3 morning yoga moves I use to improve mobility and enhance my posture

Energise, mobilise and stand a little taller with these feel-good yoga poses

30 weeks pregnant woman exercising at home. Sitting on exercise mat and working stretching exercise, stretching her legs. Overhead view.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Let's face it: getting up in the morning can often feel like a slog. You can get out of bed feeling heavy, slow and, well, generally a bit scrunched up. If you can relate, then these yoga poses - that are specially designed for the morning could jolt you awake with more lasting energy than a morning coffee (or two).

When picking these exercises, we decided to carefully select the ones that will help to centre your mind and balance your body, all while stretching your hips, waking up your shoulders, and lengthening your spine. The result; you’ll start your day feeling mentally centered, focused, and physically strong - more flexible too.

3 morning yoga moves to improve mobility and posture

1. Cat-Cow (Chakravakasana)

Why I love it: The Cat-Cow will help improve your mobility and boost flexibility in your neck, shoulders, spine, and core. It’s great for switching on the core muscles too, which not only helps protect your lower back but makes it physically easier to stand and sit up straight.

Duration: 1 minute.

How to do it: Start on all fours, with your wrists directly beneath your shoulders and knees directly below your hips. With your weight balanced evenly, breathe in and let your belly drop towards your yoga mat - your tailbone, chest, and chin should rise as your stomach moves downward. 

Pause for a second, and then as you breathe out, press into your hands as you round your spine upward, all while tucking your chin into your chest as your spine rises. 

2. Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

Why I love it: This feel-good forward fold is brilliant at opening up your hips and lower back. It’s also great for increasing the flexibility of your calves and hamstrings and lengthening the back.

Duration: 1-2 minutes.

How to do it: Take a seat on the floor and open your legs as wide as you comfortably can, making sure your toes are pointed towards the sky. Straightening your arms, extend them overhead, take a deep breath in, and as you fold forward from your hips, walk your hands toward your feet. When you can’t go any further, pause and breathe through the stretch before walking your hands back towards you.

3. Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana)

Why I love it: This forward bend will lengthen your spine and legs - particularly the hamstrings and hips. It will also work wonders for your balance and posture whilst helping digestion and calming the mind.

Duration: Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute each side

How to do it: Start by standing straight with your feet together, then place your left foot in front of you, facing forward with your right foot back. Keeping your hips square and facing forward, place your hands on your hips and bend forward, working to keep the spine and neck long as you fold forward. 

Once you feel the stretch in the back of your legs, drop your hands to the floor (or use a yoga block) and hang. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then come back up to standing before swapping the positions of your feet (so your right foot is forward).

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Lucy Miller
Freelance writer

Lucy Miller is a journalist, Level 3 Personal Trainer, Nutritional Advisor and Children’s Fitness Specialist. She holds fitness qualifications from NASM Training and Premier Training International and has been a fitness journalist and fitness (and cover) model for over 20 years. Since going freelance in 2014, Lucy left Men’s Fitness Magazine to write for an abundance of top consumer titles such as Women’s Health, Women’s Fitness, Waitrose, The Times, The Guardian and Runners World.

She’s also extremely passionate when it comes to educating others about health and physical activity and loves inspiring and working with children and adults to help make fitness fun, sustainable and accessible. In her spare time, Lucy is ever the sportswoman. Once a national gymnast, having won three national titles, she has also run a handful of marathons around the world and loves to test her physical and mental side with daily running and gym sessions, not to mention ballet, bootcamp, boxing and TRX.