Rise and Shine Yoga

Rise and Shine Yoga

            We’ve all had those mornings when we wake up and desperately want to punch the alarm clock. Maybe you were binge watching a new show on Netflix, maybe you had restless dreams, or maybe you just couldn’t fall asleep. Whatever the reason, morning has arrived and you are exhausted. A simple way to get yourself up and moving is to take ten or fifteen minutes to do some yoga. Here are a few poses to help get those eyes open and your blood flowing:

●     Mountain Pose (tadasana): Begin at the front of your mat with your feet firmly rooted into the ground, hip-width apart. Stretch your arms down, palms facing forward, and shoulders relaxed. It might seem like you’re just standing there, but engage your muscles and be very conscientious of how you are holding your body.

●     Upward Salute (urdhva hastasana): Sweep your arms out and up over your head, stretching up towards the ceiling. If you can, press your palms together and tilt your head back, gazing at your thumbs. If your shoulders feel too tight, just keep your palms facing front and your gaze forward.

●     Standing Forward Bend (uttanasana): As you exhale, bend forward at the waist, bringing your chest to your thighs. If you need to, bend your knees slightly or support your hands on blocks beside your feet. Allow your upper body to relax and let your head hang down like a weight, stretching out your neck and shoulders.

●     Half-Standing Forward Bend (ardha uttanasana): Inhale as you push your fingertips down towards the floor, flattening out your back to form a sort of table with your body. Lengthen your torso as you stretch.

●     High Lunge (utthita ashwa sanchalanasana): Exhale as you step your right foot back into a lunge. Be sure to keep your left knee at a 90 degree angle with your knee positioned over your heel. Bring your arms up into the air, reaching towards the ceiling. Isometrically pull your thighs together as you simultaneously stretch your right foot backwards. This will help tuck your pelvis underneath as you keep your gaze forward and relaxed.

●     Plank Pose (kumbhakasana): Inhale as you place both hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and step your left foot back beside your right. Lengthen and straighten your spine and hold the position, like you’re about to do a pushup. Keep your back strong; don’t let it collapse between your shoulder blades.

●     Four-Limbed Staff Pose (chaturanga dandasana): Exhale as you bend your arms and lower yourself down from plank position, but don’t go all the way to the floor. Keep your elbows in close to your body and hold the position just above the floor.

●     Cobra Pose (bhujangasana): Lower yourself all the way to the floor and adjust your feet so that the tops of your feet are against the floor. As you inhale, push up on your hands and begin to lift your chest off of the floor. Be sure to only go as high as you can while still keeping your pelvis against the floor. Relax your shoulders and make sure to lower them and keep them out of your ears.

●     Downward-Facing Dog (adho mukha svanasana): Exhale as you push your hips into the air, keeping both your palms and the soles of your feet rooted into the ground. Your body should look like an inverted letter “V.” If you need to bend your knees slightly to straighten your back, do so.

 

            From here, repeat from High Lunge, but this time with your left foot back. Then, once you reach Downward-Facing Dog again, step forward into Half-Standing Forward Bend before folding into Standing Forward Bend. Then inhale deeply as you rise up into Upward Salute before finishing in Mountain Pose. This sequence is called Sun Salutation A and is intended to help you start your day and greet the sun! Of course, as with any yoga practice, be sure to finish with Corpse Pose (savasana). Lie flat on your back, arms at your sides with palms facing up and your legs about hip width apart. Let your limbs relax as you close your eyes and focus on your breathing. This is an important part of closing out your practice, to let your body settle after doing yoga, but, now that your limbs are fired up, you shouldn’t be in danger of dozing off!

 

*Vemma Nutrition Company recommends following a healthy approach to weight loss by consulting with your physician or health care professional prior to starting any new exercise or diet plan.

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