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Yoga to Start your Day

August 13, 2016

Although the idea of 60-90 minutes on the mat every day sounds great, in reality we don't always have the time: work, kids, life - all the things that can eat into your you time!  Giving yourself just 10-15 minutes in the morning to do some basic yoga and stretches will kickstart your day, energise and refresh you and leave you ready and raring to go!

 

Here are my top morning yoga postures and why....

 

Mountain Pose

Strong yet serene, this pose is the foundation for all standing postures grounding and giving stability and confidence.  Stand tall with your feet together, big toes touching. Shoulders and neck relaxed with your arms by your side, palms facing forward.

 

Forward Fold

 
Perfect to transition to from mountain pose.  This pose will gently wake up your hamstrings and inner thighs and calm your mind. Raise your arms above your head, find length in your spine and swallow dive forward bringing your torso to your thighs (bend your knees if you need to until your belly touches your thighs).  Your hands or fingertips can touch the floor or rest on the shins (make sure the spine is supported and lengthened throughout).

 

Cat/Cow

 
Come to all fours (tabletop position), hands under shoulders, knees under hips.  Inhale, lift your head to the sky and tilt your pelvis pointing the tailbone to the sky.  Drop your belly and gaze upwards.  As you exhale tuck your tailbone, pull in your navel and round your back.  Repeat as many times as you like- this is one of my favourites as part of a flow or as a standalone stretch as it really gets movement into the spine in a lovely gentle way.

 

Downward Facing Dog

 
A yoga staple!  From all fours, spread your fingers, press through your palms.  Exhale, tuck your toes and lift your tailbone towards the sky, lengthening the spine and drawing the shoulders down and back.  When you are ready, work towards straightening the legs by pushing your heels towards the floor.  You should feel a stretch in your hamstrings.  Pedal your feet and walk out the ankles to sink more deeply into the stretch, you can also gently move your head and neck from side to side.  This deep stretch really rejuvenates and energises the whole body.  It allows blood to flow to the brain and calms the nervous system.

 

Child's Pose

Last but not least child's pose.  Again I like to do this pose on it's own sometimes just to ground myself and calm my mind after a busy day.  Start on your hands and knees and spread your knees wide keeping the big toes touching.  Sit up straight and lengthen your spine through the crown of your head.  Exhale and bow forward so your torso is between your thighs.  Extend your arms and keep them long, palms facing down.  As you stay in the pose you can walk your fingertips further forwards to deepen the pose.  Child's pose is a resting pose, it gently stretches and calms the mind.  It's also lovely for sufferers of lower back pain.

 

Hold each pose or posture for 5 long deep breaths, breathing in and out through the nose (you can stay longer if you wish in all or any of the poses).  At the end of the practice lie on your back, palms facing up and feet and ankles relaxed in Savasana or corpse pose.  Close your eyes and centre yourself.  Concentrate on your breath and allow yourself a few minutes to connect with your breathing and your body before you start your day.

 

Let me know if you try this.  I'd love to know your go to favourite poses x

 

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