For years I made excuses about having no time for yoga. Yeah sure, I’d love an hour a day to shut myself away and flow and stuff but in reality tasks get in the way. Work, kids, life – it all takes time and before we know it another day has passed and we’re comatosed on the sofa at 9.30pm. If you can find the time in the morning, 10 to 15 minutes of yoga will really kick start your day. Try getting up a little earlier before everyone else and before you get sucked into your normal routine, try some of my favourite moves that’ll energise and refresh and get you raring to go. Here’s our 4 Step Easy Yoga Routine!
1) Start sitting cross-legged on your mat, back straight, shoulders relaxed
You can either bring your hands in prayer at your heart or rest them in your lap. Take a few moments to tune into your breath and set an intention for your practice and your day. I love early morning practices as they are a brilliant time to let go of all that happened the previous day and really focus on what’s to come.
2) Next, warm up your back with some gentle stretches
The cat/cow is a lovely way to wake up your spine after lying in bed all night. Come onto all fours with a neutral spine. Inhale and arch the back tilting the tailbone up to the sky, lift the head and chin upwards. On your exhale, round the shoulders and draw the navel to the spine tucking the chin into the chest as you round your back. Keep flowing between the 2 poses for about 10 breaths finding your own rhythm.
3) When your spine is nice and warm it’s good to find your first downward dog of the day
This pose is a great way to check in with our body to see what we need from the practice. 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. As this is your first downward dog of the day don’t force anything. 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. You can hold this pose for as long as you need (between 5 and 10 breaths is a good measure!).
4) A gentle twist is a brilliant way to wring out all the impurities from the body and detoxify the liver
From down dog step your right foot forward towards the front of your mat and place your foot in between your hands. Raise up to a lunge position and with the front knee and toes in a line. Keeping the legs strong place your left hand to the inside of your right foot and raise your right hand straight up opening out the chest and shoulders, fingers towards the sky and gaze straight up. Stay here for up to 6 breaths. Come back to downward dog and repeat on the other leg.
Putting all these moves together to create a flow is a brilliant way to establish a yoga practice. Alternatively try my favourite way to warm up; Surya Namaskara A after some gentle stretches and repeat to build up some heat and really challenge yourself!