Whether you've had a late night, a big weekend or just a rubbish sleep, getting out of bed in the morning can feel like a superhuman effort when your cosy warm bed is sucking you back in.
We wanted to know the secret to bounding out of bed, ready to greet the day. So we called in the big guns. Yogi extraordinaire Hollie Bradley from Omm Collective gave us the low-down on how you can get an energy burst in just 5 minutes with only 5 poses. "Yoga is the best way to warm up and strengthen your body first thing in the morning, it will steady the mind and clear and sharpen your thoughts for the day ahead, not only will it help to wake up the body, but also make you feel stronger emotionally and physically."
If you're lucky enough to live on the Gold Coast, you can follow Hollie on Facebook to find out where she'll be teaching next - trust us, we're devastated us Sydney Siders can't access her incredible brand of Zen (yet!) If you're a Dance, Yoga or Pilates teacher, check out Hollies revolutionary new app Omm Collective
No need to even change, your pj's are the perfect loose, comfy option to get your yogi on! Unless you sleep nude, in which case put some clothes on dude....
Start by finding a space where you have room to move, if you have a yoga mat awesome, if you don't a towel is fine too. Stand at the top of your mat or towel and take a few deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on drawing the breath right down into your abdomen and
visualise your body filling up with energy and vitality.
We recommend performing all poses in the sequence on one side, then returning to standing (Tadasana) before completing the sequence on the other side.
Pose 1 - Warrior 1
Virabhadrasana I stretches the whole front side of the body while strengthening the thighs, ankles, and back. This is a powerful standing pose that develops stamina, balance, and coordination. It tones the abdomen, ankles, and arches of the feet. This pose also stretches the chest and lungs, improving breathing capacity and invigorating the body. It also encourages greater flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the feet, increasing circulation as it warms all of the muscles.
Mentally, Warrior I creates deep concentration. Focusing on your foundation and building the pose from the ground up reduces distractions and hones your energy. Your mind becomes focused, calm, and clear.
How to do it:
Standing with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Let your thoughts settle. Focus on the present moment. Breathe deeply and evenly, calming your mind. Draw your awareness inward. Turn to the left.
Exhale as you step your right foot forwardfeet wide apart, about 4 to 5 feet.
Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat.
Pivot your left foot inwards at a 45-degree angle.
Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Keep your pelvis turned toward the front of your mat.
Press your weight through your left heel. Then, exhale as you bend your right knee over your right ankle. Your shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Lift through the arches of your feet, while rooting down through your ankles.
Reach up strongly through your arms. Broaden across your belly, lengthen the sides of your waist, and lift through your chest. Keep your palms and fingers active and reaching.
Gently tilt your head back and gaze up at your thumbs. Keep your shoulders dropped away from your ears. Feel your shoulder blades pressing firmly inward.
Press down through the outer edge of your back foot, keeping your back leg straight.
Hold for 5 breaths.
Pose 2 - Warrior 2
A powerful stretch for the legs, groin, and chest, Virabhadrasana II also increases stamina. It helps to relieve backaches, and stimulates healthy digestion.
This is a deep hip-opening pose that strengthens the muscles in the thighs and buttocks. It tones the abdomen, ankles, and arches of the feet. This pose also opens the chest and shoulders, improving breathing capacity and increasing circulation throughout the body. It is also known to be therapeutic for flat feet, sciatica, infertility, and osteoporosis.
More than just a physical posture, Warrior II increases your ability to concentrate. As you hone your gaze, you direct your mind clearly and with intention. Distractions disappear and your energy becomes powerful and focused.
How to do it:
From your warrior 1 position, twist your torso to align with the long edge of the mat and release your arms out to shoulder height, so they’re parallel to the floor. Your arms should be aligned directly over your legs, 1 reaching forward and one reaching back. With your palms facing down, reach actively from fingertip to fingertip.
Press down through the outer edge of your back foot, and keep your back leg straight.
Keep your torso perpendicular to the floor, with your head directly over your tailbone. Do not lean towards your front leg.
