It’s important to start the morning off right to set the tone and pace that will carry you through your day. A great way to do that is by adding some gently restorative and organically energizing movement to your morning routine, and you don’t need to wake up a whole hour earlier to fit it in.
A tight 15 minutes in the morning with this quick-flow yoga routine will have you feeling stretched, refreshed, and energized so that you can tackle your day.
Remember, whether you’re working with a yoga instructor, taking a yoga class in person or online, or just practicing a few yoga poses to stretch out and feel good with an at-home yoga practice, if any pose is ever too difficult or you just need a rest between combinations, you can always take Child’s Pose.
Seated Forward Fold
Start in an easy seat position and take a few breaths here as you ground yourself through your sit bones.
Breathe in as you raise your arms above your head and stretch tall towards the sky.
Hinge from the hips as you slowly lean forward, exhaling as you go, until you are fully folded over your legs with your hands on the ground in front of you for support.
Take a few breaths here, lengthening through your lower back with each inhale and folding deeper into the stretch with each exhale.
When you can stretch no further, take a final breath or two before walking yourself back up to an Easy Seat.
Cat-Cow Lunge Combination
Start in a Table Top position with your hands rooted into the ground directly below your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.
Tuck your toes and root through the L’s of your hands as you inhale.
As you exhale, push yourself up to your toes and let your hips come high as you straighten through your upper body so you’re making an inverted V shape with your body for a Downward Facing Dog position.
Take a breath here as you lift your hips, straighten your legs, and soften your ankles towards the ground.
Inhale and drive your right heel up and back so that your leg is in line with your upper body.
Bring your right leg down and under your body as you exhale until your foot comes between your hands for a Low Lunge position.
As you inhale, bring your chest up, head high, and shoulders back to lengthen and curve your lower back allowing your hips to drop as you take a slight bend in your left knee for a Cow Lunge position.
Reverse the motion, curl your spine, roll your shoulders forward, let your head fall, straighten your back leg, and pull your stomach in towards your spine as you exhale completely.
Repeat the flow between Cow and Cat for 5 breath cycles.
Return to a Low Lunge position.
Step your right foot back to return to Downward Dog.
Repeat from step 5 with your left leg, ending at Downward Dog.
Standing Eagle Combination
From your Downward Dog position in the last combination, walk your hands back towards your legs and come to a standing Forward Fold position.
Slowly start to roll up through your spine from bottom to top until you are standing straight.
Breathe in and reach your arms up overhead as you root down through your feet.
Release your arms down to your sides, palms facing forward, then roll your shoulders back to come into a Mountain stance.
Bring your right knee up level with your hips and allow your lower leg to hang down straight.
Take a slight bend in the hips and lean forward as you wrap your right leg over your left and hook your right foot behind your left calf.
Bring your arms in front of you, wrap your right arm around your left and try to press your palms together.
Hold for 3-5 breaths. With each inhale, push your elbows further away from your body, and with each inhale, squeeze your thighs together and sink a bit lower in your seat.
Release your arms and legs and return to a Mountain stance.
Repeat from step 5 with your left leg and arm wrapping over the right.
End in a Mountain stance.
Warrior II Combination
From your Mountain stance, first, make sure you are facing the top of your mat, then, inhale as you reach your arms overhead.
Hinge from the hips and swan dive forward as you exhale to come to a Forward Fold.
Step both feet back to come into Downward Dog and hold the pose for 1-3 breaths as you drive your hips high, straighten through the knees, and lower your heels towards the mat.
Bring your right leg up to the sky as you inhale then step it forward between your hands with the exhale.
Inhale as you push through your legs and lift your torso up.
Take a moment here in your exhale to adjust your stance if necessary before taking another inhale and reaching your arms overhead to come into the Warrior I pose.
Hold Warrior I for 1-3 breaths.
Lower your arms and keep your left leg extended as you turn your left foot so it’s perpendicular to the alignment of your front foot and your right heel is pointing towards your left arch.
Shift your weight slightly forward to bring your right knee to a 90-degree angle with your knee stacked over your ankle and extend your arms out to either side, palms facing down, as you gaze right over your arm in the Warrior II pose.
Take 1-3 breaths here.
Reach forward with your right arm as you exhale and drive even more of your weight into your front foot.
Flip your right palm up and raise your right arm to the sky as you inhale and drop your left arm down to your back leg where you should feel a deep stretch.
Exhale and lower your right arm down to rest it on your forearm on your right thigh.
Reach up, overhead, and forward with your left arm as you inhale and sink into your right arm and leg.
Inhale as you raise your torso back up and level your arms out into the Warrior II pose once again.
Drop your arms back down to the mat on either side of your front foot as you exhale, then inhale as you set back to Downward Dog.
Repeat from step 4 with your left leg in front.
Finish in the Downward Dog position.
Core Floor Combination
From Downward Dog, drop down to your knees to take a quick Table Top position before sitting back on your heels then swing your feet out in front of you to rest on the mat.
Lean back as you lift your arms out in front of you and raise your legs so that your shins are parallel to the ground for a Boat pose.
Hold the boat for 1-3 breaths then release your arms down and your feet back flat to the mat.
Place your arms behind you with your fingers facing forward and root through the heels of your feet.
Inhale as you push up through your feet and hands to come to a Reverse Table Top position where your hips are straight making a flat surface from your torso to your knees.
Let your head relax down as you hold the pose for 1-3 breaths.
Release your hips back down to the mat.
Keep your feet on the mat as you lower your back to a Supine Bent Knee position.
Press down through your feet and shoulders as you lift your hips to come into a Bridge pose.
Work your arms under your back to drive your chest further from the ground as you hold for 3-5 breaths.
Release your arms back out to the sides and lower your hips back down to the mat.
Lift your torso back up to a seated position and repeat from step 2.
End in Supine Bent Knee position.
Final Floor Stretches
From Supine Bent Knee, lift your right leg and straighten your knee then grab the back of your thigh with both hands to pull it as close to your chest as you can while still keeping your knee straight.
Lengthen your left leg straight down to the mat as you bend your right knee.
Pull your whole bent leg against your chest to feel the stretch now in your hip and hold it for 3-5 breaths.
As you exhale, roll your right leg over to your left side letting your hips stack over each other and creating a twist in the spine as you keep your shoulder blades pressed to the mat in a Supine Twist.
Take 3-5 deep breaths in this position as you allow your body to relax into the twist and release tension in your spine.
Roll your right leg back over so that you are flat on your back.
Bring the soles of your feet together as close to your body as is comfortable allowing your knees to fall out to either side for a Supine Butterfly pose.
Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths before returning both feet to the mat.
Repeat the leg stretch and Supine Twist with your left leg, you don’t have to repeat the Supine Butterfly, but you can.
Bring both of your feet up as close to in line with your shoulders as possible so that your thighs are pressed against your torso, but wide so that your knees can slide between your arms and the rest of your body as your reach up to grab hold of the soles of your feet in a Happy Baby pose.
Take 3-5 breaths here as you open your hips and relax your spine.
Release your feet but keep your knees bent and hug your knees to your chest for 1-3 breaths.
Release completely and let your arms and legs fall out to the sides.
Find a comfortable position and let your body sink into the floor as you take your closing Savasana pose.
You can stay here as long as you like to move through your morning meditation, plan your day, or just until it feels right.
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