“And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!” And each day, it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is important.” – Unknown
Our morning routine sets the tone of the day. Creating a meaningful and fulfilling morning routine can sometimes be a challenge. Making the time to take some quality time for self-care; reflection, practicing yoga, meditation, eating a healthy breakfast and setting your intentions while being on time for work, taking care of your family and thinking of the many tasks you have to get done before the night falls can be enough to detour you from even taking the time to make it to your mat. But, you can set the tone of your day by breathing, balancing, and strengthening with your very own morning flow for 20 minutes.
Tips to create your own 20 minute yoga flow
One things for sure if you are a yoga practitioner you already know the benefits of your practice and how it uplifts your mood but on those days that you don’t make it to yoga class early in the morning, why not gently awaken with a morning bed flow? Or maybe you wake up with tons of energy and you are ready to just power through the day, create your own power vinyasa practice. “Well, I am not a yoga teacher.” You say. “How do I create my own practice?” “How do I know I am doing it correctly?” With tons of yoga videos and apps now available at your finger- tips you would think these questions wouldn’t arise as often as they do. Even if you aren’t a seasoned yogi or haven’t taken any workshops you can still create your own sequence with some basic yoga asanas (poses).
Keep in mind that to build a well-rounded practice you will have three dimensions: a warm up, main sequence, and a cool down. You can add an optional peak pose, such as a back bend but make sure your warm up consists of poses that warm up the back and shoulders to prepare you for a back bend. You can integrate a combination of seated and standing postures. Think about your favorite yoga class. What cues does your instructor give you to build a solid foundation? Cues such as tuck your tail bone, keep your knee stacked over your ankle, drop your shoulders away from your ears, or listen to your breath are to help you practice healthy alignment. When creating your own sequence you can be mindful of these cues that you have learned in yoga class. In your next class session note your favorite poses and how your body feels in each pose.
Integration | Warm up Poses
Child’s Pose: Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles. Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue.
Mountain Pose: Improves posture, Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles, Relieves sciatica
Standing Forward Fold: Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression, improves digestion. Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips.
Half way lift: Stretches the front torso, strengthens the back and improves posture.
Cobra Pose: Stretches the shoulders, chest and abdominals. Strengthens the arms and shoulders, and elevates mood.
Sun Salutations | Main Sequence Poses
Upward Facing Dog: Improves posture, stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen. Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica, Therapeutic for asthma.
Downward Facing Dog: Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression. Energizes the body. Strengthens the arms and legs.
Warrior I: Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders. Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back. Stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles.
Warrior II: Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles. Increases stamina and helps relive back aches.
Triangle Pose: Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine. Stimulates the abdominal organs. Helps relieve stress and improve digestion.
Reverse Warrior: Opens the side body, strengthen the legs, and challenge the mind.
Crescent Lunge: Strengthen the quads and glutes. Develop stamina and endurance. Improve balance, concentration and core strength.
Optional Challenge | Peak Poses
Wheel pose: Helps us maintain emotional stability. Stretch the hip flexors, strengthen lower back, Stretches your wrist flexor muscles.
Crow pose: Strengthen the arms and wrists! Build endurance and mental focus.
Side crow pose: Strengthen the arms and wrists, tone and strengthen the core. Improve balance.
Flying pigeon pose: Strengthen the wrists, forearms and shoulders. Stretches the hips, hamstrings and calves. Improves balance.
Relaxation | Cool Down
Pigeon pose: Relieve lower back pain, tension and stress. Increase hip flexibility. Improve posture.
Seated forward fold: Calm the brain and help relieve stress. Stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings.
Happy baby pose: Open the hips. Lengthen the spine. Calm the mind and relieves stress.
Savasana / Corpse Pose: Relax the entire body and muscles. Stimulate blood circulation. Improve concentration.