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Yoga + Meditation

Practical Application: Ease into your morning

Gabrielle Stratton

Make the decision to wake up and do something great for yourself. 

Having a cheery disposition is easier for some in the early morning hours, but for most we could use a little engine revving in the morning. I find when I take a little time to meditate and stretch my muscles in the morning, it can be better than coffee.

We've all had it happen, we go to sleep the night before with the intention to wake up and kick ass. But when morning comes and our alarms go off, 5/10/15 more minutes of sleep seems like a better decision. So for those stiff mornings or unmotivated days I find waking up and doing a few stretches is a great way to get the ball rolling. 

The anatomy of it all: For a lot of us we wake up feeling a little tight in our lower back (lumbar spine area) and a bit tighter in our hamstrings. This is because over night your spinal discs are actually rehydrating themselves, causing a bit of swelling in your discs which causes that initial few moments to be a little less comfortable. That's why it is important to take it slow in the morning and not just pop straight out of bed. 

I like to roll over onto one side pressing my palm into the mattress and gently push my way to a seated position. 

First: Once I've found myself on my mat or even on the ground I begin in balasana (child's pose position) toes to touch knees spread the width of your mat and sitting back on your heels hands stretched in front of you. Depending on where I am feeling tight I tend to take different variations. Finding moments of stillness allowing me to take the ease of my sleep into the ease of the pose. Maybe walking my hands over to right, finding the length in my side (breathing into my ribcage) and then back to center and over to the right for one variation. if my shoulder are feeling especially heavy I take my hands overhead leaving my triceps on the ground and rest my hands on my back.


Second: Rooting palms into the mat, I find myself in a table top position to push myself back into downward facing dog. Taking a moment to check in with my alignment, finding length from my sacrum to my cervical spine and allowing my neck to dangle. This might be a bent knee down dog or straight leg, allowing my body to make that decision for me. Inhale my right leg into the air stepping forward (foot between hands) drop my back knee onto the the mat. Either keeping my knee on the mat or raising it off the ground I plant my left hand on the mat and inhale my right arm into the air, finding a nice twist in my spine. (repeat both sides)

Third: Walk my feet up to my hands and find myself in tadasana (mountain pose). Feet to touch, hands by my side shooting grounding energy from my limbs, I take a few moments here to breath and maybe set an intention. Inhale I come up into chair pose (utkatasana), drop my belly onto my thighs and swing my arms behind me, allowing my legs to fire on and my lower back to relax. From here I typically fold forward and move through a vinyasa or Im scrunched for time I just find myself in a seated position. (not pictured)

Fourth: take a small bridge. feet hip width apart relax your glutes, turn on your abdomen and press your pelvis toward the ceiling. maybe interlace hands underneath you. Come down and find your feet in supta baddha konasana (reclined bound angle) soles of the feet to touch knees out in "butterfly" From here I either take a spinal twist and move into some sort of meditation or find a few seconds of savasana and begin my day. 

Hope you enjoy!