The Perfect Yoga Sequence For Energising Your Day
Starting your morning off with an energising yoga session can be the perfect way to lay the foundations needed for a positive, productive and enjoyable day ahead.
You don’t even need to set aside an hour, or even half an hour, to gain all the benefits that yoga has to offer. As little as 10 minutes a day can have a profound impact on your physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. By starting your day with yoga, you can cultivate the energy, focus and positive intentions needed to get you off on the right foot.
Surya Namaskar - Sun Salutations
Surya Namaskar, or ‘Sun Salutations’, is a sequence of asanas that flow on from each other and can be practised in a continuous flow. It involves two rounds, that each subtly focuses on the right, then left side, working to create balance in both body and mind.
It is ideal for practising first thing in the morning, as this is when your mind and body are fresh from sleep, and the energies of the day are in full flow.
In participating in this sequence, you can:
- Wake, stretch and strengthen your body.
- Stimulate the function of all the internal systems of your body.
- Boost oxygen and blood flow needed to stimulate brain and muscle function.
- Cultivate body and mind awareness.
- Set a positive intention of mindfulness, focus and productivity for your day.
Though there are slight variations of Surya Namaskar, generally it uses 12 asanas that are practised flowing from one to another, reversing back halfway, to return to the starting position.
Pranamasana - Prayer Pose
- Stand with your feet together, and your body tall and upright.
- Place your hands, palms together, in prayer position at the chest. Making sure your forearms are parallel to the floor.
- Gaze straight ahead, or have the eyes closed, as you take a slow, deep breath in and out before moving into hasta unttanasana.
- Hasta Uttanasana - Raised Arm Pose
- Inhaling as you raise your arms above your head, either keeping the palms together or separating your hand's shoulder width apart.
As you do this gently push your hips forward as you arch your arms and back slightly, looking up and back.
Uttanhadasnana - Standing Forward Bend
- Exhale as you stretch your arms forwards over your head, then down towards the ground, bending from your hips and slowly rolling your head, neck and torso towards the ground.
Try to keep your back straight in this final position and allow the knees to be slightly bent if needed.
Ashwa Sanchalanasana - Equestrian Pose
- Bend your knees and bring your hands to rest on the ground, at either side of your feet.
- Take your right leg as far back as comfortable, balancing on your right toes and knee, as your left knee bends to a 90-degree angle.
- Look forward as you lift your chest and stretch your hips towards the ground
- Adho Mukha Shavasana - Downward Facing Dog
- Inhale as you step back with your left leg, placing your feet just slightly apart
- Exhale as you stretch your hips towards the ceiling, straightening your back and lowering your head between your shoulders. Making a straight line from head to hips.
Dandasana - Plank Pose
Slowly lower your body down into a plank position, with your arms straight, and bringing the head, neck, trunk and legs in line, perpendicular to the floor.
Ashtanga Namaskar - 8 Limbed Pose
- Lower your chin, chest and knees towards the ground at the same time, holding this position for a moment.
Your elbows are bent, and your hips stay raised off the mat.
Bhujangasana - Cobra Pose
- Lower your whole body onto the mat, then with your palms still face down beside your shoulders, push to help lift your head, neck and chest of the mat and arch backwards.
Tilting your chin up slightly, as you straighten your arms.
Adho Mukha Shavasana - Downward Facing Dog
- Push down through your arms and lift your hips up off the mat and towards the ceiling, Moving back into this pose.
Exhale as you straighten your back and positioning your head between your shoulders.
- Ashwa Sanchalanasana - Equestrian Pose
- Lower your hips as you bend your right knee bringing it forward and placing the foot between your hands, so your right knee forms a 90-degree angle.
- Lowering your left knee to the mat, so you are balancing on the left toes and knee.
Look forward as you lift your chest and stretch your hips towards the ground.
- Uttanhadasnana - Standing Forward Bend
- Step your left leg forward, placing the foot beside the right. Have the knees slightly bent of needed, so you can bend from the hips and place both hands on the outsides of each foot.
Keep your torso folded forwards, relaxing your head and neck and keeping your back as straight as possible.
Pranamasana - Prayer Pose
- Engage through your core as you take your arms out to either side while raising your torso up into an upright position.
Place your palms together in front of your body, then bring them into prayer position at the centre of your chest.
- Repeat on the opposite side
- Complete the same sequence, again, this time taking your left leg back first, when moving into the first equestrian pose, and then bringing your left leg forward when moving back into the second equestrian pose.
- This works to balance both the left and right sides and makes up a complete round of Surya Namaskar.
About the Author:
Hannah is an Australian born writer who specializes in Fitness, Nutrition, & Spirituality. She holds a degree in social science, a diploma in Health Science and a diploma in Yogic Studies and Teaching. Hannah is certified yoga instructor and personal trainer with over 10 years experience .