Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 3

Slow, Groovy Wake Up

35 min - Practice


Start your morning with this slow flow. We start on our backs to begin to wake up the body, before moving into a groovy sun salutation sequence. We finish with a seated meditation to soak in the effects of the practice. You will feel awake and ready to start your day.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Apr 25, 2016
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(water flowing) Welcome back, thank you for being here. So this practice, it's a slow flow. We'll begin on our back kind of easing into our practice, and then rock our way up towards standing. We'll move through some slow kind of groovy sun salutations and then close with a seated meditation. So if you're not already there, join me on your back, ease into our practice, and just start by drawing your knees into your chest.

You can let yourself rock a little bit from side to side and just take a moment to notice what you're working with in this moment, whether it's in your body, any thoughts, sensations, feelings, emotions. And then let the soles of the feet come down to the floor feet wide. We'll ease into our practice with windshield wipers, bringing your awareness towards your breath now as you lengthen the spine. Feel the rise of your inhale and as you exhale, let your knees fall to one side, coming onto the edges of your feet lengthen. Inhale, knees up, exhale, over to the other side.

Just continue to move with your breath as an inhale. As you inhale, the knees come up. Exhale to a side. Inhale up, exhale to the other side. A few more rounds.

Beginning to draw your attention towards your breath. And if and as a thought arises, which it will do continuously, see if you can bring your attention towards your breath, bringing you back into this moment into your body on your mat and your practice. Good, next time the knees come up, extend the legs. Take a moment to pause here, and then draw your right knee into your chest. Let the back of the body lengthen, draw your shoulder blades down your back, and then flex your left foot.

So right knee and flex the left foot and feel the back of your body lengthen. So from your tailbone all the way to that left heel lengthen. And as you reach through your left heel, see if you can find a bit more length through the crown of the head. The back of the neck is long, face is soft, breathing. (breathes deeply) And then switch.

Extend the right leg, draw your left knee in. Again, this is like a slow groovy wake-up. Flexing the right ankle, reaching through the heel, and then softening the shoulders down the back. Few full breaths here. See if you can find that action of drawing your naval towards your spine.

Again, soft through the face. (breathes deeply) Good and then switch. Again, draw the right knee and we'll move a little bit faster, starting to awaken the core. Inhale, exhale and switch. Draw the left knee in, extend through the right heel.

Shoulder soften down the back. Inhale, exhale and switch as you draw the right knee, and you might extend and let that left heel hover off the floor or on the floor. And switch, draw the left knee in. Let the right heel hover, lengthen. One more time, inhale, exhale, switch, right knee draws in.

Exhale and switch, left knee draws in, and then free the left leg. Take a moment to shake your legs out. Good, and then draw the right knee in again, and then bring the right leg across the body towards the left, nice and easy spinal twist. Reaching the arms out to the side. Inhale here, exhale, let the right side of the body lengthen, the gaze might look over your right shoulder.

And this is one variation of a twist. Any twist will do. Just listen to your body and what would feel best for your back, for your spine, for your shoulder. And then inhale, come back up. Release the right leg, draw the left knee in.

And then twist, bring the left leg across the body towards the right and then stretch the arms out to the side, inhale, lengthen the left side. Exhale, soften the belly twisting. Maybe that left shoulder soften towards the Earth, and maybe the gaze looks over the left shoulder. Again, any variation of a spinal twist here. Breathing in the shape.

(breathes heavily) Good, on your inhale, draw the knees back up into the center, hug the knees into the chest. From here we're gonna play with rocking on our spine. If rocking on your spine or rolling on your spine doesn't feel great, you might take a moment to bring a blanket underneath you. And we're gonna play here with awakening the core a bit, and you can use your hands. I will for sure.

Inhale, rock back, exhale, rock up. We'll do that a few times. Rounding the spine as you do that. Inhale, rock back, exhale, rock up. And rock back.

And rock up. You can let this be kind of playful. Inhale, rock back. Exhale, rock up. Press your way up, come into malasana squat pose, and sink down.

From malasana uttanasana, extend through the legs. You might keep a soft bend through the knees, and let the torso release, let the arms release, let the head dangle. Right, so for those days when it's hard to get up off the floor, it's hard to stand up, playing with rocking and rolling and coming towards a squat can be a nice way to just kind of shift your mood. And then soften the knees, chin under the chest, slowly roll up towards standing nice and slow, keeping the chin in and just letting the bones start pressing down through your feet, feeling the heart rise, the shoulders roll up back and down, taking a moment to pause. And then making your way towards the top of your mat, I'm gonna turn and mosey to the top of my mat.

