Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 3

Welcome Your Day

40 min - Practice


Start your day in a nice way. Robert guides us in a groovy and slow practice that hits on all the sticky spots and invites ease and calm into our day.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket


Read Full Transcript

Hey there, how you doing? Welcome to Yoga Anytime. If this is your first time ever practicing with me, nice to meet you. And if you've been here before, we've practiced together, nice to see you again. This practice is designed and geared for starting your day.

Obviously, you can do it anytime, but the poses, the language, the whole scene, is set up to kind of like get the day started in a really nice way. So without further ado, roll down to your back. We'll start there. I've got a blanket. Keep their handy blanket nearby.

You might just use it. All right. Ah, OK. So when you lie down on your back, you're going to bend your knees, place your feet down onto the mat, take the feet out toward the wide part of the mat, and then open up your arms with your palms facing up. Take a few breaths here.

So if I don't cue you throughout the practice, it's because I'm cue you to breathe, I mean. It's because I'm busy encouraging you to move in certain ways. So don't forget to breathe. If you feel stuck in a pose, back away, take a fresh breath, re-enter it in a new and relaxed way. I find it really, really helpful and very nice to start the practice off with three deep breaths.

Inhale through the nose. Open your mouth and exhale forever. Feel the softening, the relaxing around the body. Take that again. Breathe in.

Open the mouth and let it all go. One more time. Breathe in. Open the mouth and release. Exhale.

If you're feeling a little bit tired, just breathe in. Inhale through the nose. And exhale forever. Move your head side to side. Again, palms are facing up just to keep the biceps and forearms and shoulders open.

So there's this external rotation. Back is flat. Like it's neutral back. So you might have a little low back lift off. Start to send the knees like three inches to the left and three inches to the right.

So it's that really slow, casual, growing into some windshield wipers. But for now, just kind of enjoy the smallness of it. Soften the eyes. And as we're beginning to move into the physical practice, check in with your mind. What thoughts are you hosting this time of the day?

If you are starting your day, it might be nice to create some intention, something you're putting and setting your mind to, how you want your day to look and feel. Start to grow the windshield wipers a little deeper. So you follow the right knee with the left. And you do it over to the other side. So it's easy.

It's relaxed. Work out some of those sticky areas in the body. Even with all of the movement, I'm 49 in a couple months. So I feel the aches. I feel all the little tweaks.

And for me, speaking just on my behalf, these types of movements every single day, low to the ground, easy little movements, help me so much just to kind of feel a little hydrated and lubricated throughout the body. OK. From here, after you've done that a few times, take another deep breath in and exhale it all out. God, such an immediate reset. Grab hold of the right knee or shin just below the knee.

If that's not doable, grab the hamstring of that right leg. Extend your left leg out. And pull the right knee into the right side of the body and toward the center line of the body. And begin that roaming around the exploration of this area of your body. You can take it with one hand, like your right hand, and open that knee and hip way out to the right.

Access some new feels around in there. So how about this? There are three different moves, right? There's the wide. There's the twist.

So take it over into the twist to the left. You can shift your hips to the right a little bit. Reach the right arm out wide and a gentle little twist, right? Just enough for you to feel the low back start to stretch out and open up. And the third little suggestion would be to center the hips back on the center of the mat.

Straighten out the right leg. Grab hold of the hamstring and play around with pointing the toes up and down. You can use your arm strength to pull the leg a little further toward you just to kind of deepen the stretch. Now, one more time, bend the right leg. Pull it into the center.

Open it out to the right. Take it over into a gentle twist to the left. Reach the right arm out wide. A gentle twist to the left, reach the right arm out wide. Good.

Back over to center. One last hamstring stretch. Push up through the heel. The more you push through the heel and toes down, you're going to feel it like sharper, more intense. Like sharp could be negative, but it's not.

It's just a little bit more intense. But if you point the toes up, that alleviates that intensity in the hamstring and starts to bring more attention to, say, your calf and your shin, your ankle, at least for me. So check that out. Bend back into the right leg one more time and release it all the way down. Take one full breath.

In fact, let's take the arms and stretch them all the way overhead. Arch the back a little bit, full breath in. And exhale. Draw the left knee in. So you're holding onto the shin just below the knee.

