Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 4

Greet the Day

45 min - Practice


Alana guides us through a slow, groovy morning practice to awaken the body gradually. We begin on the ground with some yin-style holds to warm the hips and legs, before moving into fluid movements and hip opening standing postures. You will feel soothed and calm as you begin your day.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block


Read Full Transcript

Good morning and welcome back. We're going to begin our practice on the ground. You might want a blanket for this practice and a block nearby. So we'll start in a kind of groovy yin style bodhikonasana. So you might have a blanket underneath your sitting bones and bring the soles of the feet together, let the knees fall wide and let the feet be further away from the pelvis more of like a diamond shape. And together just take a few moments, bring your thumbs on the inside of the feet and just begin to kind of massage or knead the soles of the feet. And of allowing the bottoms of the feet to begin to open a bit and allowing the jaw to begin to soften. And then gradually easing into a forward fold. We'll be here for about three minutes or so. So allowing the weight of the head to release. Just notice what you choose to do with your hands. Hands might be on the feet, facing the ground, maybe the palms are up. Allowing the weight of the head to release. Softening the belly. Becoming aware of any sensation through your body. Most likely there's a dull achy stretch happening through the spine. Around the neck, down the back, lower back, lower back. Notice the quality of your breath. And allowing the shape to have a bit more of you somehow. Maybe there's a slight leaning or wobbling from side to side. Maybe there's a nice full exhalation. Breathing into where you feel the stretch or sensation. And be allowing the gaze to soften in word. You find your mind is quite active or busy this morning. You might tether your attention to it. Last few moments let the hands feel more receptive, soles of the feet open. And as you're ready, slowly rolling your way up. Keeping the chin into the chest. Feeling the heart rise up. Agreeing the day. Just taking a moment here to pause and observe. Feel the rise of the inhale and exhale. Let's bring the soles of the feet a little closer. Finding more of a traditional bodhikonasana. Heels in towards the pelvis and bring your hands behind you. If it would feel nice, you might begin to roll your shoulders down the back and lift the heart a little bit. Might lean a little bit from side to side. Hands come back. Chest opens. Maybe the knees fall towards the floor. Let's take an inhale and exhale walking your hands back up. From here we're going to bring the legs wide towards the shape of upavishta. Here's where a blanket under the sitting bones can be nice and we'll move into revolved head to knee. One of my favorite shapes. Bring your hands on the inside or underneath that right knee. We're going to bring the right sole of the foot towards the inner thigh. Just settling in. Flexing your left foot. Inhale the arms up to the sky.

Feel the back body lift up as well. You might even wiggle side to side lengthening. We'll take an inhale together in this shape and then exhale twist to the right towards your right knee. We'll come into a spinal twist. Left hand finds your right knee. Right arm reaches behind you. Inhale lengthen the spine and exhale twist to the right. Nice. Notice if there's any hardening through the mid-back around your kidneys. You can even draw the tailbone under a little bit and let the shape soften with the breath. Take another inhale to lengthen. Stay in the twist and as you exhale just let the neck and the head come over that left shoulder. Finding a little bit of a neck stretch here. Softening the jaw. Inhale. Exhale. Let the body unwind. We'll inhale the arms up again. Find that length and as we make our way over to the left, keep lengthening the left side body. With that length, maybe the left hand finds the knee, the shin, the ankle, the foot. Right arm reaches up out and over. And root a little bit through that right hip, through that right sitting bone as you reach through the fingers. Nice. Bring some attention into the side body. Both side bodies. Right and left. And find a place where the neck and head feel comfortable this morning. So maybe it's looking down. You might stay here in the shape. You might explore and investigate revolving the rib cage down. Heart towards the floor. And maybe revolving your rib cage and heart towards the sky. Brightening through the throat. And then maybe rounding again. Just noticing how the sensation moves and changes. And then opening. Nice. We'll take one more breath here. Lengthening. And let the inhale carry you up. Reach with that right arm and come all the way up. Take a moment to pause in this shape. Feel the rise of the inhale. Nice clearing exhale. And then lean back and free the right leg. Finding that shape of Upavishta Konasana for a moment. As you're ready, lean back. Hands find the back of that left knee. Draw it in. Hands on the ankle. And then draw the left sole of the foot towards that right inner thigh. Settling in. Flexing that right foot. Inhale. Reach the arms up towards the sky. Yeah. Root from the sitting bones. Up through the fingers. Easy in the neck. Inhale. Exhale. Twist to the left. Right hand finds the outer left knee. Left fingertips behind you. Inhale to lengthen. And exhale. Just a gentle twist to the left. Notice where in the face you can soften or relax any effort.

