This flow is perfect for you to do first thing in the morning while your coffee is brewing, or in the middle of your work-day for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Start kneeling to draw energy upward, palms facing up. If you have our I Am Awake Anointing Oil, place a few drops into the palms of your hands, rub together, and take a deep and invigorating INHALE. Take an open mouth exhale and release any tension. Repeat 5 times.
Sink back into Child’s Pose, third eye (forehead) on the ground. Soften in shoulders, allowing hips to melt toward heels. Stay 5 full breaths.
Lift back up into a kneeling position. (If your knees bother you, feel free to place a blanket under them or fold your mat over.) Inhale, both arms sweeping up your sides, lifting gaze + chin to the sky until your fingertips touch. Exhale, keeping left arm up while right arm sweeps down and behind you, gazing over right shoulder. Inhale right arm back up to meet the left and repeat on the exhale with the left arm. Repeat cycle 3-5 times. Be sure to really twist and look behind you on every exhale.
Move into Table Top (all fours, knees and wrists hip-width apart). Move through 3-5 rounds of Cat-Cow Pose. On the inhale, scoop out your spine (think a “U” shape) as you tilt your pelvis up and push your shoulders down and back, creating space in your chest and throat. Gaze + chin are sky-bound. On your exhale, do just the opposite by rounding your spine (think of an upside down “U” ), tucking chin to chest and scooping pelvis in while opening up the shoulder blades and posterior spine. I like to come onto tented fingertips (palms lifted off mat) for an even juicier neck + shoulder stretch
Uncurl the toes and lift your hips on an inhale, settling into Downward Facing Dog. Feel free to stay here for as much time as you need. Peddle out the feet, gently move around the head, even take a few open-mouth sighs! When you’re ready, lift the right leg up on an inhale for Three-Legged Dog. Take some ankle rolls, making sure to keep both hips even and knee-cap locked.
On an exhale, shift gaze + weight forward, over your shoulders, as you draw the right knee toward your right elbow. (It’s OK if it doesn’t reach!). Inhale back to Three-Legged Dog, then exhale, crunching knee to nose, chin-to-chest as you round your back. Inhale back to Three-Legged, and lastly exhale your right knee across the body to your left elbow. Settle back to Downward Facing Dog (take a Child’s Pose if you need a breather!) and repeat this cycle on the left side.
Meeting back in Down Dog, sweep right leg forward, landing the right foot in between your hands, back left foot stays as is, heel lifted + left knee locked. Inhale both arms up to the sky into Crescent Lunge. Stay here for 5 full breaths, gaze up, all ten fingers spread, and SMILE, feeling grateful for the ability to practice.
Bring the left foot to meet the right at the top of your mat, exhaling into a forward fold. Stay here, hanging heavy, for a few rounds of breath. When you’re ready, heel-toe your feet wide, until your heels are on the edge of your mat + toes are pointing out at a diagonal. Inhale, lengthen your spine + on the exhale, sink your weight into your heels, coming down into Yogi Squat.
Try to hold this position for 3 full breath cycles, hands in prayer. Next exhale, dropping left hand to the mat, lifting your right arm + gaze to the sky on the inhale. Exhale right arm down, shifting the left arm + gaze up to the sky on your inhale. Repeat this movement for 3-5 breath cycles. By now, your hips are talking to you!
Come to a seated position, take a moment to laugh, and release the sensation in your hips. Grabbing behind your thighs and keeping your chest + gaze lifted, extend your legs up and out for Boat Pose. (An alternative here is to keep the legs bent, shins parallel to the ground). SQUEEZE your knees + ankles together as you breathe. If you like, you can add a deeper challenge by extending both arms out to the side. Hold Boat Pose for 5 full breath cycles.
Roll slowly down to the ground, and when you get to your mat, giggle a little more! Finally, find yourself in the final pose: Savasana, with your arms bent overhead, palms facing up, eyes closed. Let your body melt, let your breath drift away, maybe even allow your mouth to be slightly open. Stay here for a good 3 minutes. Soak up the energy you created in this fun + invigorating practice.
If you have more time, feel free to repeat this flow as much as your body or the clock will allow.
Let me know how it goes, and thank you for sharing your practice with me yogi!
Much Love, Natalie
For some Mid-Day flow in-studio, I invite you to check out our Time Out class offered from 12-1pm Monday, Wednesday + Friday! Wednesdays are FREE!
Photo Credit: With Love Yoga + Photography
Mat: I Love Gurus Cork Yoga Mat (Which we sell on our online store)