Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 2

Start Your Day

30 min - Practice


Robert guides us in a simple and accessible practice. We start on the floor with basic breath awareness. With attention to detail and moving from the core, we stretch and open the hips, hamstrings, and side body. Robert brings us to Tadasana (Mountain Pose) where we find our alignment from within. You will feel more clear, centered, and available for your day.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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(waves crashing) Hey, how's it going. This is Robert Sidoti. Welcome to Yoga Anytime. This is a start your day. You can do it anytime, but let's call it start your day.

Simple movements. Get into your body, get into your breaths. That's it, so why don't you do this. So you got your mat laid out. You're all ready to go.

Go ahead and lie down on your back and we'll get started like that. Okay, so go ahead and lie down. I'll join you. (clears throat) So first off, just go ahead and become or make yourself comfortable. Take your head up, chin to the chest, maybe even like pull the back of your neck long and place it back down.

Rest your hands on your stomach. We'll get into the breath a little bit first. It's nice to actually feel the breath originating in your stomach. Little diaphragmatic breathing here. (clears throat) Make sure you're comfortable, right.

Legs a little wide. Hands on the stomach. As you inhale through your nose, can you feel your stomach rise like it's inflating. And as you exhale, let it be a little bit more passive. Let the stomach deflate in a sense, or lower.

Inhale through the nose. And exhale through the nose. So I move my hands and you can see. As I inhale, the stomach rises. And as I exhale, the stomach falls.

Couple more rounds, inhale. A lot of us are used to breathing through our mouth and up into the chest, which triggers that fight or flight. What we're trying to do here is breathe a little bit more efficiently and also tap more into the parasympathetic, a little bit more of the rest and digest part of the nervous system. As you begin to build that awareness, what I'd like you to do. Give it a shot, right.

So you inhale, stomach rises. And see if you can actually extend that inhale to the side body, where your ribs start to... Enlarge. Is that a good word, enlarge? So you gotta grow the ribcage, and even breathe up into the chest.

So I'll start, see if I can do this. So inhale stomach. All the way up. Full, complete breath. Then exhale.

Exit. Three more, altogether. Inhale. Exhale. Kind of like you're warming up the car before you actually move it for the trip.

Inhale. And exhale. One more time, just like that. Breathe in through your nose. And breathe out, let it go.

Let's apply some movement to it. Draw the right knee in. So situate your legs somewhat together, then draw the right knee in toward the body. Interlace your hands around either your hamstring or the shin just below your knee. I prefer the shin below the knee.

But if you have extra weight, or you don't really have the mobility to do that, hold here. Alright, so here, exhale, draw the shoulders down, keep the neck long. Simply draw the knee in towards your body, roll the right ankle a little bit. Again, think of it as a tune-up. You're giving your ride, giving your car, giving your body, however you want to look at it a quick little tune-up, so that it runs optimally.

You're giving it its best chance to run smoothly as you are moving throughout your day. Keep that knee in. Bend the left leg. Place the right ankle over the left thigh. Let the ankle kind of hang over the outer edge of the left thigh.

Alright, couple things here. Point your right toes straight up. You don't need to use your arms yet. Gently guide your right knee out away from you. Now lift your left foot up off the mat.

And use more of your core to deepen the stretch. So you're gonna probably feel the stretch up through the right hip, your IT band, your glutes. So use your core, see if you can really ground down through the mid-to-low back. Pull the legs in toward you. This helps to actually keep your back flat while you're doing it.

Now, if you feel like you've got space. So you've got two things, right, before I go any further. You could have just left the foot down, gently press the hand on your inner thigh and that, for you today, might be enough. Like wow, that's a pretty great stretch. Or lift the foot up, deepen the stretch like so or bring the hand through to the hamstring, or, as I did before, I like to hold on to the shin.

