A Morning Stretch for When You Are Short on Time

These 7 poses will help you rid the body of aches from the night's rest in 10 minutes or less. And trust me, putting in the 10 minutes now, will save you at least that much time throughout the day as you move better and pain free.

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We've all been there! You may have even been there this morning. Waking up with a stiff and achy body that needs to move and stretch, but you hit snooze a time or two too many, and you don't have time for a full yoga practice.

These 7 poses will help you rid the body of aches from the night's rest in 10 minutes or less. And trust me, putting in the 10 minutes now, will save you at least that much time throughout the day as you move better and pain free.

What are you waiting for? Get on your mat!

1. Neck Release - To begin, find a comfortable seat, whatever that looks like for you this morning. Lengthen your spine, and drop your shoulders down away from the ears. Have the chin parallel to the ground. Then drop your left ear towards your left shoulder, stretching through the right side of the neck. To deepen the stretch, you may want to bring your left hand to the top of the head to guide your ear further away from the right shoulder. To go further still, crawl the right fingers out to the side. Soften the jaw, let the head be heavy, and take 3-5 breaths here. Gently return your head to center and drop to the opposite side.

2. Thread the Needle with Gate Pose - Come in to a table top position, on hands and knees. Spread the fingertips wide. Place the knees directly beneath the hips. Take a few rounds of cat/cow. As you inhale, drop the belly, curl the tailbone up, and lift the gaze. As you exhale, round your spine, tucking chin to chest. Take about 5 rounds. Return to a neutral table top, and extend your right leg out to the side. Check that your ankle, knee and hip are in line with one another. Reach your left arm up to the sky as you inhale. On your exhale, thread your left arm underneath you, bringing your left shoulder and ear to the mat. If you are able to grab the big toe of your right foot you may do so with your two peace fingers. The right hand can either stay pushing in to the floor, or you can bring it to rest on your low back. Relax your neck as you take a few breaths here. Ease back to table top. Reach the right toes back behind you, and then cross them over towards the left side of the mat. Look over the left shoulder towards the right toes. 

3. Lizard Pose and Easy Twist - From where you left off, step the right foot forward to the outer edge of your right hand. If you would like some added support under the back knee, double the mat over. Or you may want to put some blocks underneath your hands. Drop the hips down, as you think about lifting the heart up. Tuck the back toes under, lifting the back knee from the mat. Keep your left hand planted to the floor, and open your right arm up to the sky to come in to your easy twist. You may look up towards the right fingers if it feels good. After a few breaths, return your right hand to the ground. Step your right foot back and make your way in to downward dog.

Repeat 3 and 4 on the other side before moving on.

4. Ragdoll Forward Fold - From downward dog, walk your hands back towards your feet. Let your belly rest over the thighs. Your hamstrings may be super tight first thing in the morning, so keep your knees generously bent. Hold on to opposite elbows, and sway from side to side. Return your fingertips to the mat.

5. Yogi Squat - Bring your heels in, toes out. Bend your knees as you drop your hips. Bring the hands together at the heart. Use your elbows to push your knees open wider. Keep your chest lifted as you gaze forward. You may choose to take a moment here to set your intention for the day ahead.

6. Sphinx Pose - Release your palms down to the mat and walk forward in to a plank pose. Staying strong through your core. Draw your shoulder blades down your back as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly lower down to your belly. Slide your forearms out in front of you. Point the toes back behind you. Stretching in to your spine. Push the head of the arm bones back, squeezing the shoulder blades behind you as you find more lift through the chest. After a few big breaths, slowly lower down.

7. Wide-Legged Child's Pose - Come to kneeling, sitting back on your heels. Bring the big toes together, and take the knees as wide as you would like. Walk your hands forward and fold down. Bringing the forehead to rest on your hands, your stacked fists, or a block. Melt your heart towards the mat. Take at least 5 deep breaths here.

Would you prefer to listen as you are guided through these stretches? Click the video below.



Namaste,
Kassandra

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