4 Morning Yoga Poses

Your alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and you stumble into the bathroom. You feel groggy, foggy and grumpy. You don't want to wake up. Guess what? You can feel energized, revitalized, and toned for the rest of the day by simply doing these four morning yoga poses during your shower routine.

Pranayama Breathing

10 breaths for more energy

Why: It may sound cheesy but it's true, your breath is your life force. It's what gives you energy and carries you through out the day. Most go through an entire day without taking one deep breath. By taking 10 deep breaths at the beginning of your day you feel extremely energized and start with a clear mind. The extra benefit from doing it in the shower is that the steam can also help you clean your sinus cavities, throat, and lungs so you can breathe cleaner, deeper, stronger and longer for the rest of the day.

How: Allow the water to flow on your chest. Inhale through your nose and bring your arms over your head, exhale through your mouth and bring your arms back by your side. Extend your exhale breaths, making them longer and emphasizing a "haaaaa" sound (even better then singing in the shower). Begin inhale and exhale with four seconds, progress to five and eventually make your breaths six seconds long.

Half Moon

20-second side stretches to blast your desk belly

Why: If you're going to be sitting at your computer, in a meeting, conference or driving your car, this move will help you sit with a tall, strong, correct posture and firmed abdominal muscles. These side bends improve and strengthen every single muscle in the central part of the body and increase the flexibility of the spine. If that "desk belly" is creeping up on you, this will help exercise the colon, pancreas and kidneys to help eliminate abdominal obesity. It also opens your shoulders and can help eliminate lower back pain.

How: Bring your arms over your head and interlace your fingers releasing your index finger. Stretch up towards the ceiling, suck your stomach in and begin to stretch to the right while gently pushing your hips to the left. Allow the water to run down your left armpit and rib cage for a beautiful opening to your left side and compression to the right. Switch and take it to a stretch on the left.

Supported Backward Bend

Trims your waistline, hips, abdomen

Why: The rest of the day you most likely will be in a slight forward bend, hunched over and compressing your spine. Allowing your chest, shoulders, ribcage and throat to open for a few seconds can help you breathe deeper, correct bad posture, and firm and trim waistline, hips, abdomen, buttocks and thighs.

How: Place your hands on your lower back and drop your head back, keep your eyes open. Let the water run on your chest. Tighten your buttocks and push your hips slightly forward. Hold and deepen as your feel comfortable for about 10 seconds.

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