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An energizing morning yoga practice can work as a natural stimulant to set you up for a productive day. This backbending sequence will help warm up the body and bring you from repose to refresh. Many of us sleep with the spine and hips rounded in fetal position, which is calming and introspective for rest and contemplation. In contrast, backbends stretch and extend the spine and hips and bring an energetic openness to the body, preparing you for action. Take 10, 20, or 30 minutes every morning to practice, and you’ll start your day wide-awake and full of life.
Practice Tip: Start in Child’s Pose, with your knees wide and your arms extended forward, for several deep breaths. Gather your energy and get ready to move.
Instructions: Practice once, holding each pose for 10–12 breaths or 1 minute (or 30 seconds on each side). Then repeat 2 more times, moving more quickly and taking one breath per pose.
If You Have 10 Minutes…
Kick start your day with this energizing 5-pose sequence.
If You Have 20 Minutes…
Have a little more time? Add these poses to your sequence.
If You Have 30 Minutes…
Finish off your morning wake-up routine with these poses—17 asanas to rejuvenate and energize.
Teacher Paige Elenson is a Baptiste Power Vinyasa teacher and co-founder of the Africa Yoga Project. She lives in Nairobi, Kenya, with her 2-year-old daughter. Model Walter Mugwe is a Baptiste Power Vinyasa teacher based in Nairobi. As an Africa Yoga Project instructor, he has taught yoga to thousands of youths in Kenya.