I am still recovering from being ill these past couple of days, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my yoga practice. I decided to come up with a super quick and restorative sequence that I could do in the morning and that would also perk me up. I have been doing it today and I actually feel so much better. I listened to my body and did the poses that it needed.
This sequence only takes 5 minutes so can easily be fit into your day. They are gentle poses so you won’t really need a change of clothes, you can just do it wherever you are, as long as there is space on the floor! I have found this yoga flow amazing at restoring balance in my life and releasing negative emotions that I have subconsciously been hanging on too (all the hip openers and backbends are great for this!) Doing this in the morning is perfect to start your day fresh with space for new opportunities.
Start in child’s pose. I always start here. It grounds me for the rest of my practice.
In child’s pose have your knees wide – about mat distance apart. This creates a beautiful and gentle hip opener for the beginning of the practice. Here you can breath and start to release anything you want too. Child’s pose also stretches out the spine, perfect after a long sleep! Take time to connect to your breath and set your intention here.
Next move into downward facing dog. This pose is a classic yoga pose. It stretches the hamstrings and is a slight inversion, bringing oxygen to your brain and waking you up.
Peddle out your downward dog if you like. Bring movement to your practice and movement to your morning. Give your body whatever it needs.
So next come into rag doll. This is also an inversion so will flush your brain with even more oxygen. This will wake you up and make space for new creative thoughts in your mind, these will have an impact on the rest of your day.
Oh and one more thing, according to Iyengar, inversions are really helpful when trying to get rid of a cold, so an added bonus there! (Source- Light On Yoga)
Next up runner’s lunge! This is a really gentle hip opener, perfect for in the morning when you will be tight. If you are practicing in the evening and you have been sitting all day it will counteract that. I love runner’s lunge and I can really feel it opening me up, my muscles seem to stretch and soften the longer I stay in the pose. Play around to find where the perfect point is for your body and then stay there for a few breaths.
From runner’s lunge, pick up your back foot and come to balancing on your front foot. You can play around here with any balance. I chose standing splits, but really just go into your favourite! Get messy!
Balancing poses do restore balance in our lives. They force us to ground ourselves on our mat, then we take this feeling of being grounded into the rest of our day.
They also settle our thoughts. In order to balance and not fall we must steady the mind. This will also stay with us (hopefully) throughout the day. With practice the thoughts in your mind will begin to settle, like ripples on a lake. In that stillness we find our divine self and true creativity.
From standing splits you can take a rag doll and transition to runners lunge on the other side. Flow through the asanas however you like. You can hold for 5 breaths or one breath per movement. Really tune into your body, and your intuition and it will guide you in your practice.
When you have finished flowing, come down onto your mat, lying on your stomach. Move into an extended cobra. With your arms extended this will protect your lower back from crunching. A gentle backbend will release emotions, specifically from the past. By moving into this pose we open our hearts, this makes us feel vulnerable both on a physical and emotional level. But from this vulnerability we are able to move into our true being.
Vulnerability is something I am really working on at the moment. I find it so hard, I don’t know why. It scares me. But that is beautiful in itself. I will be doing lots of backbends to challenge this feel of vulnerability and step out my comfort zone. I invite you to do the same.
Finally come into some more meditative poses before you finish your practice. Supta baddha konasana is a deep resting pose. It will be where you can release any final emotions you still have within you. Let them all bubble up to the surface: both positive and negative. Until all you are left with is unwavering joy and peace.
Then when you are ready come into your final resting pose- savasana.
I love you all.
For the super correct alignment I would read Journey into Power by Baron Baptiste, but just go with how your body feels. If it doesn’t feel good then play around and change the pose to fit YOU! These books by Baron Baptiste are slightly less about the physical asana and more about life but super helpful: Perfectly Imperfect and Being of Power.