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A Yoga Routine To Kick-Start Your Day



The trees are starting to flower with blossoms, the days are getting longer... Spring is starting to 'spring' into action!
So I thought, why not go with nature's flow and start the day by 'springing' into action too!
(badum tss)
If you're not a morning person, bear with me,
this yoga routine starts off slow with some centering and meditative breathing, the energy building throughout the routine which really makes you feel empowered and hyped for the day!
So yawn, stretch and crawl onto your yoga mat with me for this
Yoga Routine to Kick-Start Your Day...


When doing the poses, breathe from your abdomen and ensure that you go at you own pace and to your own ability - don't worry about what you think yoga poses are 'supposed' to look like or getting a pose 'perfect', that's not what yoga is about.
Yoga is about letting go and finding and doing what feels good!



1. Thunderbolt Pose/Vajrasana

Sit with your hips on your heels, palms relaxed on your thighs. Sit up tall, aligning your head over your heart and your heart over your pelvis. Draw the shoulder blades down, lift your sternum and tuck your chin in slightly
Stay here for 1 minute (10-15 breaths).





2. Vajrasana Right Twist

Inhale as you lift your sternum, bringing your left palm to the outer edge of your right thigh and your right fingertips to the mat behind you to twist gently.
Stay here for a few breaths.




3. Vajrasana Left Twist

Exhale back to centre, then lift your sternum on an inhale, bringing your right palm to the outer edge of your left thigh and your left fingertips to the mat behind you to twist gently.
Stay here for a few breaths before exhaling back to centre.







4. Cat-Cow Pose/Chakravakasana

Cow Pose: Start on all fours, wrists underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips, keeping the neck long.
On an inhale, drop your belly, keeping the abdomen muscles hugging your spine and gaze up towards the ceiling (or sky). Draw your shoulder blades away from your ears..





Cat Pose: On an exhale press onto the tops of your feet as you round your back towards the ceiling, pulling your stomach towards you spine and bringing your gaze towards your navel.
*Those with neck injuries should keep the head inline with the torso.
Repeat this spinal flex for about 5-10 breaths.




5. Lions Pose/Simhasana


Bring your big toes together, keeping your knees wide and sitting back on your heels.
Place your palms in front of you and turn them so that your fingertips are pointing behind you. Spread your fingers.
Inhale deeply through your nose then to exhale, open your mouth wide, sticking your tongue out and curling it toward the chin, open your eyes wide looking toward your third eye and contract the muscles in the front of your throat exhaling slowly with a distinct 'ha' sound.
Do this about 5 times (or more, its fun!).




6. Plank Pose/Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana
 
Walk your hands forward and you step your feet back, hip-width distance apart. Press up and out of the palms, arms slightly bent. Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists, feet flexed, and your stomach drawn in (towards your spine).
Stay here for a few breaths, moving to stretch the back of the legs.




7. Yoga Push up/Chaturanga

Inhale as you shift your weight forward a little then hug your elbows into the side body and exhale as you slowly lower down. Make sure your hands are inline with your shoulders, fingers spread wide.




8. Cobra Pose/Bhujangasana

Ensure that your hands are inline with your shoulders. Hug your elbows to your sides and press your thighs and the tops of your feet into the floor. Inhale as you begin to straighten your arms, lifting your chest off the floor up to a height where you can still maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs and lift your pubis toward your navel. Keep your sternum lifted and your shoulder blades firm against your back.
Hold for a few breaths before releasing back down on an exhalation.

Inhale as you push back up to a plank...




9. Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana

...and exhale as you push back, lifting your hips. Spread your fingers, lift your sit bones towards the sky and move the shoulder blades away from the ears. Press into your palms and the soles of your feet. If your wrists feel strained, press into the area between your index finger and thumb.
Stay here for a few breaths.




10. Nose to Right Knee

Inhale as you shift your weight forward, lifting your right knee to meet your nose.
Stay here for a few breaths.




