5 Yoga Poses to Start Your Day

Yoga On Demand Virtual

Hips don't lie.

Or lower backs...or shoulders...does anyone else feel like they're falling apart?!

The recent shift to working from home and our go to studios being forced to close has a lot of us less active than usual. As much as I LOVE yoga, implementing a full 60-75 mins class at home hasn't been easy these last few months.

Our friends at Yoga Mamas, a wellness studio right here in Leslieville, have shared a quick morning stretch to get your day started. 5 poses, simple and effective.

*Use code LVOPTOMETRY and sign up for one free month of online on demand movement classes care of Leslieville Optometry! Visit yogamamas-on-demand.vhx.tv before December 31st to receive your free month.*

5 Yoga Poses to Start Your Day
Seated Hip Opening Circles
A grounding and calming pose that increases hip mobility and stretches the inner thighs.
Find length through your spine and sit tall. Create as much space between your heels and your body as feels comfortable allowing your knees to fall out to the sides.
Hold onto the outsides of your feet and gently rock your body in seated circles. Change directions after a few breaths. To come out of the pose, sit up straight again, lift your knees and straighten your legs.
Side Body Stretch
A perfect stretch for creating space along the side body and stretching the hamstring. Sit with right foot tucked into your left thigh and left leg extended on a diagonal. Find length through your spine and sit tall. Sweep the right arm up into the air, and while maintaining that length in your spine, lean towards your left leg drawing your right finger tips reaching towards your left toes. Breathe here for a few counts and then switch sides.
Cat Post
An easy way to wake up the body and release the back and neck. Begin in tabletop with hands under your shoulders, fingers spread and knees under hips. Your spine is long with your gaze under your nose. On an exhale press into your hands into the ground, round your spine toward the ceiling and release your head toward the floor. On your inhale, return back to tabletop with a neutral spine. Repeat 5-7 times.
Forward Fold
Amazing for stretching out your hamstrings and calming your mind. Begin standing feet hip distance apart. Start by bending your knees, send your hips back and allow your upper body to lengthen and fold over your lower body. Coss your forearms and hold your elbows with your head relaxing down and crown of the head melting towards the floor. Knees remain bent as generously has needed. Press your heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Hold for 3-5 breaths and come out of the pose by bringing hands to hips, pressing into your heels lifting back to standing with a long torso.
Standing Chest Opener
A beautiful heart opener and stretch for the chest muscles, upper back and shoulders. This stretch really helps relieve us of the rounding we do when picking up, carrying or feeding our little ones. Ground down into your feet, wiggle the toes and find your centre of balance. Check in with your breath, allow it to fill your whole ribcage on an inhale, shoulders soft. Check in with your hips and pelvis, allow your your pelvis to find a neutral position, and allow your lower back and whole spine to find a neutral curve. Then take a big inhale as you reach your arms wide and then high over your head. As you exhale the breath, bring your arms down and interlace your fingers behind you. On your next inhale, lift the head slightly - reaching out through the crown and lift your heart centre as you extend your grasp behind you, feeling the shoulders drop and shoulderblades moving toward each other. Hold for 2 full breath cycles and gently release. Repeat cycle starting with grounding down, finding neutral and sweeping arms up before moving into your chest opener.  
A special thank you to Jamie Kalynuik for putting this together for us. Her beautiful wellness space in Leslieville is one of a kind and we hope you check it out for your prenatal and postnatal wellness needs!

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