Sometimes you just want to squeeze a little movement in. Whether you want to relieve stress, alleviate pain or tension, or just connect to your breath for a bit, yoga is never a bad idea. Even a five minute practice can create mental clarity and enhance your mood. Try this easy five minute sequence for a quick mental and physical boost.
Come onto your hands and knees into a table top position. Stack your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Keep a long neutral spine, and on an inhale drop your belly and gaze toward the ceiling. On your exhale, press the mat away and create a c curve with your spine as you tuck your chin into your chest and direct your gaze toward your navel. Continue moving in this pattern at your own pace, linking breath to movement for up to 20 rounds.
Come back to table top position with a neutral spine. On an exhale, begin to walk your palms forward, encouraging your chest toward the mat and planting either your forehead or your chin. Keep your palms planted and arms extended out in front of you, engaging your biceps. Breathe into your heart space as you soften deeper with every exhale. Hold for 10 breaths before slowly making your way back up to table top.
Downward facing dog
Front a table top position, press into the palms and straighten your legs, directing your hips toward the sky and creating an inverted V shape with your body. Straighten out through the spine and extend the hips toward the ceiling. Invite in gentle movement, straightening one leg and then the other. Find stillness and hold for five breaths.
Place your right foot in between your hands and extend your left leg behind you, tucking the toes under and engaging your quads. Keep the front leg bent at a 90 degree angle, stretching into the hip. Place your left hand on the inside of your right foot underneath your shoulder, and inhale extend the right arm toward the sky for a twist. Hold for five breaths and plant both hands on the mat.
On an exhale release your left knee to the mat. Keeping your palms planted on the mat or blocks, on an inhale straighten out through your right leg. On an inhale straighten out through the spine, and exhale fold over your right leg. Flex the right foot toward your face and hold and breathe for 10 breaths. Transition through a vinyasa and repeat the sequence on your left side.
Come down onto your back bring your legs in toward the chest and reach for the outer edges
of your feet, directing your knees toward your armpits. Keep your spine firmly planted on the mat as you open up through the hips. You can invite gentle movement into the posture by rocking back and forth on the spine, gently massaging out the back. Hold and explore the posture for 10 breaths.
Bring your knees in toward the chest and wrap your arms around the legs. On an inhale, squeeze the legs and bring your forehead to the knees, starting to tense every muscle. Breathe in one more sip of air as you engage the entire body and on an exhale release your grip, coming to lie down on the mat. Extend your arms and legs out long, taking up as much space as you want. Let go of any breath control or attempt to control the mind and allow your body to melt into the mat, relaxing deeply. Stay here for up to 10 minutes, gently coming up when you are finished to resume your evening.