I admit it - I am absolutely a Tin Woman - especially when I wake up! This practice is for all of you out there who wake up stiff, creaky, crunchy and would like a practice to help "oil" the joints for better movement throughout the day. Enjoy!
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Supported Fish Pose
Hold: 3-5 minutes +
Take a rolled towel or blanket across the mat. Settle down onto it with the shoulders fully supported at first and then slowly begin to inch your way towards the floor with shoulderblades barely grazing the floor behind you. Start here allowing the shoulders and upper back to fully release and open. Take your arms up overhead or out to sides (even interlacing them if comfortable). You can stay here for the remainder of the time OR gently inch your way to where the shoulders are fully supported on the floor. To come out - bend knees, press into your feet and lifting your hips - remove the blanket from underneath. Bring your hips back down and relax for 5 more breaths before continuing.
Hold: 2-5 mins per side
Walk both heels over to the right, stacking the left ankle over the right (option to just keep them side by side). Keeping the hips in place, move your upper body and head over to the right as well. Take arms up overhead and grasp left wrist with right hand OR simply take hands where you feel stretch but not pain. Turn your head wherever it feels most comfortable. Take deep breaths into the left side body feeling the opening from the left foot through the left hand. To come out, release the hands to the hips and move the upper body back to center. Slowly unwind the ankles and realign the lower body to center. Relax with arms and heels wide for 1 minute. Try the second side.
Easy Seated Pose Forward Fold with Eagle Arms
Hold Time: 3-5 minutes/side
Come onto your seat (blanket under hips for forward tilt and support) crossing right foot in front of left. Place 1-2 blocks out in front of you for support. Take your arms into goal posts and wrap (loosely) the right under left with either backs of hands or palms together. Gently begin to fold forward bringing your elbows or forearms to the blocks or to the floor and allow your back to round. Remain here for 3-5 minutes. Gently press up to center and unwind. Lean back, uncross the legs and lift the heart for 5-8 breaths or do seated cat/cow 5 times. Take the second side.
Extended Child's Pose (arms wide)
Hold: 3-5 minutes
Come onto your knees. Bring your big toes together and knees apart slightly (bringing them closer together opens the front thighs more). Keeping your hips low to the heels (prop with blankets or blocks if needed), allow your torso to drop forward, resting your head on your fists or hands or the floor. Allow your head to be supported fully with the weight on the space between your eyebrows. This will bring some softness to your whirling thoughts and quiet your mind (hold here for 2-3 minutes). Use a block for your head if needed for comfort. Remain here for 3-5 minutes. Gently press up to come out.
Hold: 2-6 mins/side
Come onto your back and take arms wide - level with shoulders or bent elbows (more chest opening) and cross the right leg over the left - winding once or double wrap. Press through the foot and gently shift hips over to the right. Drop knees over to the left and turn head to the right. Allow gravity to take the knees over and if you feel you can, walk the left toes back behind you more for more twist. To come out, engage your core and bring legs back to center. Drop feet wide on the mat and let knees come together. Breathe here for 8 breaths and continue to second side.
Hold: 5-10 minutes
Allow the heels to settle out to the corners of the mat, slide your shoulder blades underneath your body, and take your hands out to the sides, palms up. Take some deep breaths, coming back to the 3 part breath - first in the belly, then in the chest and finally the collarbones - and extend the exhale even longer. Allow yourself to sigh a few times and let it all go! Take a 6 count inhale, 6 count exhale, 6 count hold at the bottom of the exhale for 3-5 rounds. Focus on your breath and let go.
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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All rights reserved by Aprille Walker and The Yoga Ranger Studio 2014-2018 (copyrighted material)