That's not quite doable. Grab hold of the hamstring. Any type of hold that can assist in you pulling the knee toward your body out to the left as you start to feel that groin or the hip crease start to breathe a little. And then there's that spinal twist we'll explore. So shift the hips to the left a little bit.

Left arm reaches out wide, and that left knee tracks across the center line of the body over toward the right. The floor is not the destination. If it lands on the floor, great. If it hovers, perfect. How's your breath?

All right. We'll come out of the spinal twist. Center yourself on the mat again. Shoot that left leg up. Grab hold of the hamstring, little circles.

Push through the heel. Push through the toes. Roll the ankle a little bit. The more creativity, the more you move around, the more you spread your toes, the more you more you more, right, you're going to feel more. There's a lot more than meets the eye if we keep kind of wandering around, OK?

So let's try that one more time. So knee out to the wide, wide, wide, wide. I'm not asking you to overdo it, though, but the more you are curious and the more you wander around, it's just you might find an area of the body that's like, ah, yes, finally, me. I get a little attention, right? Twist it out.

Left shoulder softening toward the floor. You're not worried about the floor with the knee. Back up to center. Straighten that left leg out again. If you're a little more on the bendy side, which I am not, you might want to walk your hands up toward your calf or your ankle and draw the knee toward the nose.

That's always an option. Keep it down here. Bend the left leg. Give a good squeeze in. And extend the left leg all the way out to join the right.

Take like one full breath in between transition, right? Breathe in and breathe out, taking good quality care of yourself. Draw the right knee in. We'll touch on the core just for a moment. Lift the head.

Lift the shoulders. And when you do that, you can start to feel a little attention right there in the center core, right, the abdominals. Lift the left foot up six inches or higher if that feels better, OK? So give a good squeeze in with that right leg to the chest. Breathe out right now.

Pull it in. And during the transition, you're going to breathe in. Breathe out, left knee in, chest up toward the ceiling. Activate that right leg. So push the right toes forward like a dancer might, right?

Or push the ball of the foot forward, whatever activates that right thigh and calf muscle, OK? So that's one, one. We'll just keep it nice and light for today. We'll do five total on each side. So here's two on the exhale.

Good, two on the left, three on the right, three on the left. As you exhale, lift the chest. Tone the abdominals. Exhale on the four. Well, four on the right.

Let's go exhale four on the left, and five on the right, left, left, left. A little squeeze down low. Five on the left. Both in. And relax.

Just a little something. If that felt awesome and you want to add more, go for it. OK. Plant the feet right below the knees. Arms alongside your body.

We'll bridge roll up three times, OK? So the feet below the knees, push the feet in, lift the hips. And as you're lifting your hips, you're reaching your arms up and back behind you. Lift the hips, lift the belly, lift the chest. And exhale.

When you lower down, try to bring one vertebra at a time from your upper back to the mid back, all the way down to your low back, and your hands and arms land as your back lands. OK, two more. Inhale, open it all up, and exhale. One more time. Breathe in, and in unison, same time.

Exhale, lower down. OK, grab hold of the shins or the hamstrings, rock back, and all the way up. I'll face toward you because I want to hang out with you. All right, so if you sit up on your seat here, adjust the pelvis into that forward tilt so that you have a natural kind of lengthened spine, OK? Across your legs, I like to bring my left foot to my right thigh to the little half lotus style.

You find your way, OK? So from here, close your eyes for one moment. Rest your hands on your thighs. Sit up nice and tall. Soften all the facial muscles.

Relax your shoulders. Come back into the breath, specifically the exhale. Just three exhales together, you and me. Breathe in, and feel as you maintain the structure and alignment, right? The exhale softens.

It's almost just like everything falls away. Get reset. Two more, breathe in. And exhale. Exhale.

And one more time, breathe in. And breathe out. OK, so nice. Walk your hands forward. Keep your seat back.

Take a little forward bend over our lap. You might feel this primarily in your low back. You could walk your hands over to the left. Reach through the right hand. You can walk them over to the right.

Reach through the left. Back to center, and all the way back up. Take the hands back behind you, palms down, fingers back. Press the chest up as you roll the shoulders open. So if you sit for long periods of the day, this is such a necessary, simple stretch we can all do.

