DOWNWARD FACING DOG POSE
This morning, hold Downward Facing Dog for a little longer than you’re used to (or you’d like!) in order to wake up your whole body.
From Cat-Cow Pose, plant your hands on the floor, and step your feet back to Downward Facing Dog. Spread your fingers wide, and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms, and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for 10 deep breaths.
STANDING FORWARD BEND
Standing Forward Bend is one of those poses I always turn to when I need a boost. If it feels nice, instead of placing your hands on the ground, grab your left elbow with your right hand and your right elbow with your left hand, and gently swing from left to right.
Step or hop to the front of your mat from Downward Facing Dog. Inhale, rest your hands on your shins, and flatten your back and gaze slightly forward. As you exhale, engage your abs, and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest, relax your shoulders, and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes, straightening your legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground, with your fingertips lining up with your toes, or grab opposite elbows. Hold here for five breaths.
Set a strong intention for the rest of your day at the top of your mat. Breathe deep, relax, and smile. Take as much time as you need; 10 breaths will suffice, but if you can take a minute or two here, your whole day will feel brighter. From Standing Forward Bend, gently roll up to a standing position. Stand at the front of your mat, feet together, legs active, and arms by your sides. Close your eyes, and start breathing deep. If you choose, this is the time to take a moment to bring your awareness inward, to create an intention for your practice or to make a dedication. Stay for (at least) 10 breaths.