It’s the start of a new week! Time to begin fresh. Today our contributor Ruth from Yogaru is sharing her Gentle Morning Flow yoga sequence with us again. This is one of our most popular posts here on Happy Magazine.
We hope you might find some time today to try this out for yourself. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just yourself, some space and quiet and the following sequence printed out or on your computer screen. Remember, there should never be any pain in yoga – just gentle, deep stretches and calming breathwork.
|Click to enlarge // Print this sequence out or display it on your computer/iPad to guide you through your home practice|
Your safe space
Starting your morning with some gentle yoga is the perfect way to get your day off to a great start. Yoga is medicine for the mind, body and spirit. Developing a morning yoga routine gives you space to add some self care into your day. Your mat will become your safe haven, where you can take some time to yourself and find relief through gentle movement and conscious breathing. As you become more in tune with your practice you will very quickly learn what movements you need to nourish and support you for that particular day. On days where you are overwhelmed, incorporate more seated poses or forward folds; on days where you have a bit more energy, try to spend a little bit more time in the standing poses; and on days where you are exhausted, lie on your back with your legs up the wall, put your hands on your belly and breath gently into your hands.
The benefits of yoga
Yoga does much more than stretch and strengthen the whole body – it works on many of the body’s systems to help bring balance back. When practiced as part of your morning routine, it resets the body and prepares you mentally and physically for the day ahead. The gentle pendulum of the breath rewires your brain and helps to cultivate a calmer response to life’s challenges.
Exploring the sequence
This gentle morning flow sequence is designed to give a bit of everything that will nourish you for the day. Warm-ups to wake up the body and build focus; standing poses to give energy and build strength; hip opening to relieve stress and anxiety; backbends to aid digestion and boost your immune system; inversions (downdog has all the benefits of a handstand!) to balance the nervous system and increase circulation; twists to aid detoxification and massage the organs; seated to improve posture and ease stress; and restorative to bring calm and balance.
Take as many child’s pose breaks as you need – either with your arms reaching forward for a more active child’s pose or your arms reaching back towards your feet. Child pose flow (four pose flow at the start of row two) is a lovely gentle version of a sun salutation. When you are flowing through this flow, link each movement with your inhale or exhale and let the breath guide when it is time to move to the next pose in the flow.
Your morning practice can be as short or as long as suits you. You can simply pick a few of the poses from the morning flow sequence and move slowly through them for about 5 minutes. On days where it feels really good to get moving, run through the full sequence, taking longer in each pose, forget about time keeping and enjoy the happy supportive space you have made.
Written by Ruth Delahunty.