I wake up my body in the morning the same way like to begin my yoga practice. The sequence is simple, spherical, and it opens up the spine, pelvis, shoulders, and neck. It’s easy to dial it up or down, which makes it versatile and something you can easily commit to every day. Let it feel natural and organic for your body and your context, so allow yourself to veer on and off the path in whatever way you need.
Sit in a comfortable, cross-legged seat with your hands on your knees. Start to “stir the pot” using your hands for leverage and control. Make big or small circles moving from pubic bone, to sitz bone, to tailbone, to the other sitz bone. After a few moments circling in one direction, switch. Feel that you are massaging your organs and starting to unlock the sacral plate. Imagine your torso as a bowl and you mind becomes the big wooden spoon mixing everything up.
Arms Up Spinal Circles
Reach your arms up, interlace your fingers and turn your palms to face up. Again, start stirring it up. This time you will be opening up the middle of the back, the ribcage, and the shoulders. Feel free to break from the circle and move in any way that feels good. Tucking the chin and reaching the arms forward feels as amazing as does leaning back in and lifting your vision. Think that you are creating space in the frame that house all the body’s vital organs and starting to pick yourself up off yourself.
Reach both arms up and take a simple side bend to each side, holding for three to five breaths. Side bending opens up the side channels, and feels absolutely marvelous. Luxuriate in the simplicity.
Reach both arms up and take a simple twist to each side, holding for 3-5 breaths. Twisting creates suppleness in the spine, massages the organs, and helps wring out the kidneys. With each inhale become more erect and vertical through the spine, and with each exhale allow yourself to revolve more.
Cross-Legged Forward Fold
Fold forward as much as is comfortable. Keep the sternum reaching forward, but allow the gaze to drop. Hold for three to five breaths. You will definitely feel this in hips. Push the limits of your flexibility or allow it to be very gentle, based on what you need in the moment. Close your eyes and allow the forward fold to give you an introspective moment.
Switch the crossing of your legs and do the entire sequence again. When you finish, give yourself a moment sitting upright to place yourself in the center, observe the effects of your effort and close your practice in a way that is meaningful to you.
Photos by Chloe Crespi