Are there any particular stretches or poses for starting the day with? I often wake feeling heavy and achy and wondered if yoga could help shift this so I can start the day with more of a bounce?
The perfect time to practise yoga asana is upon waking to shift the stale energy that yogis refer to as tamasic. When we wake up, our muscles reset to a memory length that has been conditioned over years from our lifestyles and developed into a physical posture.
So it is great in the morning to wake up and condition the body straight away to new muscle lengths, awareness and strength. Over time this will have a huge impact on how you feel upon rising but can be hard work at the start when we are stiff and sore.
Start with some very gentle poses like child's pose, cat and cow rolls, cobra poses and work your way into downward dog. Then begin with some slow, modified sun salutation A and work up until you are moving dynamically into sun salutation B. Do between three and five of each and then you would be ready to start the day with a bang.
If you want to do a bit more then move into some standing twists like triangle (trikonasana) or side angle (utthita parsvakonasana) and then some standing balances eagle (garudasana) tree (vrksasana) and then hit the floor for the back-bending bridge (setu bandasana) and finish with hips half pidgeon (eka pada rajakapotasana), before forward bend (paschimottanasana) and supine twists and rest savasana (corpse pose).
Check out the Net for clarification on how to do these poses or log onto my website and purchase my DVD. The DVD will take you through how to do the practice and also has a 20- to 30-minute sequence on it.
If you are not up for some of those poses, do the ones you feel you like doing and work with them. This is how most home practices start. Try to attend a few classes to refine your understanding of alignment and breathing in the poses so what you are doing at home is of great benefit. We are lucky to have so many good yoga schools in Australia. I'm sure there will be one near you.
Duncan Peak yoga expert