11. Right Runner's Lunge/Alanasana

Exhale as you step the right foot up, between your palms, into a runner's lunge. Keep your gaze forward and shoulders away from your ears. Lower your left knee if necessary.
Stay here for about 5 breaths.




12. Right High Crescent/Anjaneyasana

From your lunge, keep your legs strong as you move your hands to your waist and slowly lift up on an inhale.
Then reach your hands overhead, palms facing each other, and lean back according to your own ability ensuring you don't over-arch your lower back. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and reach back through your left heel. Look towards your thumbs but make sure you keep your ribs drawn down and into the torso (don't press them forward).
Stay here for a few breaths.





13. Right High Crescent Twist/Parivrtta Anjaneyasana

Bring your palms together in prayer position at the heart, then slowly tilt forward but make sure your knee doesn't move past your right ankle and your shin stays vertical. Bring your left elbow the the outside of your right thigh and press your upper left arm against your thigh, turning your chest to the right.
Stay here for a few breaths before exhaling back to centre and coming back to your right lunge.




14. Plank Pose/Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana
 
Exhale as you step your right foot back, hip-width distance apart. Press up and out of the palms, arms slightly bent. Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists, feet flexed, and your stomach drawn in (towards your spine).
Rock forward and backwards to stretch the backs of your legs.




15. Yoga Push up/Chaturanga

Inhale as you shift your weight forward so that your palms are beneath your shoulders, then hug your elbows into the side body and exhale as you slowly lower down. Keep your fingers spread wide.




16. Cobra Pose/Bhujangasana

Ensure that your hands are inline with your shoulders. Hug your elbows to your sides and press your thighs and the tops of your feet into the floor. Inhale as you begin to straighten your arms, lifting your chest off the floor up to a height where you can still maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs and lift your pubis toward your navel. Keep your sternum lifted and your shoulder blades firm against your back.
Hold for a few breaths before releasing back down on an exhalation.

Inhale as you push back up to a plank...




17. Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana

...and exhale as you push back, lifting your hips. Spread your fingers, lift your sit bones towards the sky and move the shoulder blades away from the ears. Press into your palms and the soles of your feet. If your wrists feel strained, press into the area between your index finger and thumb.
Stay here for a few breaths.




18. Nose to Left Knee

Inhale as you shift your weight forward, lifting your right knee to meet your nose.
Stay here for a few breaths.



19. Left Runner's Lunge/Alanasana

On your next exhale, step the right foot up, between your palms, into a runner's lunge. Keep your gaze forward and shoulders away from your ears. Lower your left knee if necessary.
Stay here for about 5 breaths.




20. Left High Crescent/Anjaneyasana


From your lunge, keep your legs strong as you move your hands to your waist and slowly lift up on an inhale.
Then reach your hands overhead, palms facing each other, and lean back according to your own ability ensuring you don't over-arch your lower back. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor and reach back through your right heel. Look towards your thumbs but make sure you keep your ribs drawn down and into the torso (don't press them forward).
Stay here for a few breaths.




21. Left High Crescent Twist/Parivrtta Anjaneyasana

Bring your palms together in prayer position at the heart, then slowly tilt forward but make sure your knee doesn't move past your left ankle and your shin stays vertical. Bring your right elbow the the outside of your left thigh and press your upper right arm against your thigh, turning your chest to the left .
Stay here for a few breaths before exhaling back to centre and coming back to your left lunge.




22. Plank Pose/Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale as you step your right foot back, hip-width distance apart. Press up and out of the palms, arms slightly bent. Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists, feet flexed, and your stomach drawn in (towards your spine).
Rock forward and backwards to stretch the backs of your legs.




23. Yoga Push up/Chaturanga

Inhale as you shift your weight forward so that your palms are beneath your shoulders, then hug your elbows into the side body and exhale as you slowly lower down. Keep your fingers spread wide.




24. Cobra Pose/Bhujangasana

Ensure that your hands are inline with your shoulders. Hug your elbows to your sides and press your thighs and the tops of your feet into the floor. Inhale as you begin to straighten your arms, lifting your chest off the floor up to a height where you can still maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs and lift your pubis toward your navel. Keep your sternum lifted and your shoulder blades firm against your back.
Hold for a few breaths before releasing back down on an exhalation.