And taking a few moments to spread the toes, we'll make our way into some lunges with surya namaskar variation, but very kind of slow and mellow. Taking a few moments to root through your feet. And from that rooting, feel the spine begin to lengthen. Softening the shoulders down the back wide through the base of the skull. Aligning with your breath.

Moving with our breath, as you inhale, reach the arms up, gaze up, look up, lengthen. Exhale, forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale half arch, lengthen the spine, and as you exhale, plant the hands, step the right foot back into a lunge and pause, and then let your knee lower down. We'll come into a low lunge variation here. Drawing the hips back creating space.

Exhale, bend the left knee and sink in. Two more times, inhale, drawing the hip back, lining the hamstring, exhale, sink in. One more time, inhale, drawing the hips back, and then exhale, sink in. From here you might toe heel your left foot slightly wider. Bring your hands on the inside of the left foot and sink down finding a low lunge variation, and here you might lean a bit from side to side.

Releasing the gaze, softening the back of the neck. You might stay here, you might begin to kind of paw your hands out. Maybe even coming down onto the forearms. Again, softening the head, the neck, breathing into any sensation. (breathes heavily) It can help here to really let the eyes soften, the jaw release.

Good, from here walk the hands around the front foot, and then tuck the back toes, lift the back leg, and then pivot under the outer edge of your right foot. So the right leg is extended, the left knee is bent, and we're gonna walk our hands over to the right, like a diagonal. So we're reaching through our fingers and then we're reaching our hips and sit bones away from our hands, creating a dynamic stretch, and then really let the back of your neck soften here. Few full breaths here. Reaching the hips away from the hands.

(breathes heavily) Good, as you're ready, walk the hands back, and then tidy it up, hands around the front foot, and then extend the back leg towards straight. You might bring it in a little bit for a variation of pyramid and then extending the left leg towards straight, maybe there's a soft bend to the knee as you fold forward. Inhale the length and the spine. You might look up, lift up. Lengthen through the front of the belly, the spine, and then exhale, gently fold over the front left leg.

Taking a few breaths. (breathes deeply) Good, and then spin onto the back of the right foot. Bend the knee again, and then bring that right hand to the floor. Lift the left arm up towards the sky, finding a variation of twisting lunge. Drawing the right shoulder down the back.

Now you might stay right here. You might prefer to tuck the toes, find a bit more active twisting lunge, lifting the back leg, and lifting through the belly twisting. So reaching back through the ball of that right heel forward through the crown of your head. Inhale, reach, exhale, release the left arm down, and then step back into downward facing dog. Taking about three to five breaths here in downward dog just to even things out.

Rooting through your fingers. Lengthening through your spine. Perhaps gazing towards your naval. Let the back of the neck lengthen. Beautiful.

We're gonna inhale forward into plank pose, drawing the shoulders over the wrists. Taking a few moments here in plank, feeling that integrity through the arms and the shoulders. Reaching back through the heels forward through heart. And then let's lower onto our knees and lower all the way onto our belly, this time coming into a variation of sphinx pose, stretching the arms far out in front of you, stretching through the tops of the feet, lengthening through the front of the legs, and then inhale, slide up onto your forearm for sphinx, and bring the elbows slightly in front of your shoulders so they're not directly underneath like this, but they're slightly forward. Press down a bit through the tops of the feet and then draw the shoulder blades down the back so you're widening through the collarbones.

And like with the fingers, you're pawing the fingers a little bit. So you're tractioning the spine, drawing the heart forward, keeping it calm and wide through the lower back through the sacrum. Again, easy through the neck. A few moments here in this back bend. (breathes deeply) Inhale, exhale, spread the elbows wide.

Forehead rests on the hands, bend the knees, and let your knees go side to side. So finding that reverse windshield wiper action. And releasing the effort through the back of the body, through the hips. Good, and then release the legs. Slide the palms underneath the shoulders.

Draw the elbows into the rib cage and then press up and press back to child's pose for a moment, drawing the hips back towards the heel, stretching the arms far out in front of you. Allow for an inhale, exhale, soften the belly. Take a few breaths into the back of the body. Wide through the lower back. Spacious through the sacrum.

