I’m not a flexible, physically fit, or morning-loving person. I am, however, a very stressed person. Over the summer, I began to feel like I was waking up on the wrong side of the bed and having a stressful day every single day. Granted, I was performing in two plays, directing another play, and stage managing a musical all at the same time. I had fair cause to stress, but I discovered something that helped me start my days better and feel more peaceful for the day’s duration: yoga.
Now, I’m no expert on the subject and I am well aware of how silly I look doing the poses, but it’s a great way to start my day and the perfect amount of exercise for someone such as myself who is always on the go. All it takes is 10-15 minutes every morning or as often as you’d like.
Begin in the Lotus position. Focus on keeping your spine as straight as possible and breathing. Imagine there is a string attached to your head and it is pulling you upright. Lightly push your knees to the floor. Just relax.
Move into Child’s Pose whenever you’re ready. Try to align your back and head with your outstretched arms, continuing to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Remaining in Child’s Pose, shift your arms and spine to your left and right, holding the pose as long as you’d like. You should feel this stretch in your sides. Continue to keep your spine straight.
Move into Upward Facing Dog. Avoid locking your elbows as you open up your chest and stretch your lower back. The top of your feet should touch the floor. If you’re feeling up to it, lift your feet a few inches so they are above the floor and hold them there.
Push up into Downward Facing Dog. This is where my flexibility fails me. Try to maintain a triangle shape with a straight spine and feet entirely on the floor. Hold the pose.
Swing one of your legs forward in preparation for the next pose. If you feel like extending your time, you can repeat Upward Facing Dog, Downward Facing Dog and this intermediary stance over and over with alternating legs is a flow yoga fashion.
Move into Warrior pose. Keep your arms even with your shoulders and your chest facing the side. Your front foot should face forward while your back foot juts to the side. Lean into your front leg. Alternate which leg you have forward and hold.
Shift to the Chair pose. Imagine you are sitting on a chair while also completely aligning your neck and spine with your outstretched arms. Focus on keeping your knees in line with your ankles. Hold the pose as long as possible.
Finish your routine with the Tree pose. Find your balance by resting your foot inside your thigh above your knee. Switch legs and hold for as long you can.
Namaste, friends! Enjoy a much more Zen and fulfilling day after this quick morning warm-up.