And also, because I can pretty much bring those shoulders down and keep my back pretty flat. Remember, flex the right foot, safety in the right knee, and then breathe. Move away from the intensity, move away from that deep stretch on the breath in, and exhale, pull to deepen the stretch. Do that two or three more times. Breathe in.

And breathe out. One more time, breathe in through the nose, and either out of the nose, or exhale through the mouth. (exhales loudly) Cool, so let that unravel, undo. A little in-between, before we do the other side. Take your feet about as wide as the mat.

Back flat, arms out and let the knees kinda windshield wiper from side to side. You can do it with your breath, so as you breathe in, you're bringing your knees up to center, and as you breathe out, the knees are going over towards the left. Breathe in. And breathe out. Couple times in between pose, right.

Good, bring 'em back to center, extend the right leg long. Draw the left in, get your hold right. Figure out what makes sense for you. And then exhale, pull the knee in. Roll the ankle around a little bit.

And I didn't necessarily say it on the other side, but feel free, this is your body, this is your practice so, roll around. Don't feel like you need to just hang in one area to wait for the pose to be done. Pull it in, move it over, explore. This is your own sort of self home practice, and this is where you really begin to understand how your body works. Okay, reclined pigeon.

Bend, ankle over. That's perfect right there, and I can stay there and get just as many benefits, but I do like to deepen the stretch in the left side so I'm going to lift the foot up. Get the hold. Interlace. Flex.

Knee safe, right. Always remember that. Interlace, and then neck long, and go ahead and get that cycle in and out. So breathe in, move away from the intensity. Breathe out...

And go back in. Three more, breathe in. And breathe out. Let the right foot do whatever you'd like, you know. You can really optimize, or you know.

When you're in these poses, how can you make the best use of your time? One more time, exhale pull down. Perfect, good. Now bring that right foot back down, undo it. Feel free to do a couple more windshield wiper things, back and forth.

And then, bring your knees back toward hip-width, maybe even closer together, and then lift your feet up. So you've got this right-angle 90-degree action going on. You can also keep your feet a little closer to your seat if you'd like. Now, take your arms out, and let the knees casually drift over to the left for a spinal twist. You're not looking for your deepest, craziest spinal twist.

You're just looking for a little twist, a little healthy mobility, rotation for your spine. Inhale back up to center, and exhale over to the right. (exhales loudly) Do it once more on each side. Breathe in, come up to center. Breathe out, to the left.

Perfect. Inhale. Exhale over. Good job, come back to center. Now give a good squeeze.

Good squeeze. So go ahead and hold on to your shins, possibly the hamstrings. Maybe even wrap your arms around, holding on to opposite wrists, or even elbows. Good, pull the knees in. Hands on the hamstrings, and begin to rock forward and back once, maybe even twice 'til you come up to sit.

Good. From this position, go ahead and draw the soles of your feet together and prop yourself up. Sit up as tall as you can up on your sit bones. Get that pelvis in a neutral position, not posterially-tilted too much, or anterior. You want to kind of err to the anterior, meaning (clicks tongue) tipped forward.

Okay. So bottoms of the feet together. For a little bit more space in the hips, move your heels away from your body. The closer they are, the higher the knees come for a lot of people. Okay so bring those feet further forward.

Hold on to your ankles as an option. Prop your back up, like get up nice and tall here. You can stay right here, and just sort of inhale the knees up and exhale the knees down. This is option one. You can bring your hands back behind you.

Press the chest forward, once again. What I want your to stay away from. If your knees are up here, feeling compelled or even like, the pose is better if you are folding forward. I want you, if this is you right now to be totally fine with sitting up tall, reaching your hands back behind you. (inhales) What that does is it makes more space for you to inhale.

Inhale across the sternum, your chest, your collarbone and shoulders, and exhale. 'Cause when we're like this all we're kinda doing is exacerbating these tendencies and how we sit all day and work or we're on our phone or we're driving, so any time you can work away from that, from that pattern, is a good thing I think. So for me, I'm gonna do this. This is my own practice. So let's see, what would I do?

