5-minute morning yoga to seize the day

Story highlights

  • Five minutes of morning yoga can ready the body and mind for the day
  • Breath awareness is an important part of a morning yoga routine
Editor's note: Dana Santas is the creator of Radius Yoga Conditioning, a yoga style designed to help athletes move, breathe and focus better. She's the yoga trainer for the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Lightning, Orlando Magic and dozens of pros in the National Football League, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball.

(CNN)Most of us don't have the luxury of starting our days with the easy-going, sunrise-watching, coffee-sipping routines depicted in commercials. It's usually more about hoping the caffeine kicks in quickly as you juggle getting yourself ready with responding to the demands of your household and buzzing phone. That said, like we're told during inflight safety demonstrations, it's important to put on your oxygen mask before helping others. That's why I recommend five minutes of yoga every morning to set your body and mind right -- before doing anything else.

Although it would be nice to devote more time to morning yoga, the stress of squeezing an hour-long class into a harried schedule might outweigh the benefits. When time is limited, why spend an hour doing something that you can effectively accomplish in five minutes?
My morning yoga practice is designed to efficiently get the body and mind ready for optimal use the rest of the day. The sequence covers a full, functional range of motion that counters our bodies' dominant-side tendencies and inspires movement we might not otherwise experience over the course of a routine day. This not only makes us feel great but can also prevent injury the same way I train my pro athletes for injury prevention, by taking them out of their muscular compensation patterns.