Back up to neutral, hands on the thighs or the knees. Tuck the chin. Kind of round out the back in a seated cat pose as you exhale. And then inhale, slide the hands on top of the thighs or hold onto the knees. Push the chest forward.

Gaze upward. That's the inhale. Exhale, that little undulation and movement of the spine. And a cat. Inhale.

And exhale. One more time. Breathe in. Get open and spacious across the chest and shoulders. Exhale, a little bracing of the core.

And a separation of the shoulder blades, like a broadening of the back. And inhale back to center. Feel better already? Well, I do. Hopefully you do.

Right hand comes down, left arm reaches up. And we'll take a side bend. Open up that left side. Again, I like to think of the yoga practice a lot of the times as creating space, whether it's space, like you're stretching your muscles out. That might create a little space or some mobility.

The breath might move around space. More energy in the body. Left hand to the floor, right hand reaches up. Reach up, take a side bend. Any natural little movements are always welcome.

Always invite them in. Back up to center. Aligned, tall, breathe in. Spinal twist, breathe out. So take the left hand to the right thigh, right hand back behind you.

Relax the shoulders and use a little arm strength to rotate your torso to the right. But think about always inhale to lengthen, get tall, and exhale to sort of brace, contract, and rotate. OK. Back over to center. Get tall, inhale.

Could even take the arms up as you do that. I'm still breathing in and exhale. Kind of like helicopter the arms to the left. So now the right hand is on the left thigh, left hand back behind you. Use the hands to manipulate the upper body tall.

Again, inhale to lengthen the spine. Exhale, contract, brace, and rotate. Gaze over the left shoulder. Relax the shoulders. So nice.

Good. Back to neutral. One more cat-cow. Inhale, cow pose. Exhale, cat.

Inhale, back to neutral. Exhale. OK, from here, clasp the hands like so. And take a few moments just to kind of roll the wrists around. It's like there's no real perfect way to do it.

But I find that the more kind of wrist circles, stretches. So if I pull the knuckles back, wrists toward you, that feels amazing through the top of the wrist. And of course, I'll do that with the right side as well. And then those little circles. Sometimes the yoga practice can be a lot on the wrist.

So we want to create good, strong, healthy mobile wrists. Now add palms facing forward, like you're trying to crack your knuckles. Don't do that. Palms facing up, arms reach up, drop the shoulders down. Take a gentle little side bend to the right, over to the left, knuckles forward.

Now it's like a cat pose combo. So you're going to push the knuckles forward. And feel your shoulders separate, your shoulder blades separate. You start to pull the belly in, tuck the chin a little bit. And you start to bring maybe the knuckles down toward the floor.

So you feel the rounding of the back. Maybe put a little brace action through the low belly. All the way back up. So that was like a cat simulation. Now it's like cow, right?

Because we're extending and opening, inhale. And exhale, knuckles forward, round out the back. Inhale all the way up. And exhale. OK, I'm going to grab the blanket.

Feel free to grab it. If you don't need it or don't want it, don't do it. Right leg, stretch it out. I'm going to prop my seat on the edge of it so it'll pull the sit bones up, tilt the pelvis forward, OK? Pretty key for me.

Now turn your body a little bit to the right and exhale forward. Get a nice little stretch in that right leg. If you need to bend it a little bit, like if you feel the stretch primarily behind the knee, put a little bend in that right leg. If you have a pillow you'd like to put underneath the right knee, you can do that, a block. OK.

One last breath here. OK. Come back up. Turn your body open to the left. You're going to reach the right hand toward calf, ankle, big toe.

You choose. OK. And take the left shoulder, open it up. So now you feel like the chest, the upper body, is opening up to the left. The left arm reaches up.

You can put a little bend in the left arm. You can place the left hand behind the head. And I like to think of the purpose for this is the long stretch of the right leg. And then way down low in that back, the left side of my back is getting a long stretch up and over, OK? So just kind of play around in those areas of looking to reach to the right foot.

Come up, maybe take the hand behind the head, track the elbow up and over. Take one more quality awesome breath here. So breathe in and breathe out all the way up. So when you come up, left hand kind of posts up back behind you. Spin the right foot down and then lift the hips.

Lift the hips, reach the right arm up. And it should feel kind of like a little counter pose. I don't say should a lot, but it's pretty safe with this one. Good. Reach up and open.

