The InYoga 10 minute practice (the first 5 minutes is in bed!)
How to keep flexible, strong (and sane) over the Christmas break.
The holiday break can put you in challenging situations from lying awake on a lumpy air mattress in the same room as your snoring uncle or waiting in long shopping lines (think Boxing Day sales). The InYoga “10-minute Strong and Sane” practice offers you a dollop of restorative postures mixed with a fun breath exercise that will certainly raise Nanna’s eyebrow! Enjoy!
Good morning! Fingertips to toe tips.
As you awaken from a deep long sleep (or an afternoon nanna nap) reach your arms behind your head and stretch your legs forward leading through your heels for more extension. Now enliven your fingers and toes by stretching them wide. Point your toes forward, reach back with your fingers and take full body breaths – how good does that feel? Awesome, right?
Now spread your arms and legs wide, star shaped. Feel the entire back half of your body relax. You are supported by the earth and gravity. Close your eyes and turn your palms to face upwards and listen to the rhythmic pulse of your breath. Take a moment to savour this moment of stillness and peace. Take a moment to appreciate the amazing people in your life that support and love you.
You’re still in bed (how glorious!). Bring your legs together and draw your right knee in towards your chest with your left leg long. Give a gentle squeeze around the shin and roll your right knee over your left hip. Make adjustments where needed – resist the urge for the right shoulder to rise too high or your extended leg to be out at an angle. Try moving your right knee up and down slowly to feel for your sweet spot in the twist. Take 2-3 minutes in the twist and swap sides.
Slide out of bed and stand with your feet slightly apart in line with your inner hip bones. Spread your toes wide and feel the four corners of your feet press evenly into the ground. Hinge from your hips folding your torso forward and down, bend your knees to suit the range of flexibility in the back of your legs. Take a deep breath in and feel your shoulders broaden and draw away from the spine. Take a long exhale (even open mouth if you need to release excess tension) and feel your spine lengthen and your head hang heavy. Your hands can wrap around opposite elbow or simply rest them on your shins or the ground - you choose. Take 2-3 minutes watching your breath and feel your lower back and shoulders broaden and decompress.
Stand up tall and relax your shoulders. Tuck your chin just slightly to lengthen the back of your neck. Prepare to balance on one leg so set your gaze on one point in front of you and breath long and slow. Lift your left foot and press the sole into either the inside of your right thigh or calf muscle. If you wobble and lose your balance just try again. Once steady enjoy the expansiveness of reaching your arms high and wide – how much space can you move into? Swap sides. Breathe well and have a wonder filled day!
Roar! Lions breath.
This yogi secret weapon is for any time of the day or night – it really depends on who or what is pressing your buttons. Has Mum dug out the photos of your tight coil perm disaster from the eighties? Is the soundtrack to Frozen tattooed on your brain after watching five times with your nieces and nephews? Here’s what to do:
- Walk away slowly…..
- Find a space to be alone that hopefully has a mirror or reflective surface. Look at yourself. Do you see a crazed maniacal smile with smoke blowing from your ears and nostrils? You’ve gotta let that go!
- Take a deep breath in then open your mouth and breath out.
- Take another huge breath in and stick your tongue out as your exhale.
- Take another breath in and roar like a lion OUT LOUD on your exhale. Repeat until the fury subsides (a crowd could gather, be warned!)
- Look at yourself in the mirror. LAUGH OUT LOUD.