It’s important to move the body, as you move and shift the body, it’ll do the same in your mind. The key element in yoga is your breath, it’s the bridge between your body and mind. Keep your lips closed as you breathe through both nostrils to contain the warmth within your body. Every time you inhale, allow your body to expand as you energise, and every time you exhale, your body naturally contracts as you release and calm your body down.
1. Legs up the wall (viparini karani). This pose is rejuvenating and calms a busy mind. This soothes your nervous system to rest and digest. You may still feel a little tired afterwards, but you’ll feel less frustrated. Start by sitting the side of your buttocks against a wall and swivel your legs up it. Keep your legs slightly bent to protect your lower back, and your hands can drop onto your belly or chest. Keep you chin tucked into your throat, eyes closed and shoulders roll downwards. Breathe deeply for 5-20 minutes.
2. Hang forward to awaken. This pose gently wakes you up. Start with your feet hip distant apart, bend both knees. Hang off your hips as you pivet your torso down towards the floor. Hang forward, chin tucked into your throat and your hands can cross onto each elbow. Keep your weight evenly distributed into your feet, and allow your chest to connect onto your thighs as you hang off your hips. Keep legs and belly active. Breathe deeply, with your eyes closed for 5-10 minutes. To release, keep your knees bent as you slowly roll up to standing, with your head last to come up.
3. Twist to centre. This pose is balancing and centering. If you’re feeling sluggish, it’ll pick you up, and if you’re feeling over active, it’ll calm you down. Start in a cross legged sitting posture. Keep your spine upright as you inhale, and on your next exhale draw your left hand to your right knee, and drop your right fingers behind you. Keep your torso upright and long on your inhale, and twist deeper on your exhale. You can take your gaze to your back shoulder, otherwise look forward if your neck is sore. Hold and breathe deeply for 5-10 breaths, inhale to come back to centre and exhale to release the pose. Repeat on the other side.
4. Bend backwards to energise This pose gives you a boost of energy and is best to practice in the morning, rather than before you go to bed. Come into a cross legged, easy sitting posture. Ground your sit bones into the floor, and keep your legs active with your feet flexed. Swing your fingers behind you as you lift up onto your fingers tips, roll your shoulders outward and draw your chest forward. This is a simple backbend. Look forward and down slightly if your neck feels sore, otherwise, lift your chin up gently (keep back of neck long) and take your gaze to your nose. Breathe deeply for 5-10 breaths, release to a natural upright position and repeat 2-3 more times. After your last backbend, roll onto your back and release by squeezing your knees into your belly, keeping your lower back and head onto the floor.
5. ‘Savasana’ to relax This corpse pose is an active sleep. You can do this at any time, laying onto a flat floor. This can be an effective power nap, and gives all your organs space to breathe. Start by laying onto your back, place a cushion under your knees if your lower back feels sore. Allow your hands to face upwards and feet to naturally roll out to the side. You can rock your head from side to side and then keep it straight forward, with your chin tucked down slightly and shoulders rolling outwards. When you’ve adjusted your body to be comfortable, let your breath breathe you for about 5-10 minutes (you can stay longer) deepening into the pose. To release, take a few deeper breaths before rolling out to the right side and up to a cross legged sit. Keep your spine elongated, and bring your hands into prayer with your head bowed down slightly.
Always remember to give yourself a moment for a positive intention, before embracing your day feeling rejuvenated and fully alive.
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