25. (Optional) Extended Child's Pose/Utthita Balasana


Lift up and roll back as you widen your knees and drop your bum towards your heels, resting your forehead on the mat. And relax!
Stay here for about 5-10 breaths.




26. Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana

Shift your weight forward and exhale as you push up and back, coming onto your toes and lifting your hips. Spread your fingers, lift your sit bones towards the sky and move the shoulder blades away from the ears. Press into your palms and the soles of your feet. If your wrists feel strained, press into the area between your index finger and thumb.
Stay here for a few breaths.




27. Wild Thing/Flip Dog (Right)/Camatkarasana


This pose is a little hard to explain just with words, so to ensure you do it safely,
check out this video.






28. Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana

Spread your fingers, lift your sit bones towards the sky and move the shoulder blades away from the ears. Press into your palms the soles of your feet. If your wrists feel strained, press into the area between your index finger and thumb.
Stay here for a few breaths.




29. Plank Pose/Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale as you step your right foot back, hip-width distance apart. Press up and out of the palms, arms slightly bent. Keep your shoulders directly over your wrists, feet flexed, and your stomach drawn in (towards your spine).
Rock forward and backwards to stretch the backs of your legs.




30. Yoga Push up/Chaturanga

Inhale as you shift your weight forward so that your palms are beneath your shoulders, then hug your elbows into the side body and exhale as you slowly lower down. Keep your fingers spread wide.




31. Cobra Pose/Bhujangasana

Ensure that your hands are inline with your shoulders. Hug your elbows to your sides and press your thighs and the tops of your feet into the floor. Inhale as you begin to straighten your arms, lifting your chest off the floor up to a height where you can still maintain a connection through your pubis to your legs and lift your pubis toward your navel. Keep your sternum lifted and your shoulder blades firm against your back.
Hold for a few breaths before releasing back down on an exhalation.

Inhale as you push back up to a plank...




32. Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana

...and exhale as you push back, lifting your hips. Spread your fingers, lift your sit bones towards the sky and move the shoulder blades away from the ears. Press into your palms and the soles of your feet. If your wrists feel strained, press into the area between your index finger and thumb.
Stay here for a few breaths.




33. Wild Thing/Flip Dog (Left)/Camatkarasana

Again, check out this video, just do it on the opposite side (lifting your left leg up instead of your right).





34. Downward Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana

Spread your fingers, lift your sit bones towards the sky and move the shoulder blades away from the ears. Press into your palms the soles of your feet. If your wrists feel strained, press into the area between your index finger and thumb.
Stay here for a few breaths.

Then slowly walk towards your palms...







35. Standing Forward Fold/Uttanasana
 
...and into a forward fold. Hold your elbows and rock gently, your legs as bent as you want. Let your head hang and your draw your shoulders down your back.
Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
 



36. Flat Back Pose/Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale as your lift half way, pressing your fingertips either into the floor or your hands into your shins or upper thighs, whichever is comfortable so long as your back is flat. Keep your neck long and your knees slightly bent.
Stay here for about 5 breaths.

 


38. Standing Forward Fold/Uttanasana
 
Exhale as you slowly release your arms into another forward fold.
Stay here for 5 breaths.

Inhale as you slowly roll up, lifting your arms to the side...




39. Upward Salute/Urdhva Hastasana

...and overhead, bringing your palms together, bending back as far as is comfortable, pressing into all four corners of the feet and gazing towards the sky in an upward salute
Stay here for about 5 breaths.



40. (optional) Repeat steps 35-39





41. Mountain Pose/Tadasana

Exhale into mountain pose, with your hands in prayer position at the heart, your chest open, shoulders drawn away from the ears and pressing into all for corners of the feet.
Stay here for 1 minute (10-15 breaths), focusing on your breath.




Enjoy! 

 

 


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