Feel free to add things to make this yoga sequence your own. Yoga is all about finding what feels good for your body. Please leave comments to let me know how the sequence worked for you.
Words by Samantha Ickes
Getting motivated for that 9 a.m. class can be difficult when you wake up feeling tired and sluggish from staying up late the night before.
I know when my alarm goes off every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 a.m., I struggle to get out of bed. My eyelids feel heavy, and staying underneath my comforter sounds so much better than walking to my first class in Franklin Hall.
Waking up to a pot of fresh-brewed coffee or grabbing that espresso from Starbucks on your way to class may be part of your daily routine. According to an article from The Huffington Post, 30 seconds of vigorous exercise can have the same effect as a shot of caffeine.
I don’t know about you, but doing burpees and jumping jacks early in the morning sounds like way too much work before class. That’s why I started a morning yoga routine: It’s a lighter form of exercise that jump starts my day (though I still enjoy a vanilla chai tea before class every now and then).
This yoga sequence takes 10 to 15 minutes and contains postures to stretch the muscles that may be tight in the morning.
1. Cat Cow Pose
Body target: back pain relief
Start in tabletop position with your arms pressing against the mat directly under your shoulders and your knees curled beneath your hips. Slowly arch your back like a cat, breathing in deeply. As you exhale push your belly down to make a dip in the small of your back. Repeat this three or four times, being careful to maintain deep, steady breathing.
2. Forearm Plank
Body target: core
Transition from tabletop position to plank by resting your forearms against the mat. Next, extend your right leg back, pressing your toes into the mat. Do the same with the left leg to reach the plank position. Try to hold this position for 30 seconds or 10 breaths. After a few breaths, your body may become shaky. The more you work on planks, the easier it will become.
3. Triangle Pose
Body target: full-body stretch
To create more of a flow in this sequence there will be a few positions before arriving in triangle pose.
4. Low Lunge
Body target: legs and thighs
5. Open Hip
Body target: legs and arms
6. Final Stretching
Body target: full body stretch
Slowly walk your hands toward you, placing them on top of your feet. This is called a forward fold. This move is a position to explore and stretch the body with simple movements that are a great way to end a workout. Try hanging limp like a ragdoll, walking your hands from the left side of your body to the right side or grabbing onto your elbows and swinging back and forth.
Finally, with a deep breath open your arms and stretch up toward the sky, opening up your body in a full stretch. Meet your palms above your head and draw them down to the center of your heart. Continue deep breathing until you feel you are ready to begin your day.