(breathes deeply) As you're ready, inhale, draw the heart forward. Shoulders over the wrists, tuck the toes under. We'll come into plank, taking a moment to pause here in plank, strong active through the core and the legs. And then press back downward facing dog. Few breaths here, you might walk it off.

(breathes deeply) And then walking your feet towards your hands. Good, bend the knees, uttanasana, dangle. Inhale, half arch, find length through the spine, and then exhale again, uttanasana. Strong legs as you inhale, reach the arms up to the sky, lengthen and look up, linger, and then exhale, release. Taking a moment to pause here.

And then finding the second side, moving with our breath, inhale, arms up, gaze up, lengthen, exhale, forward fold. Inhale, half arch, find that length in your spine. Exhale, bend the knees, step the left foot back as the right knee bends. Taking a moment to pause here as you lengthen, and then let the left knee lower down. Inhale, draw the hips back.

You might come onto your right heel. Exhale, sink in, two more times in this lunge. Inhale, draw the hips back. Exhale, sink in. Last time, inhale, draw your hips back, and exhale, sink in.

Now as you sink in, as we approach the low lunge, you might toe heel your right foot slightly wider. Bring your hands on the inside of your right foot and lean a little bit side to side so you're easing into the lunge, easing into the hips. You might stay here, you might come down or begin to approach your forearms. Again, most likely the side feels a bit different. You have a different relationship with the right side versus the left side.

Breathing. (breathes deeply) Good, and then tidy it up. Bring the hands around that front foot, foot into the center, and then lift up. Come onto the outer edge of your left foot, and then begin to walk your hands over to the left at a diagonal. So you're reaching through your fingers and then lengthening your hips away from your hands.

So the right knee is bent, the left leg is straight, and you're lengthening the spine, finding that downward dog action through the spine. Releasing the head. Breathing. (breathes deeply) Good, ah, that feels good, and then walk your hands back around either side of that front foot. Bring the back foot in slightly closer for a variation of pyramid.

Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, fold. And you might release the gaze or the forehead towards your shin. You can keep that right knee slightly bent and soft as you fold over. As you wanna increase the sensation, you can play with extending the right left towards straight and how lengthening your spine, and then exhale folding forward.

(breathes deeply) Good, when you're ready, bend the right knee, come back into the shape of a lunge. Lower the left knee. Bring the left hand to the floor. We'll find that twisting lunge variation. Begin to spiral the heart towards the right, and you might extend the right arm towards the sky.

You might stay here. You might tuck the toes under. Lift the back left leg, and then spiral it to the right. Reaching back through the left heel forward through the heart crown of the head, breathing. Inhale, exhale, release the right arm.

Step back into downward facing dog. I'm taking about three to five breaths here walking it off. (breathes deeply) As you inhale, come forward into plank pose again. We'll find that pattern moving through sphinx again. Taking a moment to pause in plank, reach back through the heels.

Again, find that integrity in your shoulders, your arms, and then lower down onto your belly. Stretch the arms out in front of you. Reach through the tops of your feet, and then slide up to sphinx pose. Drawing the shoulder blades down the back, tractioning the heart forward. Find that ease through the neck.

So often times the temptation is to kind of like do this with the neck, right, or do this with the neck. See if you can find that spaciousness through the base of the skull. I'm mildly obsessed with that because I tend to catch myself doing that quite a bit. So it's a continual reminder to find that softening, find that ease. A few more moments here in sphinx.

It's quite common in my experience in sphinx to feel like a dull, achy pooling of pressure or energy through the lower back, mid back. If you feel anything sharp or irritating, questionable, please come out. Listening to your body is key. Inhale, exhale, spread the elbows wide. Forehead rests on the hands.

Bend the knees, reverse windshield wiper side to side. (breathes deeply) Releasing the muscles through the back body around the spine, pelvis, the hips. And then release the feet. Slide the palms underneath the shoulders. Press your way up, press back to child's pose.

Hips towards the heels, forehead towards the floor. Just take a few breaths into the back of the body. (breathes deeply) Nice, inhale, come back onto all fours, and then last time we'll find plank. Drawing the shoulder blades down the back, pressing through the palms, tuck the toes. I'm gonna do your strong active plank.

And then press back downward facing dog, last one. Lengthening the spine. Finding that dynamic stretch as you reach your hips, your sit bones, your pelvis, away from your hands. (breathes deeply) A few more moments enjoying your breath. As you're ready, walk in your feet towards your hands.