Left arm is strong. And bring her down. How'd that feel? Feel all right? OK, we'll try the left side.

See what the left side feels like. OK, so we start first with getting the proper for you. Bend or straighten your left leg. Prop up underneath the left leg if you'd like. And on your exhale, reach forward.

Nothing forced. Again, this is kind of like just starting our day. So in your body today, what is helpful in stretching and strengthening and bringing some attention to? Do you have any injuries you're working with? A little tight and achy.

Even if you feel amazing, it's still nice to move around the body. OK, come up. We're going to take that side bend. So we keep the left leg just how it is. Turn your body, upper body, primarily to the right.

Reach the left hand toward the left foot. The foot, the ankle, or the calf, right? So what's available? Now turn that right shoulder open again. Right arm reaches up.

And right hand behind the head if you'd like. Track the right elbow up toward the ceiling. And grab that side bend. Your left elbow wants to kind of track toward the floor or your shin or knee. Ah.

Little circles in the right shoulder might feel nice. Counter pose, bring it up. I call it counter pose. Some call it stargazer. Maybe you have your own special name for it.

Lift up. Ah. It's like a hip opener, counter pose. There are a couple really nice stars up there, so maybe we'll call it stargazer from now on. And we'll come back down.

Stretch the legs out. Ah. Feels good. OK. Let's take the blanket, move it away, hands and knees, tabletop.

So right onto your hands and knees. So the knees primarily in tabletop are below your hips. Toes are always either two ways, curled or uncurled. We'll uncurl them for now. Let's get more into the wrists, OK?

So for the first wrist stretch, if you take the right hand and turn it upside down, fingers pointing toward your left knee, OK? And then gently press the top of the wrist, top of the hand down and lean back a little bit. Now notice, that can feel really intense. So this one I always find helpful in when you do that. So let's say this is intense for you, right?

And you come into it and it's like, oh my god, that's so hard. It's so difficult. Does your entire body really firm up? And do you feel tension and stress everywhere now, right? So see if you can isolate it.

Yes, that's intense, but does your whole entire body need to be, right? So loosen up the neck, the face. Use just enough effort to hold this intensity. Do the work in the wrist, OK? And that goes with a lot of other poses as well, OK?

Turn that back around, palm facing down and lean forward. Other side, OK? Now again, find the threshold. And if it's intense, do everything you can to isolate the intensity to where it mostly is. Support your body where you need to support it.

And everything else just kind of hangs out and enjoys the ride. OK, let's try one more. This one I'm sure you could probably do both at the same time. If not, do one at a time. Wrist is forward, palm is down, fingers back towards your knees.

OK, so this will open up the whole wrist, forearm, even the biceps. So you can lean back, you can lean forward. Maybe you work with a computer, a mouse, or something, and you always find that your wrists are bothering you. Maybe this is something you can start to add into your mornings or your mid days or those wrist circles we did earlier. At the end of the day, we're doing a lot of these things because we want to feel good and we want our body to operate well off of the mat, right?

We don't live on this mat. So anything that feels like it's of really valuable service for you, given what you do in your life or work, et cetera, man, do more of that, all right? OK, so from here, I'm going to push the hips back into child's pose. From child's pose, come forward into table, drop the hips forward, just a little low back, upper back, shoulder rolls. You can isolate one shoulder and shoulder blade at a time, or you can do both at the same time, neck stretch, head to the left, head to the right, chin up, chin down, all the while probably feeling some intensity in that low back, OK?

Lower all the way down. Feel a little arm strength there, OK? Come back through that cobra up dog position. Try to use some of your core and back muscles, not just the arms, and push back into table, child's pose, right into downward dog. So tabletop, a little extended out in the arms, toes curled.

Lift the knees and begin like, you know, maybe you take your feet a little wider today. That'll tend to open up the backs of the legs, even your low back. So pedal it out. Find your ideal alignment. You want to maintain that neutral spine, so it might be helpful for you to put a soft bend in your knees.

Send your tailbone up or your sit bones up toward the ceiling. If you're super, super bendy, you might want to get out of the back bend and pull in, pull those low ribs in, keep a neutral spine happening here. Fingers spread wide. We've got a few more breaths here. Continue to walk it out.

