This week we caught up with Yoga Teacher and friend of Asquith, Tara Lee to share her favourite yoga poses to get you out of bed and kick-start your day.
Once you start to incorporate a bit of yoga into your morning routine, you will see it acts as a natural stimulant, leaving you wide awake without the need for caffeine.
Many of us sleep in a curled foetal- like position with the spine and hips rounded because of it’s calming and introspective effect on our energy. Postures to wake us up tend to have more of an energetic outward focus including more of emphasis on backbends and lateral poses with arms outstretched.
The right yoga poses and breathing techniques can be used to help wake you up, circulate energy more efficiently, remove any blockages, clear your mind and leave you feeling uplifted, energised and ready for a productive day ahead.
Try the following sequence to generate feelings of optimism, enthusiasm and inspiration.
1: Mountain Pose: Hands in prayer and eyes closed.
- Stand with your feet parallel and close your eyes.
- Soften the face and connect to your breathing. Breathing in and out through the nose gently.
- Start to lengthen the inhalation. Breathe in for 5 counts, then exhale normally. The next time, breathe in for 6 counts, then exhale normally.
- Repeat again aiming for a 7 or 8 count inhale and add the movement of the arms. Reach the arms high (alongsde the ears) each time you inhale, lowering the arms as you exhale. Repeat 5 times.
- Stand tall when you finish and feel the weight evenly between the feet, becoming aware of the sensation of the floor. Feel the support of the floor as you lift up tall through the spine upwards through the crown of the head. Notice if you start to feel more energised.
2: Chair Pose.
- Inhale as you reach the arms up by the ears and exhale as you bend the knees into the Chair Pose remembering to keep your hips low like you are sitting onto a chair.
- Stay here for 5 breaths feeling the navel draw back towards the spine with each exhalation.
3: Cat/Cow Pose.
- Come to all 4s with the knees below the hips and the wrists below the shoulders.
- Inhale as you look forward and round the back tucking the chin to the chest as you exhale. Move slowly, repeating the movement with the breath and let the breath initiate the movement. Feel the stretch through the back of the body.
- Start moving more slowly until you feel you are warming up your back, feeling the mobility through the spine increasing.
4: Downward Dog
- From all 4s tuck the toes under, reaching back through the hips and through the heels. You can start by bending the knees if you want to or bend one knee at a time as you reach back through the opposite heel.
- Stay here for 5 – 10 breaths.
- Come down to child pose when you finish letting the hips rest back towards the heels and the chest to the thighs.
5: Lunge Arms High
- From all 4s step the right foot forward between the hands, with the knee above the ankle.
- Keep the back knee on the floor and either bring the hands to rest on the front thigh or reach the arms up alongside the ears (keeping the shoulders down) lifting the chest and tilting the pelvis.
- Stay here for 5-10 breaths and then change legs.
6: Side Plank
- From all 4s lift the knees to plank and swivel onto the outside edge of your left foot, stacking your right foot on top of the left.
- Turn your torso to the right and support the weight of your body on the outer left foot and left hand.
- Hold for 5 breaths and come back to plank, resting the knees down if you need to before you change sides.
7: Warrior 2
- Step your feet apart, raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, palms down.
- Turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right and your left foot slightly in, aligning the right heel with the left heel.
- Bend your knee making sure it’s above the ankle and the shin is perpendicular to the floor.
- If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor and press the outer left heel firmly on the floor.
- Stay here for 5 breaths and then change sides.
- Stand with your feet apart again and raise your arms shoulder height, parallel to the floor with the shoulders and the palms facing down.
- Turn your right foot out to 90 degrees, your left foot in slightly to the right. Align your right heel and left heel as above.
- Inhale reaching the right arm high and exhale extending your torso to the right, lengthening through the side of the body.
- Take the right hand to rest on the right shin and press the left outer heel into the floor as you form up through the thighs.
- Stretch your left arm up to the ceiling and try to keep both sides of the torso long.
- Gaze up towards the top thumb, letting the left hip come slightly forward.
Tara is wearing our organic activewear including our Flow With It organic yoga leggings and our Shape Me Vest, organic yoga top.