Notice if there's any tension or hardening through the back. Stay in the shape as you inhale. And stay in the shape as you exhale. And just let the head and the gaze come over your right shoulder. Feeling that stretch through the neck. Soft through the eyes. And then slowly unwind. Inhale. Reach the arms up. Find that length again. Keep the length on the right side as you stretch up out and over to the right. Your right hand might find the shin, the ankle, the foot. And then stretch that left arm up out and over. Root a little bit through the sit bone. Through that left sitting bone and hip. You can stay right here. You might revolve and move a little bit. Rounding towards the floor. And maybe kind of like you're spiraling open. Revolving the rib cage and the heart. And you can make sounds here. I always do at home. And then open and lengthen. A few more moments here. Just giving yourself that opportunity to really feel into and investigate the sensation. This side might feel a little or a lot different than the other side. Nice. Let's take one more inhale together on this side. Lengthening. And then let the inhale bring you all the way back up. Let that left arm carry you. And just take a moment here to pause. Nice. When you're ready, lean back. Just free that left leg. You might shake it out a little bit. Finding the shape of Upavishta. And exhale. From here, let's transition into tabletop. So make your way onto your knees and your hands. You might have a blanket under your knees for support. Extra padding there.

From here, tuck the toes under, moving into cat cow. Inhale, find some length in your spine. Exhale, round your back. Draw the navel towards the spine. Chin towards the heart. Press through the hands. Stretching the back, hips might draw towards the heels. Take a nice full breath in in the rounded shape. Back of the heart, between the shoulder blades. And exhale. As you're ready, inhale, move into your extension again. Shoulders over the wrists. Lengthen cow. Exhale, cat round. Moving with your breath. Inhale, extending, lengthening, finding space through the front body. Exhale, rounding the back, curl. Then a few more rounds. Moving with your breath. Any movement that would feel nice, maybe side to side or barrel rolls with your rib cage. Creating a bit more space through the side body, the ribs, shoulder blades up through your neck. And keep your hands right where they are. You might choose to spin your palms out. So the fingers are out. As you come into your cat cow, you can also spin the heels of the palms away. Fingers towards the knees. Finding a wrist stretch here in cat cow. Nice. And then spin the fingertips back towards the top of the mat. Tuck the toes, downward facing dog. And this first one, just walk it off. Bending the knees, lengthening, pedaling the feet. We're on a bicycle. Nice. Check in with the back of the legs, the hamstrings, calves. Beautiful. And then lower the knees for a moment. Come back into table top. We'll find a shoulder opening here. So reach the right arm up towards the sky. And with an exhale, thread that right arm all the way underneath. Nice. Press a little bit more through that left hand as you find the shape of the twist. And find a place where your neck feels good. There's length. You're on the right side of the head. You might stay right here. You might bring that left leg directly out. So the foot is right out in line with the hip. And then root a little bit through the outer edge of your left foot. Yeah, so it's supporting you. You might stay in this shape. You might explore reaching that top left arm overhead. You gotta roll towards the floor, feeling the stretch through the right shoulder. Maybe you'll revolve the ribcage towards the sky. Sometimes I like to walk that left hand towards the right a little bit to help facilitate that opening and twist. Are you breathing? Nice. You might stay right where you are. If it would feel nice, you might bring that left or top arm up towards the sky. Maybe you find a bit of an internal rotation and wrap the hand towards that right thigh as you open. Breathing. Notice if you're collapsing into your right hip there. If you're wrapped, reach that left arm back up to the sky, overhead, and then plant it right back so it's underneath your left shoulder. To come out, keep the weight of the head heavy. Use that left hand, press into the floor, and come up. Hands underneath the shoulders. And then draw your left knee in if it's extended. Take a few rounds of cat cow. Make sure everything still works. And he's happy. Just kind of washing that through the body a little bit after holding. Nice. Coming into neutral, we'll find that on the other side. Reach the left arm up to the sky and thread it underneath that right hand. And keep reaching and reaching. Nice. Press the right hand into the floor a little bit. Let that help kind of facilitate that spin and twist towards the right. So you might stay right here, breathing into where you feel the sensation. You might choose to extend that right leg out. So the foot is right out in line with the hip. Nice. The right hand might stay where it is, or you might tiptoe the fingers overhead. Yeah. Sometimes I like to tiptoe the fingers towards the left to help facilitate that opening and twist, revolving the rib cage. Find a place where the neck is comfortable. You might stay here. You might play with reaching the right arm up towards the sky, internally rotating. And then maybe finding the sacrum, maybe wrapping around that left thigh, breathing. And notice if you're kind of collapsing into that left hip a little bit, you're finding that evenness through the pelvis. I'm breaking a sweat. Let's inhale. Reach that right arm up to the sky, maybe overhead, and then walk it right underneath the shoulder. Press through the right hand. Keep the head heavy as you come up. Hands underneath the shoulders. If the right leg is extended, go ahead and draw it in. In a little Cat-Cow celebration. Moving that through. Inhale to lengthen, exhale to round. Inhale to lengthen, and exhale to round. Nice. Tuck the toes, lift the hips, downward facing dog, walking it off. From downward dog, let's walk our hands towards our feet, finding Uttanasana, standing forward fold.

