The best yoga asanas
to do in the morning

You probably feel stiff in the morning, which is totally normal after several hours of sleeping, so it's best to focus on stretches that will gently wake up the body. Simple folds and twists are good places to start. These are particularly helpful for encouraging circulation through the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is an immune system network that prevents infection, brings fatty acids to the circulatory system, and removes interstitial fluid in your intestines, so it needs to be in the best shape possible.

By activating your lymphatic system early in the morning, you'll give yourself a boost of energy and set yourself up for a clearer day. However, keep in mind that you shouldn't go to your absolute maximum in these postures. The a.m. is for gentle waking up, not pushing yourself to the limits.

Standing Forward Fold

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and fold over your legs. Let your hands rest on the floor or grab your opposite elbows to swing back and forth. Roll forward so most of the body weight is in your toes and keep your abdominals engaged to protect your lower spine. Hang here for three full minutes — and see if you don't get a pleasant head rush on your way up.

Standing Side Stretch

We have hundreds of lymph nodes underneath the arms, along the sides of the chest, and in the abdominal area, which is why side stretches can do wonders for waking up our lymphatic system. Start with your feet hip-width apart, bring your right arm up, and bend over to the left. Keep your gaze down to keep tension out of the neck. Stay here for 30 seconds on each side. Alternate as many times as you'd like.

Supine Twist

The easiest of twists can feel divine in the morning. Lie on your back, bring your knees into your chest, and let them fall to one side. Extend your other arm out and bring gaze that way. Stay here for a few minutes, or as much time as you have. Switch sides.

Modified Lunge

This will get your lower half warmed up for the day. Step one foot back in a lunge and set your knee on the ground. Sink into your front knee but don't let your knee track out over your toes. You should start to feel this in your hip flexor and front thigh area. If you feel comfortable here with your hands on your leg, stay where you are. If you want a little more oomph, bring your arms over your head and look up. Stay for 3-5 full breaths and switch sides.