Move Through This 15-Minute Morning Yoga Class While Your Coffee Is Brewing
If you're anything like me, you wake up feeling creaky on all of the days ending in -day (that makes all of them). Luckily, sticky morning joints are nothing a yoga mat can't handle. And on this week's edition of Well+Good's Trainer of the Month Club, Paris Alexandra and Alicia Ferguson—co-founders of Brooklyn Yoga Club—are proving it with a 15-minute flow that you can move through while your coffee is brewing.
For the class, you'll need a mat and two blocks, but one of the wonderful things about yoga is that you can always improvise (a rug and two books will do the trick). Once you've secured a perfect spot and donned your most comfy clothes—which might just be your PJs—come to a comfortable seat at the front of your mat. It's time to say good morning to your body.
Move through this 15-minute morning yoga class with the co-founders of Brooklyn Yoga Club
1. Sukhasana (easy pose): Criss-cross your legs and fall into a comfy seat. If you want, you can prop your hips up on a block to help support your lower back and open your hips. Bring your hands to your heart center and start to pay attention to your breathing.
2. Parivrtta Sukhasana (easy pose with a twist): Without moving your lower body, swoop your arms overhead and twist your body to your left. Bring your right hand to the outside of your left knee; bring your left hand to the floor. On your inhales, lengthen the spine. On your exhales, twist deeper. Repeat on the right side, too.
3. Bitilasana Marjaryasana to Chakravakasana (cat-cow): Come to tabletop with your shoulders over your wrists and your hip bones over your kneecaps. If this is a lot of pressure in your wrists, Alexandra recommends placing a yoga block under each hand. On your inhale, press your chest forward through your arms (this is cow pose); on your exhale, curl your spine and tuck your chin (this is cat pose). Keep doing this for as long as you like and feel free to move with no rules: draw circles with your hip bones, come into child's pose, and move through your spine freely.
4. Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog): Press into your hands and lift your hips back into downward facing dog. (Again, keep your blocks under your wrists if the pressure feels like a lot.) Bend your knees slightly and think of angling your sitz bones to the sky. Take deep breaths here, bending one knee and strengthening the other in order to work into the back of each leg. Ahhh.
5. Uttanasana (forward fold): From downward dog, bend your knees as much as you need to and walk forward to the front of your mat. Release the tension from your neck and jaw and swing your arms back and forth, moving freely. Interlace your elbows if you like and just let everything hang.
6. Tadasana (mountain pose): With a big bend in your knees, slowly roll all the way up to standing. (Do this slowly and I guarantee it'll feel like heaven.) Lift your toes, then press them down into the mat so you feel really rooted where you are.
7. Uttanasana (forward fold): Swan dive back into your forward fold with your knees bent.
8. Ardha Uttanasana (half forward fold): From forward fold, flatten your back (including your neck) and bring your hands to your shins. Imagine a string pulling your head forward from the center of your scalp. Fold back into Uttanasana.
9. Parshva Tadasana (standing side bend): Come back into mountain pose and extend your arms up overhead. Clasp your hands together and release your pointer fingers. Extend your sides and bend your body to the left. Find the same pose on the opposite side.
10. Uttanasana (forward fold): Come back to center and fold forward once more. Come up halfway into Ardha Uttanasana. From here, step back, come onto your knees and lower all the way onto your belly.
11. Bhujangasana (cobra pose): Bring your fingertips alongside your ribs. Use the strength of your back muscles to lift your chest off the ground, looking forward at the ground so you don't strain your neck. Lower down.
12. Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (three-legged downward dog): From your belly, press through your knees and back into your downward dog. Extend your right leg straight back without opening your hip. Come into plank pose and bring your knee toward your nose. Extend the right leg back again.
13. Anjaneyasana (low lunge): Step your right foot in between your hands, place your left knee gently on the floor, and reach your arms up to the sky. Bring your hands to the floor and step back into down dog. Repeat steps 12 and 13 on your left side.
14. Uttanasana (forward fold): Walk your hands forward once more and come into your tried-and-true forward fold.
15. Utkatasana (chair pose): Bend your knees, push your butt back, and scoop your arms up so they're tracking right alongside your ears.
Move through Uttanasana, Ardha Uttanasan, plank pose, Bhujangasana, and Adho Mukha Svanasana to complete Surya Namaskar A or sun salutation A.
16. Vrikshasana (tree pose): From mountain pose, pour your weight into your left foot and bring your right foot to your inner ankle, calf, or thigh. Bring your hands to prayer position at your heart and breathe, breathe, breathe. Complete this pose on the opposite side.
Move through another Surya Namaskar A.
17. Balasana (child's pose): From your down dog, come onto your knees and push your hips back to come into child's pose. Keep your knees together or spread them apart depending on what feels best in your body. Reach your arms forward.
18. Apanasana (knees to chest pose): Sit up and swing your legs forward. Slowly lower down until you're lying on your back, then hug your knees into your chest. Rock from side to side, smoothing your lower back into the floor. Release your knees and place your feet on the floor. Allow your knees to gently rock back and forth. Do what feels good.
19. Savasana (corpse pose): Extend your legs and arms, scoop your sacrum under, and rest here. What a way to start your morning!
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