Just allowing yourself to dangle here. And you might nod your head a little bit, yes and no. From Uttanasana, let's find a Malasana, toe heel, the feet wide. Just sink the hips down. This might be deep enough. You want to open, bring the right hand to the floor, inhale, lift the left arm up. You might twirl the wrist a little bit in both directions, releasing the jaw. Just enjoying that stretch on the left side body, I am. Inhale, and then left hand to the floor, and open up to the right. Twirling the wrist. Nice. Right hand comes back down, toe heel, your feet underneath your hips, Uttanasana, forward fold. As you're ready, we'll roll up together. Soft bend through the knees, chin stays into the chest, and use the strength of your legs to roll yourself up. Feel that hollowing of the belly, stacking the bones, pressing through the feet. Feel that lift up through the heart, shoulders roll up, back down, and let the palms open. From here, we'll take a walking meditation towards the top of the mat. If you have coffee nearby, you might take a sip of it right now because we're about to go into some sun salutations. But this is a cup of yoga, right? So we're about to wake up here, spread the toes, hands together at the heart, drawing your attention towards the breath. Take a clearing breath together, inhale. Nice, full exhale. Moving with our breath, we'll inhale, reach the arms up, find length. Exhale, soft bend, swan, dive forward, Uttanasana, release the head and the hands. Inhale, draw the hands up, the shins, lengthen. Exhale, bend the knees, hands to the floor, step back into plank pose and pause and plank pose. Reach back through the heels, lengthen forward. You can always lower the knees. Good. We'll lower the knees together, lower all the way onto the belly, this time for locust. Shalabhasana, draw the shoulders down the back and inhale, rise up. Reach the fingers towards the toes. You might lean from side to side, finding that length through the side body. Nice and long through the neck, looking down towards the floor. The inhale brings you up, exhale, lowers you down. Bring the hands underneath the shoulders, draw the elbows in, tuck the toes under. Press your way up and back into downward facing dog. We made it. Let's take three breaths here. I'm enjoying this extension. You can always keep a soft bend through the knees, reaching your sitting bones up, soft through the neck. Bending the knees, look forward, we'll step the right foot forward between the hands. Left foot follows. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, forward fold. Strong through your legs. Inhale, reverse swan dive. Reach the arms up. You might wiggle, drop the tailbone towards the heels as you lengthen. Exhale, hands to the heart. Hands at the heart, moving with our breath. Inhale, arms reach up, find length. Exhale, swan dive, navel towards your spine. Forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, lengthen your spine. Exhale, bend the knees, step the left foot back into a lunge. Right knee, right foot follows. Pause in your plank. And then lower the knees or lower through chaturanga. We'll come all the way onto the floor again for another round of lokas. Shalabhasana. Shoulders draw down the back. Reach the fingers back behind you. Draw the back body in towards the spine. Find that slight internal rotation through the thighs. Hands might reach towards the toes. You might interlace if that would feel delicious and maybe lean a little bit from side to side. The inhale brings you up and the exhale lowers you down to the earth. Bring the hands back underneath the shoulders, elbows in, tuck the toes, press up and back downward facing dog. Walk it off and three breaths here. Finding that length, extension, releasing the head. After three breaths, bend the knees, look forward, step your left foot forward between your hands, right foot follows. Inhale, half arch, lift up, lengthen. Exhale, bend the knees forward, fold Uttanasana. Strong through the legs. Inhale, reach the arms up to the sky, lengthen and exhale, hands to the heart. Pause, letting the blood, the energy come back down into the legs and the feet. Notice the quality of your breath, heart beat. Nice. This morning we're going to open up nice and wide. Bring the feet wide, we'll set up for a warrior two. So internally rotate that left thigh and foot, externally rotate the right, right heel in line with the left inner arch and then bend your right knee and let your pelvis flow to the diagonal. So oftentimes if we bring the pelvis forward, that right knee collapses in. So find that kind of ease through the pelvis and then root a little bit more through the outer edge of the right foot. See how that encourages a bit of external rotation. Nice. Reach the arms out, heart floating over the pelvis. We'll dance a few times with the breath. Inhale, press into the ball, the right foot, arms reach up, right leg straightens. Exhale, right knee bends, warrior two. Inhale, arms reach up, press into the ball, the right foot, right leg straightens. Exhale, warrior two. One more time. Inhale, reach up, lengthen and exhale, warrior two. Inhale, reach up. We'll find the other side.

