This is a simple morning yoga practice for when you don't feel like you have time for yoga. For me, it works best to go to my yoga mat as directly as possible before the day's distractions and obligations pull me away from myself. This is for anyone regardless of yoga experience. It takes all of five minutes to complete, but can be extended. Be well!
Cat/cow warm up: Start on your hands and knees with your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. On an inhalation, move your chest forward as you roll your shoulders back and lift your head, looking toward the ceiling with soft eyes. Broaden across your chest and fill your lungs completely. Hold your breath briefly. As you exhale, start at the tip of your spine and tuck your tailbone between your knees while you press your hands into the floor to round your upper back. Feel your breath move into your back lungs and hold your breath for a moment before you repeat the inhale and complete this cycle 5 more times. Pause.
Transition: From your hands and knees position, extend your arms out straight in front of you. Then, move your hips forward into a half push up position. Inhale and then on an exhale slowly lower your torso to the floor while keeping your torso strong.
Cobra/bhujangasana: With your palms on the floor next to your chest, press them into the floor as you inhale, lifting your chest off the floor. Press the tops of your feet into the floor to stabilize your lower back. How high you go does not matter. Pause after your inhale and then slowly lower down as you exhale. Pause and then repeat 3 more times.
Downward dog/adho mukha svanasana: Press yourself up with your palms and push your hips back into the inverted V position called downward dog. Bend your knees, lift your hips to the ceiling and press your hands into the floor to extend your spine long and let your head hang down. Breathe evenly and smoothly in and out, holding this position for 9 full breaths. (1 breath is a full inhalation and exhalation.)
Walk your feet toward your hands to come to a forward bending position. Then slowly come to a standing position by rolling your spine from the tailbone to the base of the neck, letting your head come up last. Pause and notice how you feel.
Choose the standing pose that your body craves. Some days, it may mean just standing there in a tall mountain pose (tadasana). Other days, you may feel energetic and want to do extended triangle pose/trikonsana or a balancing pose, such as tree/vrksasana. From this point, you may be in a groove and wish to do more than 1 pose. The choice is yours, so enjoy the moment!
Once you have completed the standing pose, you may want to rest for a moment in child's pose with your forehead resting on the floor and your knees bent and arms in a comfortable position. Then, sit up and find a comfortable sitting position (crossed leg or on your knees) that allows your spine to be aligned and long. Take 10 long, steady breaths in and out.
Rest your hands on your thighs and take a few moments to pause and set an intention for your day.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry