There is a sense of calm and stillness in teh early morning hours.
Invite this serenity inward and combine it with and energizing Yoga Asana Practice.
1. Child’s Pose (Balasana): From kneeling, bring your chest to thighs and forehead to the mat. Reach your arms out to the front or stack fists underneath your forehead. Allow the hips to reach back towards the heels. Hold for 5-7 breaths. HELPS: stretch lower back area and relieve back discomfort as your body is just waking up.
2. Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana – Bitilasana): Move onto all fours with wrists beneath shoulders and knees hip width apart. Spread the fingers. Inhale, lift your chest and sitting bones up toward the ceiling, allowing your belly to lower toward the floor. Exhale, round your spine up toward the ceiling as the shoulder blades move apart. Repeat 3 to 5 times. HELPS: stretch the spine and neck.
3. Downward facing dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana):
From all fours, walk the hands slightly forward. Tuck the toes, lift the hips up and back. Move chest back towards thighs. Bend and extend one knee at a time to ease into the stretch along the back of the legs. Roll shoulders away from ears and grip the mat with all fingers tips. Slowly start to straight both legs maintaining the priority of a long spine. Knees can stay bent if needed. Breathe freely. HELPS: strengthen arms and to stretch spine and hamstrings.
4. Low lunge (Anjaneyasana): From downward facing dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, with the right knee aligned over the ankle. Lower your left knee to the floor. Raise your arms up to the ceiling with the palms facing toward each other. Lift your pubic bone toward your navel. Gaze forward or slightly up. Hold for 5-7 breaths and repeat on other side. HELPS: Stretch the thigh & groin.
5. Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2): From a standing position, take a stance of about 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart with heel to heel alignment. Turn your right foot to the front of the mat and your left foot to the left, 90 degrees. Bend your right knee to align it over the ankle. Raise your arms parallel to the floor, palms down. Gaze to right hand. HELPS: build strength & stamina. Hold for 5-7 breaths and repeat on other side.
6. Triangle pose ( Trikonasana): From a standing position, widen your legs to about a leg-length with heel to heel alignment. Turn your right foot to the front of the mat and your left foot slightly inward. Raise your arms parallel to the floor. Reach forward with the right arm and place it on your right shin or a block or grip the big toe. Raise the left arm straight up to ceiling. Maintain the length in the torso and the openness in the chest. Gaze up to the finger up or down depending on comfort of the neck. Hold for 5-7 breaths and repeat on other side. Helps, stretch the hamstrings and the side waist.
7. Seated Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matysendrasana): Come down to the mat. Sit up straight with legs out stretched in front of you. Bend the right knee and place the foot on the outside of the left thigh. Place the right hand on the floor behind you close to the hip. Inhale, extend the left arm up to the ceiling. Exhale, twist to the right & hook the arm on the outside of the right thigh or hug the knee close to chest. Hold for 5-7 breaths & repeat on other side. Helps, nourish the nervous system and releases tension along the spine.
8. Corpse pose (Savasana): Lie on your back. Have your hand by side of hips with palms up. Let your feet flop to either side. Rest and relax the body and mind.
Source: YogaLife Magazine October-December 2017 Edition.