Internally rotate the right thigh, externally rotate the left thigh, bend the left knee, and your warrior. Just take a look at the knees, tracking over about that second, third toe, root through the outer edge of the right foot. Feel a bit of that external rotation through the left hip, arms float out, shoulders soften down the back, palms up. Find that ease in the neck. Moving with our breath, inhale, press into the ball, left foot, left leg straightens, arms reach up, exhale, left knee bends, root, warrior two. Inhale, reach up, lengthen, left leg straightens, exhale, left knee bends, warrior two. One more round. Inhale, reach up, lengthen, exhale, left knee bends, warrior two. Inhale, reach up, bring the feet parallel, hands find the hips. You might toe heal the feet a little closer for prasarita padottanasana. Inhale, lift the heart, draw the shoulders down the back, exhale, forward fold, hinge at the hips, release the hands under the shoulders, release the head. Taking a few breaths here, you might keep the hands where they are, you might bring the hands closer between your feet, and then draw the shoulder blades up the back. Keep a soft bend through the knees or play with extending the legs towards straight, and maybe the head is floating, maybe the head is drawing towards the floor. It will also depend on how close or far the feet are from each other. Nice. To release or come up, hands find the hips, strong through the legs and the back. Inhale, rise all the way up. Nice job. Setting up for horse or goddess dance. So let the heels turn in, let the feet turn out, feeling that external rotation through the hips, and then sink the hands on the hips. Just allow yourself to lean a little bit from side to side. It might feel nice to find a twist and a dip. So we'll inhale, lift up a little bit, exhale, twist to the right. That left shoulder dips, you're looking over the right shoulder, sinking into the hips. Inhale, lift up, exhale, twist to the left, right shoulder dips. Oh, that feels nice. Let's do it one more time on each side. Inhale, come up, exhale, twist to the right, maybe sticking the tongue out. Inhale, rise up, and exhale, twist to the left. Nice. Inhale, come back up to center. Reach the arms up towards the sky. And then we'll find eagle wrap. So wrapping the left arm underneath the right. If this still is too intense on your shoulders this morning, you might give yourself a hug and lean a little bit side to side, or maybe finding that wrap.

