The basis of starting to tune into your body is using the vehicle of breath. Achieving something early in the day is also a great way to build confidence and a sense of self-worth. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Start by sitting with legs out straight. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths, then repeat on other side. Giving yourself an extra hour or half an hour in the mornings to wake up and practice will allow your nervous system to begin the day in a far more relaxed state. One writer tried it—and here’s what it was like.
Rushing is my natural rhythm, even when I try to slow down. Although I hit the snooze button at least three times most days, once I’m out of bed I hurtle through my morning routine and speed walk the entire 15 minutes it takes for me to get to the office. If I do manage to get up at the sound of my first alarm, I go for a run and then hurry about as usual. The problem is, this constant go-go-go often puts me into a frantic state long before I’ve even written my day’s to-do list at work. In an attempt to ease into my day more mindfully, I decided to work yoga into my morning routine. Studies suggest that doing yoga can relieve anxiety and make you more flexible, and since I’m a high-strung person with a running habit and subsequently, tight muscles, I could use both of those benefits. Plus, I’ve been meaning to return to a regular practice. Ever since moving last summer—and saying good-bye to the studio where I was a member—my mat has spent most of its time rolled up in the corner of my living room. I was never a morning yoga-doer before, but it’s a habit I’ve always wanted to get into since it all but ensures you’ll actually hit the mat.
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Bharadvajasana has everything morning yoga poses should have: It lengthens and opens up your spine, back, hips, shoulders, and chest, improving digestion and relieving back pain, to boot. How to: Begin in a seated position with arms relaxed on either side of you. Inhale and lengthen spine. On exhale, use hands to twist torso to the right. Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side. Camel Pose is a heart opener—it physically opens up your chest, increasing lung capacity, allowing you to breathe a little deeper and start the day on a calmer note. How to: Begin in a high kneeling position with hips over your knees so your weight is supported by your shins and the tops of your feet.