One of the best things you can do for your mind and body each morning is stretch. During sleep, the body spends hours rejuvenating at a cellular level and by morning lengthening the muscles and filling the lungs with fresh, clean air will do wonders for setting up your day. Here are three yoga poses that will support your organs, open the hips, loosen the neck, release tension from the shoulders, and align all seven chakras (energy centers). Start with taking five slow, deep belly breaths and work your way up ten or more. Click here to learn the Ujaii breathing technique and apply it to the following poses.
- Stand with your feet hip distance apart, facing forward.
- Inhale both arms up with palms facing each other.
- Fold upper body down toward thighs, supporting yourself on the shins if you need or hands to the floor.
- Gently shake the head yes and no
- Bend the knees slightly and inhale all the way back up, arms over head.
- Breath deeply and repeat.
- From Forward Fold, plant hands firmly on floor (middle finger facing forward), shoulder width apart and step both feet back.
- Look at arms and make sure they are at an incline and not over the shoulders like in Plank.
- Bend the knees or keep heels off the ground if hamstrings are tight.
- Hold for breaths.
- From Down Dog, step forward into Forward Fold.
- Widen your stance a few inches and turn the toes out.
- Lower hips to a comfortable level. Heels may or may not touch the ground.
- Bring hands together at heart and use the elbows to push the knees out, to open the hips.
You can do these poses in any order you like, and when you are feeling complete, return your breath to normal speed and relax the belly. Close the eyes and make a list of the things in your life, in which you are thankful. Maybe even honor your challenges and lessons that you are currently dealing with, for they are your greatest teachers. To learn more about the power of gratitude and its effect on our lives, come to the November’s Gifts and Graces at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts for a special evening of “The Grateful Brain”.
We invite you to learn more about the Yoga Teacher Training programs available at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts.