Ease Tight Muscles And Lift Your Mood With This Quick First-Thing Yoga Flow

Breathe in, stretch out. 🧘


Nokuphiwo Jada |

Routinely wake up grumpy? Ease tight muscles and lift your mood with this quick morning yoga flow.

Your trainer: Nokuphiwo Jada is a Cape Town-based yoga instructor who teaches yoga to underprivileged children and adults in her community as a coping mechanism for stress. Follow her @nokuphiwojada

You’ll need: Yoga mat, towel or your bedroom carpet.

One minute Idris Elba is gazing lovingly into your eyes, the next your alarm clock is bulldozing your dreams. It’s dark, cold and if your achy muscles are anything to go by, you slept funny. Don’t let a rough start ruin your whole day. Just fifteen minutes of stress-busting movement and breath work will help relieve stiffness and Zen you out before you face the traffic. You don’t even need to get out of your PJs.

“You can do this routine every morning to rejuvenate your body on a daily basis,” says yoga teacher Nokuphiwo Jada, who created it. Starting with the first pose, transition from one to the next, aiming for a continuous flow.

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Sukhasana to half moon

Start in an easy seated pose (Sukhasana). Sit like this for a minute with your eyes closed and hands in your lap, breathing deeply (1). Raise your arms to the sky and then over to your right into half moon (2).

Repeat on the left (3), then inhale, raising your arms up again and lengthening your spine (4). Exhale as you reach your hands in front of you.

READ MORE: We Asked A Yoga Instructor For The Best Poses To Tackle Upper And Lower Back Pain

Cat and cow

Place your hands on the floor, then walk them forwards and move onto all fours. Spend a few breaths performing cat and cow: inhale and arch your back, sticking your tail bone up (5).

Exhale and round your back, tucking your tail bone (6). Continue alternating.

READ MORE: 5 Beginner Yoga Poses To Help You Sleep Better

Downward-facing dog to standing mountain

From cat and cow, push up into downward-facing dog (7).

Walk your hands back towards your feet, or your feet towards your hands, and exhale into forward fold (8), then roll up into a standing mountain pose (9).

Warrior 1 to starfish

 

From standing mountain, take your right leg forward into warrior 1 (10), exhale, and open your hips into warrior 2 (11).

Raise both arms, opening both legs into starfish pose (12).

Return to standing mountain, then repeat the warrior sequence, leading with your left leg.

Sit with legs wide open, hands in front of you (13), then return to your easy seated pose. Sit quietly for a few minutes, breathing to relax your body, and say an affirmation to yourself: “I am beautiful.”

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