath in and lift your head and tailbone, scooping the spine and lifting your shoulder blades. This is cow pose. On the exhale, drop the tailbone first, followed by the head as you round your back, arching it upwards like a stretching feline. Inhale and move back into cow pose, exhale and move back into cat. Continue this at your own pace, following the flow of your own breath. Continue as long as desired, and release by moving back into a neutral position and then sitting back on your heels.