Mar 31

Morning Sequence

It seems everyone is on the move this week!  I have heard from so many of my regular students that I will not see them in class due to travel to places such as Turkey, Columbia, Trans-Atlantic Cruise, Costa Rica, California and Mexico (my peeps really do get around!)  Travel is wonderful.  It provides a new perspective on life and a break from routine.  Yoga tells us that if we do the exact same thing every day we create ruts (samskaras) that get deeper and more ingrained over time, making us more rigid and resistant to change, so I am happy to hear of all this exploration.

Unfortunately, I also hear how hard it is to get back to the Yoga practice after a week or two in trains, planes and automobiles.  The body starts to tighten up after just a few days away from the mat, but there are steps you can take to retain the flexibility of your body and the freedom of your breath even when there is just not time to make it to class.


Morning Sequence for those days you can’t make it to class:

It should not take more than 15 minutes, but will hopefully provide you with an opportunity to breathe and stretch and stay connected to your personal practice even when your vacation or your busy life makes it impossible to get to class.

You do this before you get out of bed, so there is less chance of the desire for coffee, sight-seeing, or everyday distractions to derail your good intentions to keep Yoga in your life.

While still in bed, stretch and yawn in any way that feels good to your body.

Hug the knees into the chest—if bed is really soft watch out that this doesn’t hurt the low back.

Roll to your side and put the feet down on the floor.  Sit at the edge of the bed with your feet solid on the floor.

With hands on knees start to move the torso in a gentle wave like (cat/cow) motion to the breath.  As you inhale through the nose lift the chest and roll shoulders back, as you exhale through the nose pull the belly in and round the spine.  Do at least ten full breaths with this mini cat and cow movement.

Then with a neutral spine, interlace the fingers with the palms facing in front of you and inhale and bring the hands above the head and stretch the palms toward the ceiling.  Hold for 5-10 full breaths. Reach up with pinky side as much as the thumb side.  Lower the hands down.  Change the crossing (move the pointer one over) and repeat.

Come to stand.  Find a dresser or wall space to face where you can position your hands at about hip height.  Then start to walk your feet away from the hands hinging at the hips until you come to an “L” shape with the body.  Bend the knees as much as is necessary so that feet can be under the hips and the torso parallel to the floor.  Keep your arms straight and your ears between your biceps in this supported version of Down Dog.  Breathe 10-15 deep breaths here.

When done walk the feet back toward the hands and slowly come up to stand.

Find a firm, and solid Tadasana (mountain pose) stance.  Draw the right knee into the chest and balance on one foot—if you are feeling wobbly stay by a wall, if you are feeling brave transition into Tree or Eagle pose –stay 10 breaths—Change feet.

Make sure you have room to spread your arms wide.  Stand in Tadasana.  Inhale and sweep the arms around and up overhead.  Exhale and fold over the legs (bend the knees as much as you need to fold over without strain).  Inhale put the hands on the shins and reach forward with the crown of the head.  Exhale fold over the legs.  Inhale and push down into the feet and come up to stand arms out to the side and then up to the ceiling.  Exhale back to standing, arms alongside the body, mountain pose.  This is a half sun salute.  Do at least 5 rounds.

Come back to where you were sitting on the side of the bed—but don’t sit yet!

Stand with feet and legs together, back facing the bed and then bend the knees hovering just above sitting.  Chair pose.  Make sure the knees don’t go past the toes and sweep the arms up and overhead.  Lift up through your chest more than you think you can.  You are sitting in an imaginary chair with your seat just a few inches above the bed.  Breathe well for as long as you hold the pose.  Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds and then a little bit longer each day to build strength and stamina.

When you can’t hold any longer sit down on your bed.  Take a deep breath.  You are now ready to get out of bed for real and start your day!