I would do this for a few breaths. I'd hold on here, take a deep breath in, maybe tip forward a couple times. So inhale, there's the exhale. Inhale come up. Exhale.

Notice when I exhale, I'm not here. I am trying to keep my back as long and lengthened as I possibly can. Then when I meet that max then I fold over a little bit. Head heavy. So wherever you've decided to hang out.

Wherever you're able to honestly benefit from the pose, so you don't feel like you're just in the pose waiting to do the next, right. Wherever you've decided. Finish up another breath or two. Begin to make your way, we'll all meet here. Upright.

Good. Cross your legs in whatever cross-legged position feels right away natural for you. It's referred to as easy seat. It's actually one of the more difficult postures for a lot of people so give yourself a break, right. Get yourself a pillow, sit up.

I am able to sit up pretty tall so I feel fine but if you have some kind of cushion, you have something that will lift you and help tilt your pelvis forward a little bit, you may notice the difference. It may alleviate some of the knee tension you're experiencing. So play with it for a moment. And then what we're gonna do. Of course, if you have half lotus, full lotus, rock that out, right.

Sit up tall. Do some side stretching. So it's important to keep the spine moving in healthy ranges of motion, so this is going to be a lateral bend side stretch so think spine. Spine moving side to side, like healthy C-curve, and also stretching through the ribcage, stretching your skin. Just feels good.

So start with the right hand down, you can tent or claw your fingers, or press the palm down. Take the left arm, bring it up. Now right away, check in. How does that feel in your shoulder? Sometimes it feels a little awkward, painful.

Take the hand behind the head and lead with the elbow, as opposed to the fingers. So I'll do the hand behind the head, because I actually like that one better. So you're gonna reach the elbow up. Elbow back as well, and if you can kind of feel the left shoulderblade drawing in toward the right so that the back feels engaged. It's not all about stretch.

You want to actually feel like you're strengthening your body as well. So reach up. Go ahead and explore. There is no perfect recipe for any of these. How can you experience some healthy lateral bending in your spine, and some stretch in the left side of your body.

And you notice how I'm bending my right arm. That's accommodating a deeper stretch. If there's any movement, if you want to draw that elbow forward... And back. That could feel good.

Bring it back. Come back up to center. Let the left arm come down. Take a moment. Sometimes it's nice to actually pause in between, like how did that actually serve you.

Take a deep breath in. Nice exhale out. Right arm up. Bent or straight, check it out. Up and over.

So you want to check in too. If you're kinda new to this, the idea isn't to go to your max and then hold your breath. Find that healthy range, that edge that allows you still fully breathe with the breath that we started with. Belly open inhale. Contracting exhale.

Alright cool, bring it back up to center. Bring the arms up. Can you bring the arms up, interlace your fingers and press your palms up. If you couldn't reach the right arm up before, this is going to be challenging, so maybe modify and keep your hands like so. Try this if you can.

Little stretch there, and bring it forward. Palms forward, and then let the chin draw toward the chest and round out the back, and even draw now the knuckles forward. It's like a variation of a seated cat posture. Pull the stomach up and in. Bring 'em back up, palms up, big inhale.

And exhale. Arms down. Neck movement, side to side a couple times, maybe a couple circles. Again, there isn't one way so just take a few moments to, if you're going to take your head over to the left, reach the right arm out a little bit more. Close your eyes and really touch in.

Let that attention-to-detail become even more heightened. Draw the chin down. Chin up. Reach away. Come back up to center, do the other side.

Of course, stay as long as you'd like there. Or let's take another arms up, right. Just feels good. Breathe in, reach up and exhale, palms to the chest. Make your way unto tabletop, okay, hands and knees.

No particular way. What we're gonna do here, in tabletop position, maybe take one little stretch here, turn the hand over. Get a little stretch for the wrist. Know that that's always available to you, also. So we're gonna work on a breath.

