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Give Yourself a Quick Yoga Break

Amy Kosh, Resilience Coach

27 May 2016

Sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to do a full practice. Or you have done your daily practice and want to add a few specifics in to work on balance or flexibility.

Here I offer a few very simple 5-10 minute practice specifics for you to try.

You can download the PDF as well. Look for the link at the end.  🙂  


For Balance

Foot balancing-

10 Breaths standing on right foot with eyes closed. then put foot down and with eyes open “wobble” until you find your real center of balance where weight is evenly distributed across both feet. Repeat with left foot.

Try just 5 minutes of simple movement- It can change your whole outlook!

To Build Strength and Wake-up Your Body

Downward-facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

downdog

Start from hands and knees hands under shoulders and knees under hips. Turn toes under, press butt back to heels. Press out of hands and lift knees from ground. Begin to press shoulders and upper back towards the back of the room while straightening the legs slowly.

BREATH!  relax your neck and jaw here. Hold for 10 steady and slow breaths.

To Increase Flexibility and Wake-up Your Whole Spine

1/2 Sun Salute: (Ardha Surya Namaskar)

(Remember,  inhale moving up, exhale moving down).

tadasana
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Start by establishing equal weight on both feet and a tall, bright posture through the spine and crown of the head. Bring your palms together in front of the heart center.

 

 

 

inhale_up

2. Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana)

Inhale, turn your palms out, and sweep your arms up and overhead. The spine can take a gentle backbend, lifting the heart and expanding the chest. Gaze up, keeping the forehead relaxed and the face soft.

 

 

 

forward_fold

3. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Exhale and fold forward at the hips. Keep the spine straight as long as you can, then let it softly round into a full forward bend. You can bend your knees to ease strain on your back or hips.

 

 

 

halfway_up

4. Half-way Up (Ardha Uttanasana)

Inhale and lift your chin, your chest, and your gaze. Stay rooted through strong legs, reaching down through your heels. Press your hands into your shins to help lift your heart and straighten your spine.

 

 

lowplank
5. Low Plank (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Exhale and step or jump back to Plank Pose and then lower to Low Plank. On the same exhalation, shift your weight slightly forward, bend at the elbows, and lower your body halfway to the ground until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Hug your elbows to your side ribs. Be careful not to sink your hips or collapse your core.

 

updog

6. Cobra or Up-Dog (Up-Dog shown)

For Cobra, Inhale and press back through your toes to come to the tops of your feet. Simultaneously, keep your hips grounded on the floor and your elbows bent. Press down through your hands and draw your shoulders back to broaden your chest, letting the inhalation expand your heart. Activate your feet and legs to lengthen your kneecaps, thighs, and hips. Lift your gaze past the tip of your nose. For Up-Dog (as shown) Lift knees and thighs off the ground as you straighten your arms.

 

downdog

7. Downward-facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Exhale, tuck your toes under, and use the strength of your belly to pull your hips up and back. Establish a straight line from your wrists through your shoulders, spine, and hips. If this is difficult, you can bend your knees, take your feet wider apart, or lift your heels away from the ground. Relax the back of your neck. Stay for 5 breaths, feeling the flow of breath and holding the pose with strength but not strain.

 

 Transition– Walk or step froward to the front of your mat and fold forward, then fold into Standing Forward Fold.

step_forwardforward_fold

 

halfway_up

8. Half-way Up

 

 

 

forward_fold

9. Standing Forward Fold

 

 

 

 

inhale_up

10. Upward Salute

 

 

 

 

tadasana

11. Mountain Pose

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Breathing

Sweep arms overhead (inhale)

Allow torso and arms to fall forward, bend knees into forward fold (exhale)

Keep knees softly bent to allow spine to unroll and then,

Roll-up, stacking one vertebrae on top of another to come to stand (inhale). repeat 5 times

Feel free to do 1 or all of these as many times a day as feels good.

You don’t need a mat and you can modify them to suit business attire, (Just loosen your tie and take off your jacket to begin)!

Enjoy the lighter feeling and clearer thinking that accompanies these quick yoga sequences.

Download the PDF of this sequence below:

Give Yourself a Quick Yoga Break

Try a little yoga anywhere…anytime.

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