We all have those crazy days when we seem to hit every red light, miss an appointment or have an epic bad hair day. They’re not fun. The good news is, we always have a new day awaiting us, and slipping in a few gentle yoga postures can help us feel grounded and graceful once again. This 15 minute yoga sequence is a perfect accompaniment to your early morning, or pre-bedtime routine. It will leave you feeling grounded and connected with your whole self, body AND mind. If chilling out is what you need, grab a couple pillows and a blanket and you’re ready to go!
Easy Pose – 3 minutes
Come to a comfortable seat in the center of your mat, eyes closed. For extra support, fold up a blanket and place it underneath your hips. Cross-legged is the most common seated posture to take, but if this is not comfortable, any seated position will work.
Take 3 cleansing breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth.
Notice how it feels to breathe.
Notice how your body feels.
Notice the state of your mind, thoughts and emotions.
Spend at least 3 minutes in Easy Pose, longer if desired.
Child’s Pose, variation – 1 minute
From your seat, come forward onto your hands and knees, then lower your hips towards your heels, rest your forehead to the mat and place your arms alongside your legs.
To modify, place a pillow or yoga block under forehead, and/or place a pillow or folded blanket under your hips.
Take 5-10 slow breaths.
Forward folds are very calming and draw us towards more awareness of what’s happening within. Acknowledge whatever you may be feeling.
Butterfly Pose – 3 minutes
Slowly, roll up from child’s pose, bring your legs out in front of you with soles of feet to touch. For tight low back, place a pillow or blanket underneath hips. For tight hips and groin, place a pillow or yoga block under each knee.
You will create a diamond shape with the legs. Take a deep breath in, then round forward, placing arms and hands in front of you. Let your head relax. For added support, stack pillows or yoga blocks in front of you to hold head.
This is a passive posture, so let your spine round, your fingers relax and your belly be soft. Instead of trying to feel a lot of physical sensation or stretch, notice where your body naturally falls in the posture when you stop trying to get somewhere.
To come out, inhale, slowly uncurl your spine and place your feet on the floor with knees bent and give yourself a big hug.
Knees to Chest – 1 minute
Make your way onto your back and bring both knees to your chest. Rock gently side-to-side and/or create circles with your knees.
This posture is a great massage for the kidneys, spine and digestive organs.
Feel free to just lay still, knees in, eyes closed for a wonderful low back release.
Legs-Up-The-Wall – 3 minutes
Scoot your hips towards the wall, so that your bottom is nearly touching the wall and bring your legs straight up. Allow your heels to rest against the wall, and your hips to rest completely down into the mat. Optionally, place a soft yoga block or pillow under your hips for added support in the low back.
Bring your arms out to your sides, to your belly or above your head.
Legs-up-the-wall is an inversion, which means blood flow is increasing towards the head. This is wonderful for regulating sleep, better brain function and removing swelling and/or pressure in the feet and legs.
For folks with lumbar spine issues, this is amazing.
To come out, press yourself away from the wall, so that your entire body can stretch out.
Corpse Pose – 3+ minutes
Take some time to make yourself comfortable as you lie down on your back. If it’s chilly, lay a blanket on top of your whole body. Support your head with a small pillow, and place a towel or eye pillow over eyes.
Breathe in as much as possible, hold at the top, then open your mouth and clear all your breath out. Let your breath and body be at ease and completely relaxed. If it takes a few minutes to feel relaxed, don’t beat yourself up. You’re totally normal!
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT posture of the sequence, so give yourself at least 3 minutes to absorb all the goodness of the time you were blessed to spend in your body.
Disclaimer: You are responsible for your body, and if you feel discomfort, pain or dizziness at anytime, come out of posture and consult a medical professional. This sequence is not designed for women who are pregnant, or individuals with high blood pressure. Always consult your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise program.