I actually learned it as cat vomit. I decided I didn't really like that any longer so I call it abdominal lift and it works on your transverse abdominus. Come into a flat back. Now you're gonna isolate here, you're not gonna come into cat cow. We might integrate that into the movement but you're gonna do, and it's great that I have my shirt off because you can really see the stomach.

So as you breathe in, let the stomach drop down. Like lazy. It's like the last thing you wanna do when you're at the beach in your bathing suit. No lazy stomach at the beach, but let it go now. You're in the privacy of your own home.

On your exhale, pull the stomach way up. It should probably feel pretty intense around your oblique region, your low left and right side of your waist, so pull it up. Inhale, let it go down. Exhale, pull it up. Inhale.

Exhale. Inhale. One last time, exhale. I want you to keep it up. Keep it right there.

Now take another simple breath, while keeping that intensity there. Exhale, pull it up higher. Pause, breathe in. Exhale, pull it up higher. So it's like a three-part move.

Good, now one more round. Inhale, let the stomach be lazy. Exhale, navel up. Pause, keep the tension, breathe in. Exhale, pull it up.

Exhale, pull it up higher. Inhale, let it down. Cow pose, inhale. Belly lazy. Now exhale, integrate that breath.

Draw your pelvis back. So exhale, belly up, round. Cat pose, that's the exhale. Two more, inhale. And exhale.

Look toward the thighs if that feels okay. Spread your back wide one more time, inhale. Exhale. Back into a flat back. Breathe in, curl the toes under, breathe out, downward dog.

Pedal it out for a few moments. Keep those hands spread really wide. You can even take your feet a little wider if that helps accommodate or bring more space into your hamstrings. But I definitely encourage you to keep those knees bent. Keep the knees bent so you can get that really nice extension and length in the spine.

Straighten one at a time. You'll find you have a little bit more space when you do that. You can also try this. This is actually something I really love. So from here, I lift my heels really high and my legs are straight.

Now here, lift your toes up so you're really on the ball of each foot. Now squeeze your quads, engage the muscles of your legs. Keep that as you exhale. So there's the huge stretch in the back of the legs but you're also strengthening the quads and shins. Okay, walk up to the front of the mat.

You can take your time, you can take two giant steps or take a few... Slow deliberate steps. When you arrive, softly bend your knees, press your palms into your shins, inhale, come up into a flat back. Nice exhale, knees bent, forward bend. Two more, inhale.

Get the length, get the length. Lengthen the spine. Core braced, exhale. (exhales loudly) One more time, inhale. And exhale, forward bend.

Hold on to opposite elbows. A little sway from side to side. Lift your toes, spread the bottoms of your feet as wide as you can. Really kinda like embedding and burying the bones of your feet down into the mat and into the hardwood floor... Or whatever surface you're on.

Okay. So after you've explored... In the way that you'd like to explore, we'll meet back here. We're gonna come all the way up into mountain pose. What I'd like to have you do, with your feet hip width...

Begin, take your thumbs into your hip creases and press your hips back. So, your knees are already bent a little bit. They'll bend a little bit more when you bring your hips back into this imaginary chair and at the same time, what I want you to do is begin to lift the chest, and then let the arms come out in front of you. Pull belly in so your core is braced, right. Neutral spine, neutral pelvis, arms forward.

So now, from this position. I'll do it again. So it's here, here. Almost as if, you've got your grocery bags. It's like a functional way to come up.

You're lifting with your legs. That type of movement, okay. So I want you to try that. So from the forward bend... Hips back into an imaginary chair.

Chest up, arms up, pause. Now inhale. A little back bend, possibly. Hands interlaced, index finger long, let the head drop back, strong legs, little tip back. And exhale.

Palms to the chest. Okay, good. So, front of the mat, feet hip-width. Close your eyes for a few moments. Stand tall.

I'll talk you through a few different... Mountain pose cues. So lift your toes up. Lift the toes and press them back down gently. And tip forward and back.

