Instead of hitting the snooze button and rolling over for a few extra minutes’ sleep, why not start your day by taking care of yourself, getting into the right frame of mind to take on the challenges ahead – and set yourself up for an amazing day. Try Zoe Woodward’s 10 step morning yoga flow – hold each pose for 5 to 10 breaths depending on how much time you have. Move from pose to pose gently and mindfully taking as much time as you have or need, listening to your body and enjoy!
Child’s pose (Balasana): Start on your knees, touch your big toes together, sit back onto your heels and take your hips as wide apart as is comfortable. Extend the arms, touch your forehead to the mat, close your eyes and take a few moments to arrive on your mat and connect with your breath.
Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): From the hands and knees tuck the toes, lift the knees from the mat and slowly begin to straighten your legs and spine – sending your hips high and the heels towards the ground. Press through the hands, pushing the floor away from you, rotating the upper arms towards each other sending the shoulder blades down the spine. Gazing between the ankles or knees guiding your chest towards the thighs
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana): From downward facing dog step your right foot forward between your hands aligning the right knee over the ankle. Lower your left knee to the floor and untuck your toes. Keep the hips aligned, inhale and lift the upper body keeping the fingertips on the floor or sweeping the hands upwards. Draw the tailbone down towards the floor and lift the chest and gaze upwards. Repeat on the left.
Cobra (Bhujangasana): Start lying face down on the floor, place the hands under the shoulders and wrap your elbows back into the body. Press the tops of the feet into the mat, inhale and start to peel your chest from the floor into a small backbend by straightening the arms and pressing into your hands. Slide the shoulder blades down your back and away from the ears, expand your chest and gaze upwards opening the chest and heart keeping the neck long. Exhale and slowly lower back down to the floor.
Cat/cow (Chakravakasana): Start on all fours with a neutral spine. With your hands shoulder width apart and the shoulders, elbows and wrists in a straight line, take your legs hip-width apart and stack your hips over your knees, pressing the tops of your feet into the ground. Inhale and drop your stomach, arching the back and tilting the pelvis back, take your gaze upwards gently. As you exhale tuck the chin and tailbone and press into the hands rounding your shoulders and upper back. Draw the navel into the spine, drop your head and gaze back to the navel.
Rag doll (tadasana variation): With your feet hip-width apart soften and bend the knees as much as you need to, to lengthen the hamstrings and send the hips high. Imagine aiming the chest towards the thighs and let the upper body completely hang heavy. Take hold of either elbow, keep the back of your neck long and allow the head to hang between the upper arms. Slowly sway from side to side releasing any tension in the body. Gently nod the head yes and no.
Yogi Squat (Malasana): From tadasana heel to the feet to the outer edge of the mat, toes turned out slightly and start to squat down. If the heels lift from the floor, place a rolled up blanket underneath for support. Take the thighs slightly wider than the torso and sink the seat towards the ground. Taking the hands to prayer, gently press the elbows into the inner knees to guide your hips open and lift your chest and torso.
Savasana: Lie down in a reclined position. Take the legs about hip-width apart, let your feet and knees relax and toes turn out slightly. Place the arms alongside your torso, palms facing upwards and let the fingers curl upwards. Close the eyes and take the attention to the breath. Stay here in the position for as long as you need.