Stretch, strengthen, and twist your way into the day. This brief sequence is a wonderful way to awaken the body. Take it moving with the natural pace of your breath and allow that breath to you through the postures. The video demonstrates the sequence, and cues for the body and breath can be found below the video:
Begin with the feet together, standing in tadasana (mountain pose).
Inhale deeply and pull the right knee up toward the chest. Exhale to ground the standing leg, squeezing the front of the thigh and rooting through all four corners of the foot.
Inhale and reach for the outside of the right foot with the left hand, exhale and extend the right leg forward as you reach the right arm back into parivrtta padangusthasana (revolved hand to big toe pose. If this hamstring stretch in the right leg is too intense, simply keep the right knee bent and bring the left hand to the outside of the right knee.
Slowly move the gaze to the right and take a full inhale and exhale.
Inhale deeply, and on the exhale release the foot and reach the right leg behind you, as you bring the right hand to the mat and reach the left arm high, coming into parivrtta anjaneyasana (twisted lunge). Exhale.
Inhale and reach the left arm back as the right arm reaches forward, coming into a standing version of the twist, and exhale completely as the gaze moves toward the left hand. Take a full cycle of breath.
On a long, full inhale, shift the weight into the left leg and reverse the motion, reaching for the outside of the right foot with the left hand and extending that leg forward once more as the right arm reaches back. Again, keep the right knee bent if this extension is too intense of a stretch. Exhale and turn the gaze toward the right hand.
Take a full cycle of breath in the twist. Think about lengthening the crown toward the ceiling as you twist toward your back hand. Then exhale and release with control.
Repeat the sequence on the opposite side.
Like this sequence? Want to twist, twist, and twist some more? Join me for Hot Hatha Detox at Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City on Monday mornings at 10 am, with Shari on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm, or with Soozie on Friday mornings at 10 am.