Need something to energize your morning, even more than a cup of coffee?! Awaken your whole system with this quick flow, to have you feeling ready to take on the world. I highly recommend flowing to a playlist of a few of your favorite songs.
Start in Tadasana - with your eyes closed feel your feet rooted, chest wide, core strong, and lift from the top of your head
Keep your eyes closed and begin to move. Roll through your neck, shoulders, hips. Move your arms overhead, stretch your sides. Free your body to move without judgement, anything that feels good is right here!
Come back to stillness in your Tadasana.
Begin to practice The Breath of Joy (use an alternate pranayama practice if you have high blood pressure, any head or eye injuries):
Keep your knees soft as you move. As you inhale to around 1/3 your full breath capacity, through your nose, sweep your arms straight out from your shoulders in front of you, palms up.
With another inhale (no exhale yet!) to 2/3 of your lung capacity, sweep your arms out to either side, making a big T out of your body.
Without exhaling, take a third sip of air in through your nose to your full breath capacity as you reach your arms up alongside your ears, straight up to the sky.
Finally an exhale! With a 'ha' sound, let all the air out of your mouth. Your arms and torso swing down towards the ground, folding over your legs, knees bent, arms free flowing.
Start slow at first, allowing your body to become accustomed to the movement, then speed up as you feel comfortable. Allow yourself to flow with the rhythm. Repeat a few times, no more than 10 total.
Return to standing still, in Tadasanda, and feel the sensations of the Breath of Joy!
Once your breathing has slowed, start to move through 3 rounds of Sun Salutation A, slowly and freely. Build up your chatarungus and deepen your backbends with each round, maybe take a few rounds of Cat and Cow before you move into Downward Dog. Hold your DD for 3 breaths, pedal through your feet, move your hips left and right.
Flow through Sun Salutation B! Hold your chair pose for three breaths to activate your muscles; weight in your heels, tailbone tucked and core engaged. Flowing with a breath per movement, Vinyasa moves into DD, into Warrior 1, and back again, each side. Take as many rounds as you'd like, until your body is warm, engaged, strong.
Step your right foot forward to a low lunge - Anjanyasana - as you inhale, then shift back into your left shin, lenghtening your right leg, lifting your right toes to increase the extension of the hamstring - runner's lunge - as you exhale. Flow back and forth with your breath between the two poses for 6 breaths.
On an inhale land in your lunge, hold for 3 breaths. Keep hips square, spine long. Pull back to runner's lunge, hold for 3 breaths, same cues!
Coming back into your lunge, reach your right hand back behind you, following with your gaze. Bend your back knee, either stay there, or capture the ankle with the hand. Open up into a gentle backbend, hip and quad opening.
Release, sweep right arm forward to frame your right foot. Lift the back knee, rotate toes open to the left side of your mat, keeping your weight on the right leg in a gentle lunge. Moving with your breath, take your weight over to the left side lunge. Flow back and forth slowly. Maybe moving deeper into Skandasana, maybe lifting the arms out to either side to power up the legs.
Pause at center, and turn your toes out. Lift your torso straight up and bend your knees deeply, keeping shins straight up and down, reaching arms out to either side. As you inhale, lift your arms straight up overhead as you press through your heels and slowly straighten your legs, exhale back into the squat with arms reaching side to side. Flow for 3 slow breaths, then hold at the bottom of your squat for 3 additional breaths.
Lengthen your legs, turn your toes in, hinge from your hips into a Wide Legged Forward Fold. Take the arms behind the back and interlace your fingers, press your palms together, and allow your hands to float towards the ground.
Move hands to frame your right foot, step back, flow through a Vinyasa or two!
Take the full flow on your left side: Lunge to Runner flow, Lunge hold, Runner hold, capture your back foot, side to side in Skandasana, Goddess Squats, WLFF.
Vinayasa into a DD, move into plank and hold your plank pose for 3 to 6 breaths! Add an extra challenge if you like, by hovering one foot at a time.
Lift back to DD, into Child's Pose.
From Child's Pose, set up for a headstand. Press into your elbows and power up your shoulders. Engage your core as you lift your hips up towards the sky. Walk your toes in towards your face until your hips are as high over your head as possible. IF your toes can float off the ground, either bend your knees in towards your belly and hold the stacked pose for a few breaths before opening up into a full headstand, OR for a challege, keep your legs straight and lift them straight up towards the sky. Don't hop, skip or jump. If your toes don't float off the ground, work on strengthening your core by lifting one set of toes at a time. Hold your Shirshasana/Headstand for 3 to 6 breaths. When you come down, come back into childs pose for the same number of breaths.
Roll onto your back, or from DD jump your feet through your hands.
Take a bridge pose, if you're feeling open enough maybe a wheel pose.
Hug your knees into your chest.
Take a nice easy supine twist on your back, knees to one side, gaze to the other. Hold for 3 breaths then switch.
Rest in Savasana...
And arise rejuvenated, vital, ALIVE!