Affirmation of the day: I am a powerful being of light. There is no limit to what I can create and accomplish. By accessing my inner power, I live every day to its fullest, manifesting a life full of love and abundance. I have the courage to go after my dreams. I am powerful!
Cat and cow: Inhale as you bring your lower back down, exhale as you push your belly upwards. It’s okay to move side to side and front to back!
Downward facing dog: Press your hips upwards and open your chest. Heels not touching the floor is okay. Better to have a flat back than straight knees!
Three legged dog: Bring one leg up to open your hips. Bend your knee for more back stretch, too! Make sure your hands are flat on the floor.
(Don’t know what to call this, maybe…) Opposite hand and foot: Good stretch for back, two methods shown. Bring foot up, and reach with opposite hand. Or, round your back and grab your foot before arching your back. Also good for core strength!
Child’s pose to cobra to upward facing dog: Breathe from child’s pose into cobra pose. Don’t hyperextend your elbows, keep a micro bend in them. Go deeper into cobra by tucking your toes, pushing your heart forward more. Upward facing dog is when your thighs aren’t touching the ground and only the tops of your feet are on the ground.
Half forward bend: (Side note: In forward bend, you want to keep your back flat, not rounded. This is easier to be mindful of if you lead with your chin, rather than with your forehead!) Inhale, reach up to extend your spine; exhale and fold to 45degree angle. Hold it and breathe :) If you can, go to a more acute angle, but don’t round your back too much! You should feel the stretch in the backs of your knees.
Half happy baby pose: One leg extended, one leg hugging towards the chest. Grab the outside of the foot from the inside of the knee. Happy baby pose is when the soles of your feet are parallel to the ceiling. Go deeper by straightening your knee. You can also use a strap! The most important stretch is in the hips, not in the knees. (GIFs A and B are slightly different in sequence.)
Mini camel pose: Start from Child’s pose with your hands on your sacrum (lower back, right above your butt crack), and with the inhale, raise one arm, come up to your knees, and arch your back as much as you feel comfortable. Bring your hips forward if you want to go deeper backwards. This is a chest opener, and a back stretch. Make sure your knees are hip width apart. If you’re having trouble going back, put a block between your knees and squeeze!
Inhale to extend your spine, exhale to twist or ground your pose further.
I like to inhale through my nose, exhale through my mouth (in a small O shape).
Hold poses for 3, 5, 8, etc breaths (just so you know how long to hold each side for).
If you’re having trouble (no balance, no focus, etc) in a pose, and you have a free hand, open and close (ie make a fist with) that hand in rhythm with your breath.