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If the idea of starting a daily yoga practice overwhelms you, start by making 10 minutes to get on your mat when you first wake up. If you’re already getting full practices once or twice a week, try adding a few minutes the other mornings and notice the changes in your practice as well as life off the mat.
Roll out your mat and try these 7 poses for a mix of stretch and strength this morning.
1. Reclined Butterfly – Begin laying down on your back. Bring the soles of the feet together to touch, letting the knees fall open. Keep the arms at the sides, or stretch them up overhead. As you inhale, feel the belly rise. As you exhale, release any tension. After holding here for about a minute, reach the hands up overhead and extend the legs out. Taking a big stretch from fingers to toes.
2. Leg Stretch and Strength – Pull your right knee in to the belly, maybe swaying gently side to side. Taking it in to a twist, use your left hand to guide your right knee across the body. Keeping the right shoulder in contact with the floor. Returning to center, hold the right knee in and curl the head and shoulders up off of the mat. Reach your arms out in front, feeling your core and abdominals engage. As you exhale, switch the legs. Pedaling out a few times. Then hold the left knee in and repeat the stretches through on this side.
3. Bridge – Bring both of your feet flat on the floor, and your arms at your sides. Squeeze the glutes as you press in to the heels and lift the hips up off the floor. Exhale, lowering the hips to hover. Inhale, to press up. Repeat this for a few rounds through.
4. Chair – Stand at the front of the mat, bring your big toes together to touch and the heels apart. Bend in to the knees and sink the hips low. Extend the arms up overhead, keeping the chest lifted and the shoulders down away from the ears.
5. Standing Forward Fold – Interlace your fingers behind your back. Roll the shoulders down and back. Straighten the legs as you fold over. Reach the knuckles up and over. If your hamstrings are tight, keep the knees as bent as feels appropriate. Take a few deep breaths here.
6. Runner’s Lunge to Pyramid – Bring your fingertips down to the floor. Step the left foot back, bending in to the right knee in Runner’s Lunge. Letting the hips press forward and down. Open through the chest. Optionally, rock forward and back a bit. Start to straighten the right leg, shifting in to Pyramid Pose. Plant the palms if they have lifted. Bend in to front knee and then step back. Take a Vinyasa, before repeating on the other leg.
7. Seated Twist – Come to a cross legged seat. Bring the left hand to the right knee, and the right knee back behind you. Inhale to find more length. Exhale to twist, expanding through the chest. Reach the crown up, and try not to round and contract the spine. Switch to the other side.
Prefer to practice for the full 10 minutes with me? Press play on the video below.
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