Wake up your body with these six, scrumptious morning yoga stretches from MacKenzie Miller.
About the sequence
This easy, floor-based yoga sequence will gently open the body and calm your mind. Stay in each pose for about 5 to 10 slow, steady breaths and remember to practise the asymmetrical postures on the other side, resting in neutral in between sides.
1. Seated cat
With your palms holding the shins or knees, round the spine and tuck the chin towards the chest, exhaling as you do so.
2. Seated cow
Inhale and arch the spine, lifting the chest and gazing slightly upwards. Try not to tip the head too far back. Repeat seated cat / cow movements slowly, moving with the breath, a few times.
3. Sphinx pose
Come onto your belly and place your elbows under your shoulders, forearms parallel with one another. Energetically draw your elbows back whilst lifting the chest. Lengthen your tailbone towards your heels and soften the shoulders away from the ears. Keep a slight engagement of your lower belly to protect the lower back. Take a few long, slow breaths.
4. Standing forward fold
Hold opposite elbows and let the head hang heavy, neck relaxed. Bend your knees slightly if having straight legs is too strong for your hamstrings. Breathe slowly and evenly for a few moments feeling the spine and the sides of the torso lengthen.
5. Side stretches
Hold the left wrist with the right hand and arch the torso to the right. Keep the lower belly drawn in so as not to overstretch the side waist and if it feels good, turn the chest and the gaze to the left. As you breathe, feel the elongation from the outer left foot to the left little finger. Repeat on the other side.
6. Yogic squat
Take the feet slightly wider than hip-distance and turn the toes out a little. Squat down, making sure the knees are pointing in the same direction as your toes. If your heels are hovering, rest them on a rolled up blanket or blocks. Bring your elbows to the inner thighs and the palms together at the sternum. Take a few breaths here, keeping space in the chest area and lengthening from the tailbone to the crown of the head.