And then see what it feels like to draw the elbows in towards the guts and round the back here. Breathing into the back of the heart and the shoulder blades. See what it feels like to lift the elbows up towards the sky a little bit. Wow, I feel an intense burning through my legs. Let's inhale the arms up to the sky. And then exhale, second side wrap, or hug, right arm underneath the left for the eagle wrap. You might lean a little bit side to side. Again, if this is too much, give yourself a hug. And you might investigate a little bit by drawing the elbows towards the belly or the guts and lifting them up towards the sky. Sinking into the hips. Let's take an inhale. Exhale. Inhale, reach the arms up. This time internally rotate the feet. We'll interlace the fingers behind the back. Find that internal rotation. Inhale, lift up through the heart. Exhale, hinge at the hips. Forward fold, releasing the head. Let the arms stretch up out and over. And you might lean a little bit side to side. You know, for me after doing horse stance or goddess stance, this feels quite lovely. It's like a nice release after all that strength and burning through the legs and the hips. Nice. Good. When you're ready, you can release the hands to the back and then just release them down to the floor. We're gonna move towards some skandhasana action. So go ahead and bend your left knee. And you might bend it a lot. Sink down into your left hip. And then go ahead and bend your right knee and sink down into your right hip. Left leg straightens. And find this a bit side to side. Bending the left knee and the hip. Coming over to the left and then traveling over to the right. Bending that right knee. Might do a little side to side using the hands. Maybe lifting the heel or lifting the toes up. Heel on the floor. Maybe without the hands. Nice. Coming back to center, we're gonna travel over to the back of the mat. Finding the shape of the lunge for a moment. So the left foot is forward, the right foot is back. And then travel back to the center and over to the right top of the mat. Right foot is out in front. From here, step back. Downward facing dog. Walking it off. From downward dog, inhale forward in the plank pose. And exhale, lower yourself all the way down. Find another round of locust. Inhale, rise up. Drawing the back body in. Reaching through the fingers. Reaching through the toes. Long through the neck. Inhale, lift up. Exhale, lower down. Take a moment to pause here. Nice. We'll exhale. Bring the hands underneath the shoulders. Tuck the toes. Press up onto the knees and back. Downward facing dog. Nice. Three breaths here. From downward dog, lower the knees. Child's pose for a few breaths. Sink the hips back towards the heels. Nice, full exhale. Empty. Nice. From here, we'll transition onto our back.

Find your favorite way to get there. Might want to block nearby. We'll use it for a supported bridge. Nice. Once you arrive on your back, bring your feet underneath your sitting bones. Arms down alongside the body. Let's take a clearing breath. Inhale. Nice, full exhale. Feel the rise of the inhale. Exhale. Begin to draw your tailbone under towards your knees. Press through the feet and feel the back body begin to lift. As the back body lifts, feel the front of the body begin to lengthen. Find that internal rotation through the thighs a bit. Nice. Hands might stay where they are. Reaching the hands towards the ankles, you might draw the shoulders, tucking them under the back and maybe interlacing the fingers around your sacrum area. Press through the feet. Feeling the sternum or the heart draw towards the chin. Chin might soften a bit towards the heart. Letting it feel spacious through the throat and softer your eyes. Nice breathing. As you're ready to release, lift the heels. Come high up onto the balls of your feet. Stretch your arms up to the sky. Pause for a moment here. Round through the upper back and then slowly releasing your spine to the floor, upper back, middle of the back, low back, sacrum and arms. Clearing breath. Nice. Exhale. We'll take a second round. You might want support. A block under your sacrum. As you're ready, press through the feet, lift the hips up and bring your block to the first setting underneath the sacrum. If it feels like it's jamming into your back a bit, we lower it down. It's supporting your sacrum. Depending on how it feels, you might stay with this at the first setting. If it makes sense and would feel good, you might bring it to that second setting. Some of you know you like to bring it to that highest setting. Pressing through the feet, bringing the block underneath your sacrum and then drawing the shoulders under the back. Nice. If you're working with a support with a block under your sacrum, still keeping that integrity of the foundation through your legs and your feet. Thaw through the face and allowing the weight of your pelvis and your sacrum to really receive the support beneath it. Depending on how it feels, you might stay right here in the supported bridge. You might choose to bring one knee or both knees into your chest and maybe one or both legs up towards the sky, towards the shape of the burrita pirani. Sometimes we call this a waterfall pose. That space across the collarbones, the softening the eyes, little juice through the balls of the feet. If you're happy here, you might stay here for a bit longer. Then as you're ready to release, bend the knees. Find the shape of bridge pose with the feet and press through the feet. Lift the pelvis up, remove the block out to the side and then just slowly lower your spine down. Nice and slow, feeling each vertebrae on the floor, upper back, middle and low back sacrum. The knees draw into the chest and let yourself rock side to side. We'll find a spinal twist over to the right to help release the back a bit. Just let everything roll onto the right side. You might stack your arms, stack your hips and then just let that top hand trace the inner right arm. Then let it move across the chest as you revolve the ribcage and then release that left arm wherever it wants to go. Nice. As you inhale, feel that left hip roll away and then exhale, soften the belly. Finding a place for your neck and head to back. Nice. No rush as you're ready. Unwind back to center, knees draw in, rock a little side to side and make your way over to the left. Stack the knees, stack the hips and the hands. Hands down top of each other and then with that top right hand, just trace that left inner arm all the way across the chest. Feel the ribcage revolve, that right shoulder begin to open and then releasing the arm. Shoulder soften down the back, neck is long. Breathing into where you feel the sensation. Just notice again what your head and neck want to do. You find that space between your eyes, eyebrows. Softening the belly. And then taking your time to unwind as you're ready. Ooh, back to center. Good. Good. And center, rocking it side to side. And the soles of the feet come together, knees wide, bada konasana. Interlace the fingers behind the head, lift up for a moment, draw the elbows towards each other, stretching the back of the neck here. A little traction and then releasing the head down. One hand might rest on the heart, one hand on the belly. Allow for an inhale. And nice full exhale. You might stay right here for shilasana, you might stretch your legs out, or you might bring the feet wide and let your knees rest together. Be one of those three shapes. Hmmmm. Thank you.