Find your edge going forward. That tipping edge, right. Then find the edge going back. And with your eyes closed, you may feel a little bit uncomfortable so of course, open your eyes if that's better for you. Now find that middle ground, spread your feet really wide.

So you're kinda separating the bones, like the ball of your foot, the big toe mound and the pinky toe sides, spread it out, gaining more real estate right down unto the ground. Now lift those toes once again. Can you feel the musculature up through the legs become more alive. Squeeze the quads. So what you're doing is you're creating these two strong posts or pillars to stand on.

Take a deep breath in. Big breath out. (exhales loudly) Check in with your hips, your pelvis. Do you find that your pelvis tipping too far forward? That way the belly will disengage.

We want to do the opposite. We want to neutralize the pelvis, which will then bring the abdominals into more of a engaged feeling or sensation. So extend the tailbone down, don't tuck it. Extend it down. I've got this base solid.

Now, braced core, spine long, stand tall. Turn your palms forward. This will help to kinda open up the forearms, your biceps, your shoulders. At the same time, what I want you to do is stretch your fingers really wide and down, so that you really feel like the back of your arms, your triceps, are engaged. So it's like there's effort there.

Now here, with the palms forward, you've opened up the chest, from your sternum across your chest, shoulders. Pull the shoulderblades toward one another. But when you do that, don't let the belly kick out, and sway. Now a little slight adjustment with the... Head, so draw the chin down, quarter inch or so, and then the head back just a little bit.

Take a couple breaths, you can bring those toes down. (exhales loudly) You've just moved your body in a really nice way. Getting ready for the day. You could be doing this at night, getting ready for bed. You can do it any time.

Take a few moments to close your eyes, feel your breath, feel the stability you have here in mountain pose. Take the arms up. Arms up, interlace the fingers. Index finger long is an option. The other option would be to place the hands back behind your head or even fingertips at your temples.

Elbows back, same quality all the way down in mountain pose. We're gonna get a little side stretch, side bend. Similar to what we did seated. I'm gonna do it with my hands behind the head. I like that feeling.

Elbows back, strong back, open chest. Now, tip yourself over, leading with the left elbow. Reach it out and then up, keep the spine long. Again, if you prefer the hands long overhead, interlacing your fingers, go of it. Good, back up to center with the inhale.

Get long, breathe in, breathe in, breathe in and exhale over to the other side. Come back up to center. If you feel like reaching the arms up, big breath, a little baby back bend possibly. Palms to the chest, exhale. Close your eyes for three full breaths.

Stand tall. Stand strong. Stand relaxed. Remind yourself that this is a practice, it's your practice. It's not anybody else's.

No one else can do it for you. So acknowledge that you've showed up for yourself, and that you're doing what it takes to feel just a little better, to become a little bit more present and to allow the whatever happens, happens. That's it for today, for this one. Have a beautiful awesome, most amazing day. Peace.


Maureen M
3 people like this.
What a lovely,calm and smoothing practise.!Loved Roberts way with words, great cues and demo. Thank you. Look forward to watching the others he has done.
Kathleen F
4 people like this.
my first time! I love it! Robert was easy to follow and I love his style of being real. THANK YOU!
Robert Sidoti
Thank you Maureen and Kathleen!
2 people like this.
Very calming, exactly what I need to understand breath and nerves.
Annie W
2 people like this.
I agree. The way you explain everything is very helpful, informative and forgiving. You move at a great pace, and have a warm delivery in your explanations. 2 thumbs up!
3 people like this.
I enjoyed that one, thank you! Love the "realness" of Robert.
Robert Sidoti
I'm so happy this video is helpful for you all, makes me happy:)
Frederic M
2 people like this.
The advice on downward dog is great. Thanks!
Catherine L
1 person likes this.
I would prefer if the teacher wore a top (male or female)
Annie W
6 people like this.
Robert is awesome... besides hot. Sans shirt is fine with me. ;o)
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