Reconnect with your breath, increase your flexibility and shake off lingering fatigue with this mindful morning flow by yoga teacher Eliza Hayward, founder of Divine Flow studio.
This morning yoga sequence is the perfect addition to your self-care routine as it creates a sense of calm and stability.
Before you begin the sequence, try to focus on cultivating breath awareness. Stretch out your hips in whichever way you prefer so that you can move more freely. Start with the low lunge and move through the poses in order (clockwise from far right) to awaken your mind and body.
1. Low Lunge
Step your right leg back towards the end of your mat and frame your front foot with your hands.
Activate your right thigh and allow your left knee to soften forwards. Feel the opening of your left hip flexor, helping to soothe your lower back. Allow the sides of your neck to stay long. Stay for 3 breaths and repeat on the other side.
TIP: slide two blocks under your hands to create more space in your hips.
2. Easy Twist
Progress your low lunge into a twist to loosen your spine and find rotation.
Plant your right hand firmly on the ground to stabilise underneath your right shoulder and inhale to lift your left arm up to the sky.
Stay for 2 breaths and repeat on the other side.
TIP: if you can, lift your gaze to follow your left hand.
Move out of your twist on your next exhale and hinge your hips back while straightening your left leg.
Slightly step your left foot in to create a shallow stance.
Lower your head towards your front knee.
Stay here for 3 breaths and repeat on the other side.
TIP: keep a micro bend in your front knee so that you don’t lock up your knee joint.
4. Extended Triangle
From your pyramid, adjust your position so that your right foot is facing forwards and keep your left foot slightly turned in.
Feel the engagement through both your legs and arms.
Stretch your arms out and hinge forwards over the right hip crest, folding on your exhale.
Spiral your left arm up to the sky, creating a sense of opening through your left side and lung.
Stay here for 3-4 breaths and repeat on the other side.
TIP: you can use a block under your hand and keep a micro bend in your front knee.
Sit down on the mat. Cross your left leg over the right so that the knees are stacked.
Lower your hips to sit on a pillow or on the floor. Feel a great sense of release in your outer left hip.
Allow for the spine to stack tall and inhale to fill up your entire body.
Close your eyes and stay for 8 breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
TIP: you can bend sideways and open up the body by lifting your opposite arm overhead.
This article was originally posted in Body and Soul Magazine.