Fingers spread wide. Knuckles at the base of your fingers are pressing hard down there. That'll help alleviate some of the wrist pain or wrist tension. Big breath out. Nice.

Bring the knees back down to the floor. Push back one more time into child's. But before we kind of close with child's, we've got one more pose here, and that would be puppy pose. So come out of child's pose. Hips stay right up over the knees.

Walk your hands forward. And as you're walking your hands forward, you start to feel a stretch in the shoulders, for sure. You want to try to soften and relax the center of your chest, some may say your heart toward the floor, your chin, or forehead toward the floor. If it's too intense in the shoulders, bring the elbows down. Slide the arms back a little bit more, and make it primarily about the back.

So sit bones high, a little slope in the spine, heart melting toward the floor. If you need to turn your head from left to right, or rest it on the left side or the right side, go for it. Maybe, maybe, maybe during the practice today, you've been able to kind of carve the day out. What kind of day do you want to have? We talked about that in the beginning.

Now push through the forearms. Walk the arms back. Take the knees nice and wide, and push back into child's pose. Stack your hands. Rest your forehead on your hands.

Roll your head from side to side, like you're massaging your forehead, a little self-care. And back to what I was just saying a minute ago, if I don't spend the time doing this, getting my mind right for the day, my body right for the day, my body right for the day, sometimes I can go into automatic mode and kind of let the day happen rather than, you know, having a little proactive, measured proactive actions, how I want it to feel, what I want to spend my time doing, who I want to spend it with. For this practice, we're going to remain here in resting pose, child's pose. We need any prop to help you sustain it for the duration. You can grab a couch cushion or a pillow and put it underneath your body and wrap your arms around it.

Put something underneath your seat. Find a comfortable position and allow each breath to relax you, to soothe you, maybe working into a calm, peaceful, rested state of mind. Noticing when you're hard on yourself, noticing when you're focusing too much on what you want out of it, what results, what the end game is. Try to pull focus back to the process, the practice, the breath. If at any point, we'll be here just a little bit longer, at any point you would rather lie down on your back or in any other position, please do so.

One last thought. If it's helpful, just something to consider. As much as I want to think about how I want my day to be, etc. A lot of things I'm working on is what I kind of don't want in my day, what I want to pull away from. Maybe less time on my phone, more time in nature, more time with family, with friends.

So what are your distractions, what's keeping you from quality time, the things you care about? Again, just things to consider. From child's pose, stretch the arms out, working back into your body, back into the day. Come back up into tabletop. Maybe wash through the back once or twice through cat-cow.

Exhale into cat. Back into cow pose on the breath in. Cat on the breath out. One big circle around. One way and then the other.

And come right up on my knees. Kneel and see you here joining me and kneeling, or maybe you're still on your back. For now, we'll close out, palms pressed together at the heart, at the chest. Take a moment drawing the forehead toward the fingertips. A moment, you know, 10 seconds or so to create your own language, something really meaningful that is helpful in closing your own practice out.

So I'll end with namaste, with thank you, with gratitude, with all of those things. So thank you for being here again or for your first time. Have a beautiful day.


Susan J
2 people like this.
I really enjoyed this practice.  I am going to try some of the moves out with my students.
Maria Elena D
thank you Robert! this was lovely. I always enjoy practicing with you :)
Robert Sidoti
Hi Susan ... so happy you enjoyed! Let me know how it goes with your students and thank you so much for practicing with me here :))
Robert Sidoti
Hey there Maria Elena !! THANK YOU!! I appreciate your generous comment and hope your day is awesome!!
Cheri J
1 person likes this.
Thank you Robert for a beautiful morning practice.  :)

Robert Sidoti
You are so very welcome Cheri !! Most favorite time of the day to practice is the morning! Get the body moving, mind set in positive direction and a sense of calm and ease to enter the day :) 
Fabian H
1 person likes this.
perfect way to start my Saturday!
Robert Sidoti
Fabian One month later is better than nothing I suppose :)) How are you? Have a beautiful day wherever you are! 
Fabian H
4 people like this.
Sunday evening. Social distancing. Yoga anytime everyday. I am good!
Robert Sidoti
Love you positive attitude Fabian ! Sounds like  Yoga Anytime is working well for you during these distancing times! So glad you're here  - I see you!! 
1-10 of 30

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial