Do you always start your day with coffee? Try starting with our favorite morning yoga poses at one of our all-inclusive retreats instead.

Modern society requires us to rush – when the alarm goes off in the morning, we jump out of bed and hit the day running. Usually this necessitates caffeine, sometimes in unhealthy amounts; however, trying a more relaxed method of waking up and starting the day could improve concentration, mental clarity, mood, and overall quality of life. Try these five yoga poses instead of your normal coffee routine to start your day with a more positive outlook:

To begin, slowly inhale and exhale for a minute or two. Then breathe and relax in the yoga poses—don’t rush yourself, and remember this will take less than 10 minutes of your time. Hold each stretch for two full breaths.


  • Cat-Cow Pose


Come onto your hands and knees, stacking your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Begin to move your spine in a rhythmic motion: With every inhalation, arch your back and lift your sitting bones and chest into Cow; with every exhalation, round your back and tuck your chin and pelvis into Cat.


  • Table Top, variation


From all fours, lift your belly in toward your spine. Extend your right leg and left arm. Bend your right leg and take hold of your foot with your left hand. Kick your foot into your hand as you begin to twist and open your chest into a backbend. Try gazing up. This pose creates heat, challenges your balance, and gently warms up your spine. Repeat on the other side.


  • Knee-to-Nose Pose


From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, lift your right leg up high behind you, then round your spine as you draw knee to chest. Keep your pelvis low and round your upper spine toward the sky. Touch your right thigh to your chest and knee to your nose. Keep pressing the floor with your hands. Return to Downward Dog and then repeat with the left leg.


  • Flip Your Dog


From Downward Dog, lift your right leg and arm and pivot on your left foot. Spin your torso and hips open to the ceiling, and lower your right foot down to the inside of your left foot. Reach your right arm toward the wall behind you. Keep your feet parallel to each other, pressing firmly into the floor. Return to Downward Dog and do Flip Dog on the other side.


  • Side Plank Pose – Vasisthasana


Un-flip your Dog and roll your heels to the right. Shift your weight into your right hand and the outer edge of your right foot. Stack your left foot on top of your right. Fire up your thigh muscles; press your feet and hand down as you lift your hips. Extend your left arm to the ceiling. (If this is too intense, you can lower your bottom knee to the floor.) Return to Downward Dog and repeat on the left.

Yoga poses – Yoga Journal.

You and your significant other can start your days relaxing in paradise in our Couples Only AcroYoga Retreat with Anthony Alcalde – January 22-28, 2017 or April 2-8, 2017. Learn more now!