This is a 10-15 minute morning sequence designed to wake up the body and target all of the places that might need a little extra space and life breathed into them after a night of sleep. I designed this to be a flowing sequence, allowing one pose to flow into the next. I invite you to try it like this, or if that doesn’t work for you and you prefer to complete one pose at a time, guide yourself through it that way by returning to Downward Facing Dog in between each pose. Otherwise, just flow with it.
Separate your feet a little bit further apart, maybe even as wide as your mat. Turn your toes out slightly. Bend your knees and lower your hips down towards the earth. Bring your hands to prayer in front of your heart and allow the elbows to gently guide the knees and thighs open, keeping length in the spine. Engage mula bandha to experience a greater sense of lightness. Stay here for at least five full breaths. Repeat everything on the second side.
With toes tucked, lower down onto your elbows and forearms. Keeping the hips in line with the shoulders and your knees off of the ground, stack your shoulders over your elbows, which should be no wider than shoulders distance apart. Keep the back of the thighs pressing up towards the sky, while guiding the heels back and the heart forward. Maintain a strong core and hold here for 30 seconds.
Tuck the back toes under and spin the left heel down so that the heels are more or less in line with each other. Pressing down through the outer edge of the left foot, begin to straighten your right leg. Engage both legs and consider stacking your left hip over your right. Slide your right hand as far up your right leg as you need to so that you are not collapsing anywhere. Open the left arm up towards the sky, reaching out through the left fingertips.
With your right toes pointing straight ahead and the outer edge of the right foot parallel to the outer edge of the mat, lower your left knee down to the earth. Place your hands on top of your right thigh or reach them up to the sky. Soften the tailbone down and draw the low belly off of the thigh. Stay here for five breaths allowing the right heel to energetically draw back and the left hip to energetically move down and forward towards the right heel.
Step your right foot to the outside of your right hand so that your right foot is closer to the right edge of the mat. Turn your toes out to a 45 degree angle (like 10:00). Keep the left knee lifted and press the thigh up towards the sky. Press down into the earth with the left hand and open the right arm up towards the sky. Stay here for at least five breaths.
From Downward Facing Dog lift your right leg all the way up to the sky behind you. Keeping the arms very strong, bend your right knee and stack your right hip over your left, opening up the hip, groin and thigh. Gently press the left heel down into the earth, being mindful to keep that heel from splaying out to the side.
Stand at the back of your yoga mat with your feet together and carefully bow forward, hinging from your hips and not your low back. Reach your hands behind your back and interlace your fingers, pressing the palms together. Bend your knees and press your chest into and down your thighs, keeping your neck long. Hold for five breaths.