Turn your head to gaze out across the tip of your right middle finger. Broaden across your collarbones and lengthen the space between your shoulder blades. Engage your triceps. Drop your shoulders and lift your chest.
Draw your belly in toward your spine. Keep your torso open, not turned toward the front leg.
Hold for 5 breaths.
Pose 3 - Extended Side Angle Pose
Parsvakonasana relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back. It provides a deep stretch to the groins and hamstrings, and it also improves stamina. This pose strengthens the legs, knees, and ankles, while also stretching and toning the abdominal muscles. It is known to be therapeutic for constipation, infertility, sciatica, menstrual discomfort, and low backache.
This pose requires and builds strength throughout the entire body, and is therefore best practiced closer to the beginning or the middle of a standing pose sequence.
How to do it:
From Warrior II, exhale and lower your right arm so your forearm rests on your right thigh.
Reach your left arm up towards the ceiling, and then extend your arm over the top of your head. Your left bicep should be over your left ear, and your fingertips should be reaching in the same direction your front toes are pointing. Keep your chest, hips, and legs in one straight line, extended over your front leg.
Turn your head to look up at the ceiling. Keep your throat soft and your breathing smooth. Relax your face.
To deepen the pose, lower your front hand to the floor, placing your palm next to the inside arch of your front foot. For a deeper chest and shoulder opening, place your front hand on the outside of your front foot. You can also rest your front hand on a yoga block.
Make sure your front knee does not drop inward. Keep your front thigh externally rotating with your knee drawn slightly toward the baby toe of your front foot. Press firmly through the outer edge of your back foot.
Hold for up to one minute.
To release, press firmly through your back foot. Then, exhale as you slowly come up to a standing position with your arms extended at shoulder-height. Turn your feet and body so they face the same direction, and then step your feet together. Return to the top of your mat in Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
Note: if you're an experienced yogi, you may like to include these poses as part of a vinyasa, placing both hands on the floor and stepping back into Downward Dog before bringing your shin through for Pigeon
Pose. If this sounds like a foreign language to you, don't panic! Just return to standing before you come down to the floor for the next pose.
Pose 4 - Pigeon Pose
Yup! You heard it right. Otherwise known as 'One Legged King Pigeon Pose' Activities and sports that include running and jumping can make the outer hips tight, and sitting for long periods of time can shorten and stiffen the front hip flexors. One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (usually referred to as “Pigeon Pose”) is a powerful hip-opener that can help increase flexibility and the range of motion in the hip joints.
How to do it:
Begin in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), or on your hands and knees in Table Pose.
Bring your right knee between your hands, placing your right ankle near your left wrist. Extend your left leg behind you so your kneecap and the top of your foot rest on the floor.
Press through your fingertips as you lift your torso away from your thigh. Lengthen the front of your body. Release your tailbone back toward your heels. Work on squaring your hips and the front side of your torso to the front of your mat.
Draw down through your front-leg shin and balance your weight evenly between your right and left hips. Flex your front foot. Press down through the tops of all five toes of the back foot.
Gaze downward softly.
Hold for 5 breaths. To release the pose, tuck your back toes, lift your back knee off the mat, and then press yourself back into Downward-Facing Dog. Alternatively you can sweep the back leg around and come into a sitting position, ready for the final pose.
Pose 5 - Seated Twist
Folding into Marichyasana I or Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi I calms your mind, extends your spine, and gives your internal organs a healthy squeeze. Marichi literally means 'ray of light' what better way to start your morning!
How to do it:
Sit with your legs straight out in front of you in Staff Pose (Dandasana)
Take hold of the back of the left thigh and draw the knee in, keeping the muscles of the left leg as soft as possible.
Plant the left foot flat on the floor on the opposite side of your right leg,
Inhale and reach the right arm up, extending through the right side.
Exhale, keep the lift in the side body and place the right arm against the outer left thigh.
Inhale and lengthen up through the left side.
Exhale, twist your torso to the left as you reach your left arm behind you, gazing towards the back of the room.
Hold the pose for 5 breaths.
Inhale and release out of the pose.
Exhale and return to Dandasana (Staff Pose).
Note: This article is intended as a guide only. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider before starting a new exercise regime.