Thank you. Thank you. Drawing your attention towards your breath. And you might stay here a bit longer. You might slowly invite movement through the body.

Arms might stretch overhead. Lengthening through the spine, fingers, the toes. And bending the knees, roll to your side and pause. It might rest on your arm. Breathing.

And then when you're ready, use your hands, keep that heavy. Press yourself up. I didn't want to get up from that one. And just come into a comfortable seat. You're going to wobble into the sitting bones.

Just notice the parts of you that are touching the ground. Allow for an exhale. Breathing. Feel the rise of the inhale. And soft exhale.

Joining the hands together at the heart. Namaste. Thank you for your practice. Have a beautiful day.


Jenny S
1 person likes this.
I’ll describe this one: Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh 👌
Christel B
1 person likes this.
What a great gentle way to greet the day! The first forward fold held for three minutes really stretched the fascia all along my back. even though at first I was resistant to holding it for that length of time. It's refreshing to do some more Yin yoga especially at the beginning or ending of the day. Namaste.
Kit & Dee Dee
Thanks for the freedom to sip my coffee during our morning yoga. Wonderful practice today! Thank you so much.
Alana Mitnick
Hi Jenny, So nice to SEE you! Aaaaaahhhh is right. :) xoA
Alana Mitnick
Hi Christel! That's exactly it... I love incorporating aspects of yin yoga into my practice, anytime of day, especially morning or evening. Those longer holds do awaken and stretch the fascia, which at first can feel like a wall of resistance, but with the time the body opens and changes. That's the magic. xoA
Alana Mitnick
Kit & Dee Dee! You're the BEST! Enjoy your cup of coffee and Yoga! It's wonderful to practice together. xoA
This has really set up my Sunday morning! i am definitely chilled but also feel vibrant and ready to enjoy the day! Enjoyed this a lot! Thank you 😊
Alana Mitnick
Hi Emfortee! What a wonderful combination... chill, vibrant and ready to enjoy the day! Yoga is happening. :) Love, Alana
Julia V
Beautiful practice! I've been doing a lot of half hour practices lately and just loved what a difference the extra 15 mins made - could really luxuriate in wonderful stretchy-ness and have time to find peace! Thank you!
Thank you Alana Mitnick . I love this practice. It's like being home in wonderful!
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