Yoga can actually be quite intimidating if you are new to it, the therms and poses sounds SO complex, I mean you cannot even pronounce them!? However, we think that most of us are aware that the benefits from practising yoga are endless - so let's try to make sense of some of it! Start you day off with these simple exercises at home and we can promise you that you will feel the difference in your mind and body right away.
SUN SALUTATION A | SURYA NAMASKAR A
I am sure that most of us have heard about Sun salutations. If you have tried vinyasa yoga you have probably already done this exercise without even knowing it. Sun salutation A is also known as Surya namaskar A and this is the most basic sun salutation there is. So let's start your new morning routine with five rounds of sun salutation A.
1. MOUNTAIN POSE TO RAISED HANDS POSE
Start in mountain pose - stand at the top of the mat, with feet together and your arms along your sides or held together infront of your chest. Try to check in with your body and feel where you are today, be present and focus on your breathing throughout the movement. Inhale and lift your arms up over your head with your palms together, make sure that your shoulders are not coming up to your ears but staying down.
2. STANDING FORWARD BEND TO FLAT BACK
Exhale and fold forward over your legs, remember to keep a straight back and to bend from your hips and not your back, try to touch your nose to the knees. Try to come down with your hands as Tonje does above but this all depends on where you are today, it is ok if you are not there yet. Inhale and lift your head up to flat back, eyes forward and fingertips touching the mat.
3. PLANK POSITION
Exhale and jump or walk back to a plank position on straight arms. Try to hold your body straight on your toes and hands, gaze down into the mat.
4. FOUR LIMBED STAFF POSE TO UPWARD FACING DOG
Come down with your upper body towards the floor, elbows should be straight back and hugging close to your body. Inhale and roll over on to your toes to upward facing dog. Open up your chest to the ceiling, keep your shoulders over your wrists.
5. DOWNWARD FACING DOG TO STANDING FORWARD BEND
Go down to lay flat on the floor, press up to plank and raise your hips to the ceiling to a downward facing dog. Your legs and arms should be straight, gaze back. If your heels are not touching the floor don't worry about it - they will some day! Stay here for five breath circles. Exhale and jump or step forward to standing forward bend again.
6. RAISED HANDS POSE TO MOUNTAIN POSE
Inhale and come all the way back up with raised arms above your head, your gaze should be up toward your hands. Lower your hands and exhale in mountain pose. Repeat the flow five times.
5 SIMPLE YOGA EXERCISES TO DO AT HOME
Now we have awaken the body but let's add some simple exercises to stretch out our bodies before we head off to all of today's to-do:s!
Start on all fours, be sure that your hands are placed directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale and drop your belly towards the floor, your gaze should be up towards the ceiling, this is cow pose. Exhale and move into cat pose, draw your belly inwards toward your spine and round your back towards the ceiling. Inhale as you move into cow pose and exhale in cat pose - continue with the flow 5-20 times.
Benefits: Cat-cow warms up the body, stretches your back and neck.
You can start in downward facing dog, race your right leg straight up to one legged dog. Press your knee up towards your chest and very carefully fold your right foot towards your left hip. Use your hands to place the foot were it feels comfortable, keep your left leg straight back, open up your chest and stretch on straight arms. If it feels ok you can proceed and bend over to rest with your head on your hands. Take deep breaths.
Benefits: Great stretch for your seat and hips.
Lie down on your mat with your kness bent and feet hip-width apart on the floor. Your arms should be at your sides, palms facing the floor. Exhale as you press your hips up towards the ceiling, make sure that your knees don't fall out to the sides. If you want you can lock your hands, you should feel an extra stretch in your arms. Hold this position for one minute and don't forget to breath through it all. For an extra challenge you can raise a straight leg upwards, come down to rest and then repeat on the other side.
Benefits: Opens up your chest, heart and shoulders and stretches the spine, back, neck, thighs and hips.
KNEES INTO THE CHEST POSE
It is equally important to stretch your body as your mind so let's finish off with two favourite relaxation poses - don't skip this! It is the best part!! Lie down on the mat and pull your legs into your chest, close your eyes and breathe. Stay here for at least two minutes.
Benefits: Relaxes your back and mind.
Childs pose is an pose for rest, recovery and to find calmness. At any time through a yoga session you can always take a break and rest in childs pose for as long as you need. Let's stay here for at least 2 minutes before you go on with your day.
Benefits: Stretches hips, ankles and thighs, calms your mind and prevents stress and tiredness.