Yoga to Get You Out of Hibernation

Phew. I'm finally back after an unplanned 3-month long blogging break..!
So many overwhelming and often unexpected things have happened both globally and personally, from an inauguration and worldwide marches to working out money issues and finding a deeper understanding of true love in the modern world. I feel like I've now reached a place of organisation, root chakra back open for business, in a way that almost feels like I'm coming out of hibernation.
And it's now Spring! How appropriate! So what better way to get back into blogging, as well as to celebrate the start of Spring, than A Yoga Routine to Get You Out of Hibernation.

P.S. This would be great first thing in the morning or after a nap!

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. Full Body Stretch

Start off lying down on your back. Reach your arms up overhead, keeping your shoulders away from the ears by drawing shoulder blades down slightly, point and flex your toes and streeetch!
Move in whatever way feels good.

2. Supine Spinal Twist/Jathara Parivartanasana

Lift your right knee up and hug it to your chest, then place your left hand on the outside of your right knee, slowly bringing your leg across your body and down towards the left, your foot can rest either outside of your left leg or on your left leg (the latter will give you more of a stretch). Make sure your don't force your knee down, just gently guide it over, rest your hand on top of your leg and let gravity do the rest. Turn your head to the right, your right arm extended.
Stay here for about 1 minute (10-15 breaths).
Inhale slowly back to centre and repeat on the other side.

3. Happy Baby Pose/Ananda Balasana

Hug both your knees to your chest. Take hold of the outside of your feet and bring your feet up so that your soles point to the ceiling, keep them flat. Ensure that the back of your neck stays on the ground and your chest stays open. Bring your knees towards the armpits. If your knees can't go any further back (depending on how tight your hips are) and it is causing your head and neck to lift up, bring your hands to your ankles or mid-shins instead.
Stay here for a few breaths, moving and stretching in whatever way feels good!

4. Cat-Cow Pose/Chakravakasana

Cow Pose: Make your way to all fours, wrists underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips, keeping the neck long.
On an inhale, drop your belly, keeping the abdominal muscles engaged 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 belly button 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. Extended Child's Pose/Utthita Balasana

Come back to you hand and knees before widening your knees - toes together, and walking your hands forward a few inches. Exhale, moving your bum back toward your heels and drop your forehead to the floor, relaxing the weight of your body.
Stay here for about 10 breaths.

6. Wide Knee Twist

Come up onto your palms, aligning them underneath your shoulders. Then bring your right hand to the centre and reach your left hand towards the ceiling like you're drawing back a bow.

Stay here for a few breaths before replacing your right hand with the left and repeat on the other side.

7. Lions Pose/Simhasana

Place both your palms in front of you again 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.

8. Camel Pose Variation/Ustrasana

Come up onto your knees bringing them back inline with your hips. Press your shins and tops of your feet into the floor. Rotate your thighs inward and keep your bum firm (- not hardened). Place your hands on your hips. Lift from your pelvic floor, open your chest, draw your shoulder blades down, keep your neck long and engage your abdominal muscles. Then lean backwards as if bringing your chest 'up and over' instead of just leaning backwards, keeping your abdominal muscles engaged, shoulder blades drawn down and your head in a neutral position. Depending on your flexibility, you may just stay here for a few breaths. If you are able to go further, -
again making sure you move your chest 'up and over', bring your left hand to your left heel, pressing into it, and lengthen the tail bone towards the backs of your knees. Then lift your right arm up and towards the back.
Stay here for a few breaths.
To come out of the posture, tuck your chin in, engage your abdominal muscles, and bring your hands to your hips, one at a time, to support your lower back as your lift back up.
Repeat on the other side.
If you would like a visual representation of getting into this pose, this video is great.

9. Arms overhead

Sit back on your heels, and sit up straight, aligning your head over your heart and your heart over your pelvis and roll your shoulders back and down. Then on an inhale, reach your arms out to the side and overhead, palms facing each other and relatively wide apart, as if you are carrying a beach ball, engage your abdominal muscles and lift your sternum.
On and exhale, rain your fingertips back down relaxing your muscles (-though still keeping head over heart, heart over pelvis).
Repeat this a few times, before bring your hands to namaste, lifting your sternum towards your hands and observing your breath.
You could also use this moment for some Pranayamic Breathing.






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