A 5-Minute, Energizing Morning Yoga Routine
Want more energy in the mornings? This warrior sequence gets your legs, arms, and core activated and helps get your body awake and revved up for the day. I think it's much better than a cup of coffee because it gives you sustained energy that lasts all morning long.
You can do this routine at any time, though, when you need a little adrenaline rush. Added bonus: working your larger muscle groups (like your legs and butt) helps jump start your metabolism, too.
Start with Awkward Chair: With your feet together, sit back as if you're lowering into a chair. Raise your arms up alongside your ears and hold for 5 to 8 breaths. Keep your abdominals engaged and feel your legs working hard to support you in your squat.
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Now on an inhalation, step your left foot back into a long lunge and press your heel down for Warrior 1 pose. Try to keep your hips facing forward and angle your back foot 75 degrees forward. Press your palms firmly above you and look up toward your fingers.
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On an exhalation, stretch your arms out to Warrior 2 pose. Warrior 2 is a fierce pose and gets you connected to your breath, core, and lower body. Your right knee should roll open toward the pinky toe side of the right foot. Anchor your outer left foot and let it turn out a bit more toward 45 degrees.
On an inhalation, lift onto the ball of your left foot coming into a High Lunge. Make sure your legs far long enough apart that your knee stays directly above your front ankle (not moving forward past it) and press firmly through your back heel.
On your exhalation, step back to Awkward Chair, staying low in your squat. Repeat the entire sequence on your left side. Do this a total of 3 times on each side. Use one breath per movement to keep flowing.
Kristin McGee is a leading yoga and Pilates instructor and healthy lifestyle expert based in New York City. She is an ACE certified personal trainer who regularly trains celebrity clients in New York and Los Angeles. She serves as Healthâ€™s contributing fitness editor and is frequently seen on national TV. Her latest in a large collection of fitness DVDs is YogaSlim. Follow her on Twitter @KristinMcGee and like her page on Facebook.