Watch the Yogayama video featured on SvD’s The Perfect Guide for inspiration on your own morning yoga sequence. A gentle, warming, and grounding sequence is the perfect way to start any morning. All you need is about 15 minutes, a pillow or blanket, and some space to move – yoga mat is optional!
Find a comfortable cross-legged seated position. Sit on a firm pillow or folded blanket to lift the hips and find an easy, grounded seat. Rest your hands on the knees, palms face down and relax shoulders away from your ears. Root down and connect through your sitting bones into the blanket or pillow. From that place of grounding, lift and lengthen through the crown of your head. Take time here to move inward, allow your awareness to soften around the natural rhythms of your breath. Keep your focus on the gentle rise and fall of the chest and belly as you breath. Stay here for about 10 breaths or longer.
2. Tabletop and Cat/Cow
Come to an all-fours/tabletop position with your knees hip distance apart and your hands under your shoulders. Softly spread your fingers and root down through the entire circumference of your palm. Find a neutral spine as you reach the crown of the head forward and the tailbone draws back. Your next inhale guides you into a Cow pose: move the middle spine towards the front of the chest as you draw the shoulders back, the heart forward, and lift the gaze up slightly. As you exhale, come into Cat pose: press into your palms as you round the spine, drawing the navel in and the chin moves towards the chest – making the shape of an angry cat. Find a few more rounds of Cow and Cat pose – inhale as you move into cow pose and exhale as you move into cat pose.
3. Plank Pose
Find a neutral spine in a tabletop position. The shoulders, elbows, and wrists are all stacked and the palms are pressing firmly into the floor. Imagine as you press the palms down that you are trying to lift up through the forearms. Step one leg back and then the other until you are in a high push up or plank pose. Straighten and engage the legs behind you by pressing the fronts of the thighs back towards the hamstrings. As you press the heels back, continue to reach the crown of the heard forward. Option to bend and bring the knees down to the floor and build strength there. Hold plank pose for 5 – 10 breaths.
4. Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog
From Plank pose, lift your hips up and back as you press your palms into the floor and press your sitting bones as far away from your hands as possible. Press thighs back and reach heals down towards the ground – it is okay if they do not touch the ground. If you feel a rounding in the spine, put a bend in the knees. Keep finding length through the sides body as you press the thighs back. Hold for 5 breaths.
Come to stand. Stand with the inner heels and big toes touching – feet together. If this feels very unstable for you, step the feet a little wider apart while keeping feet parallel. Feel soles of feet connecting down to the floor. From this place of grounding the fronts of your thighs press back as the flesh of your buttocks moves down toward the floor. Move lower ribs up and away from the hips to find length in the side body. Fingers are together and reach down toward the floor with palms facing the outer thighs. Shoulders relax away from the ears and crown of the head reaches up. Keep your gaze soft and steady. Hold and breath here for 5-10 breaths.
6. Urdhva Hastasana with side bend
Bring palms together and interlace fingers but keep the pointer finger and thumb released out. Ground down through your feet as you inhale reach the arms up, pointer finger reaching up to the ceiling and biceps by the ears. As you exhale reach up and over to the right, side bending. Keep lengthening through both sides of the body as you reach and stretch over to the right. Hips and shoulder stay in one line (careful not to allow the left shoulder to fall in toward the mid-line). Stay here for 3-5 breaths and on an inhale root down into your feet to come back to center. Repeat on the other side and then return arms by the side of the body into Tadasana.
7. Virabhadrasana 2 / Warrior 2
From Tadasana, step feet apart about one leg’s distance. Pivot through your left hip to turn left foot in about 35 degrees. Pivot through right hip and leg about 90 degrees. As you root into the outer edge of your left foot, bend your right knee. Make sure knee tracks right over the 2nd toe. If knee starts to move past your ankle, step your feet wider apart so you can bend your knee and stack it directly over the right heel. Continue to press through outer edge of your left foot as you sink into the bend of your right knee. The torso faces toward the wall that you originally started facing. Lift arms shoulder height, parallel to the floor with palms facing down. Extend and reach through fingers with straight elbows. Without moving your torso, tun head so that you can gaze over right middle finger. Hold for 5 breaths. To come out of the shape, inhale to straighten the front knee and rotate both legs so that the feet are parallel toward each other again. Relax the arms. Repeat on other side and then step feet back together to Tadasana.
8. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana / Bridge Pose
Come to sit and then to lay on your back. Bend knees hip distance apart with heels right under the knees. Feel the weight of your legs dropping straight down into your heels and that feet are parallel to each other. Press through feet and left your pelvis up and away from the floor. Bend elbows into ‘robot’ arms with the palms mirroring each other and fingers pointing straight up to the ceiling. Press down through back of upper arms as chest moves toward chin. Don’t let the knees splay out and continue to press evenly though feet as you lift the hips up. Stay for 3-6 breaths. On an exhale slowly release spine back down to the floor. Rest for a few breaths before finding 1-2 more rounds. On the next rounds, option to interlace fingers together under hips and roll shoulders closer together.
9. Supine Twist
Laying on your back, gently hug knees in towards your chest. Relax shoulders and head down toward the floor and release knees over to the right. Allow knees to softly land on the floor on the side of your body and extend arms out to the side with the elbows slightly bent. Option to turn your head to the left. Allow eyes to soften or close and feel the weight of the body supported on the floor. Hold for 10 rounds of breath. Bring head and then knees back to center and repeat on the other side.
Hug knees into chest and as you exhale release legs out long on the floor with heels wider than hip distance. Legs and feet feel soft and heavy. Relax arms by the side of the body with the palms facing up. Make sure you are completely comfortable and warm enough – you may want to cover your body with a blanket or place a pillow under your knees if there’s any sensitivity in your low back. Take a few slow, deep breaths in through the nose and soft exhales out through the mouth. Close the eyes and allow your awareness to stay with the soft rise and fall of your belly as you breath. Stay in Savasana for 3-5+ minutes. It could be a good idea to set a timer for your savasana so that you can completely relax and not worry about the time. When you are ready to come out of savasana, take a few deeper breaths and start to wiggle the fingers and toes. From those smaller movements start to move and stretch the body however you like. Gently draw knees into your chest and roll to one side. Keep the eyes soft and the head heavy as you press yourself up to a comfortable seated posture. Allow yourself to slowly integrate yourself back into your day as you gradually carry on with your morning!
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