Wake up and energize your body and mind by starting your day with these 8 Yang yoga poses…
Ancient Eastern modalities classify energy as being either Yin or Yang. Yin energy is related to passivity, coolness, and grounding/Earth centered focus. Yang relates to heat, dynamic energy, and an upward or external focus. Yin is also traditionally associated with the female, and Yang with the male, although all of us experience a mix of both Yin and Yang energy throughout our lifetimes – and even throughout each day!
Yoga is a great way to help balance the different types of energy in your own body through specific poses and movements. There is a specific type of yoga called Yin yoga, which is focused on slow, deep stretches. But energetically speaking, dynamic and energetic yoga classes are considered more “Yang,” while restorative-type, slow and relaxing sequences are more “Yin.”
To maintain a balanced energy flow, it is generally best to practice Yang yoga exercises in the morning to boost your energy for the day ahead, and Yin yoga at night to help you wind down before resting.
We will cover some Yin yoga poses next week, but today we’re sharing some great Yang yoga poses to do in the morning to get your day off to a great start! These dynamic poses will help to wake you up, stretch, strengthen, and tone your muscles, improve circulation, increase stamina, and release tension throughout your body to activate your energy for the day ahead.
Do this sequence of Yang yoga poses every morning if possible to awaken and energize your body and mind:
- Mountain Pose with Palms Facing Forward – Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms down by your sides with palms facing outwards.
- Standing Wind Release Pose with Prayer Hands – Place the palms against each other in front of your chest, and then lift your right leg until it’s bent at the knee in a 90 degree angle. Point your toes downward. Stay balanced using your hips, feet, chest, and core.
- Standing Wind Release Pose with Arms Raised – Raise your arms into the space above your head and bring the right thigh higher, maintaining the pose but pressing the thigh closer to your body.
- Warrior 3 Squat Pose – Slowly hinge your torso at the waist by bending your left knee and sending the right leg back and straight behind you. Then, with your head bent, stretch your arms in front of you and stretch your spine. Balance is supported here with the use of your core and left foot.
- Twisted Lizard Pose – Place the hands on the floor at the same time that you lower your right foot to the floor. Press into the left knee with your torso, sending the knee and thigh outwards. Twist your body and face towards the left side so that the shoulders, chest, and hips remain parallel to the floor. Continuously stretch the body so that you’re as close to the floor as possible.
- Nectar of the Moon Pose 2 – Lift the torso up and keep pressing the right hand into the floor. Reach the left arm back and twist your shoulders and chest to the left and back. Maintain your balance with your feet firm on the ground.
- Downward Facing Dog – Send the left foot back to meet the right foot at hip width apart. Keep both hands on the ground in front you, shoulder width apart. Push back into your hips and stretch, head resting and facing the floor.
- Three Legged Downward Facing Dog – Raise the left leg and stretch the left hips. Press your hands into the floor, stretching the shoulders and chest. Return your left foot to the floor and repeat raising your right leg.
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