Forward fold. Inhale, lengthen your spine, find that length, and then exhale, forward fold. Strong legs, inhale, reach the arms up. Take a moment to linger as you lengthen. Go up, look up.

And then exhale, release the arms slow. Take a moment to pause. You might spread the feet a little bit. I'm making our way down to the Earth through malasana, which is one of my favorite poses actually. I'm obsessed with malasana, especially after a recent trip to India, where it becomes like a critical path.

So bending the knees, sinking down into the hips, taking a few moments here and whatever variation you're in. Good, and then making your way towards the seat in your own fashion, your own way, coming onto your sit bones. And we'll bring the right foot in and bring the left foot around, coming into a variation of a twist. So from here with the left knee bend underneath and the right knee over moving towards ardha matsyendrasana, taking a moment to inhale lengthen, settling both sit bones. Inhale the left arm up, and then exhale gently twisting towards the right.

You might wrap the left hand around the right knee, bringing the right hand behind you. Inhale, lengthen, lift up. Exhale, soften the belly, twisting towards the right. Feeling both sit bones, both hips, settling, grounding, and then from that base, begin to lift. Blossom up through the heart.

Breathing into the shape. Nice, one more breath here. So I'll let the gaze come over back to the front. And then for this, a nice transition. I like to lean back, free the legs, and let the legs go wide.

So finding just a wide leg upavistha konasana. Taking a moment to pause here. You might fold forward if that feels nice for you or you might just stay upright and work on lengthening your spine, finding that tilt through the pelvis. Spine lengthening, back of the neck is long. And then we'll find that on the other side.

So bringing the right foot in, left foot across, rooting through the sit bones, taking a moment to ground here, inhale, lengthen, reach the right arm up, and then exhale, twisting towards your left. And you might wrap your right hand around your left thigh, your knee. Inhale to lengthen and then exhale gently twisting. So that left hand is behind you for support. And then breathing into the shape here.

If you find yourself in this moment using your arms to crank yourself into the twist, what would it feel like to, to find it from a bit more subtle place from within? So you're lengthening and softening as you twist. Finding that balance of effort and ease within the shape. Last few moments here. Ground through the left foot.

Inhale, exhale, let the gaze come over the right shoulder, unwind, and then last time, lean back, free the legs wide. Again, you might stay here upright, taking a moment to pause. You might be invited or inclined to lean forward. Maybe the forearms come to the floor. Maybe the forehead comes down to the floor.

And then spinning the thighs, find that external rotation as you spin them back if you're folding forward. (breathes deeply) And then lift forward, use your hands to come back up. From here we'll move towards shavasana or come into a comfortable seat. This evening I'll close with a seated meditation. So sit in a way that feel comfortable for you.

Or lie down shavasana and just taking a few moments to release and settle. (breathes deeply) And you feel in sense the natural ripple of the breath moving through the body without any effort or force. So just like the tides coming in and out noticing. And this subtle and natural rhythms within. The pulsing of the heart.

The vibrancy through the veins. Our conscious ability to soften and release. A few more moments resting in the fullness of this moment. Closing our practice with an om. Joining the hands together at the heart, anjali mudra.

And just feel the miracle in this moment of the breath, the heart, the hands, joining. We'll offer a clearing breath. Gentle breath in. (inhales) And exhale. (exhales) We'll breathe in, exhale om.

Om. Namaste. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for your practice. Have a beautiful day, namaste.


1 person likes this.
A sweet and gentle start to the day. Bless you Alana. I can imagine that this slower practice will be good for hot summer days too.
Hi Simon, Nice to hear from you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this slow wake up practice. :) Wishing you a wonderful day.
I truly loved this class. It's a great way to start my Sunday. Thanks Alana! Tracy
Good morning, Tracy! I am so delighted to know that we are practicing together. Wishing you a wonderful day. :) A
Thank you again Alana I loved the twist in the beginning so much, it kind of took me by surprise in some way. Have a good day!
Good morning, Johanna! What a nice surprise. :) Wishing you a wonderful day!
Thanks Alana. The pace is slow yet perfect for early morning to awaken our energy!
I'm glad you enjoyed the practice, Frederic! Enjoy your day!
1 person likes this.
Wonderful practice! Just what I needed to start this particular day.
Wonderful news, Catherine! So happy to be practicing together. ~ Alana
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