GOOD MORNING, SUNSHINE…
You wake up, eyes barely open, body yet to find movement. Already, an onslaught of thoughts charge through your brain - that to do list is raging!
But just stop.
How about taking 10 minutes to reset and start the day off a little more consciously? Try these five simple steps to get you going…
1. Take a deep breath.
How do you feel today? Start to connect to any sensation in the body. Just watch for a moment: your heartbeat, any tingling on the skin or vibration deeper into the body.
Follow your breathing throughout the sequence. It all starts from here.
2. Upward Salute
Stand with feed hip-distance apart, feet rooted into the earth. - BIG INHALE - Raise your arms overhead, either straight up into the air or making a big Y-shape.
WHY SHOULD I?
A great, energising stretch for the whole body AND, according to Harvard University’s leading researchers in body language, this one’s a ‘power pose’: proven to raise testosterone and lower cortisol in the system. So, for a morning boost of YOU GOT THIS, take five to ten deep breaths here.
3. Dangling Pose
From your upward salute - BIG EXHALE - allow the body to softly hinge forward from the hips, keeping the knees soft and allowing the torso, head and arms to hang heavily down toward the earth. Take hold of opposite elbows or gently rest the hands onto the back of the neck at the base of the skull to add a little more gravitational pull. Stay here for a good 10-15 long breaths to really feel the benefits.
This one decompresses the whole length of the spine, unfurling a stiff, sleepy body, whilst stimulating the central nervous system.
4. Dog Walk
From dangling, set the palms into the floor and step the feet back to downward dog: make sure you’re spreading your fingers and rooting through the palms and finger bases evenly. Keeping the spine long and the back flat, keep your feet hip-distance apart and direct your tailbone to the ceiling. From here, slowly bend through alternative knees in a walking action, shifting the weight of the hips and torso from one side to the next. Calm your breath.
WHY AM I DOING THIS?
Use this motion to ease out any stiffness in the hips and hamstrings, as well as pressing the heels alternately into the ground to release the calf muscles. A great way to feel your way into the whole body and stimulate blood flow through the entire system.
5. Child’s Pose
From your Dog, bend the knees deeply and sit the hips back to the heels. Rest the forehead to the ground and reach the arms forwards, or settle them by the sides of the body. Take a few long, deep breaths - matching the length of the inhalation with the exhalation. It might help to count to six on both the inhalation and exhalation.
Child’s pose creates rested length and openness in the back of the body, and calms the nervous system. Also, from here, we can feel the expansive action of the breath in the body - the expansion of the ribcage and the stomach as we breathe in, the release as we breathe out. Just a few minutes of this kind of mindful breathing has been found to massively alter how we feel, accounting for as much as a 40 percent variance in feelings of anger, fear, joy, and sadness.
Repeat this sequence as many times as you'd like, until you feel the life moving through you the way it should when you start your day. And who doesn’t want to start their day 40% more joyful?!
Written by: Kate Lister