Awaken the Spine
Spine, Core, Mobility, Back
A gentle yoga sequence to use at the start of your practice to warm up and awaken the spine.
Come to your hands and knees on your mat. Your knees will be stacked under your hips and your wrists are stacked under your shoulders. Engage your core by pulling your belly into your spine. Create a nice long spine and bring your gaze in between your hands to create length in the neck. Actively push into both hands and externally rotate the biceps to engage the arms.
From table top position start by moving into cat pose. Take an inhale breath and with your exhale, press your palms into the floor and tuck your chin into your chest as you begin to curve the spine up to the ceiling. With the press of the palms into the floor, you will create space between your shoulder blades.
With your next inhale, move into cow pose by dropping the belly towards the floor and letting your gaze come up to the ceiling. Keep your hips stacked over your knees as you continue to move through these cat / cow poses for a few breaths.
Half-Bind Arm Behind Back
Return to your table top position. Press into your left hand for stability as you sweep your right arm up to the sky. Flip the right palm so it’s facing towards your body, then bend at the elbow and tuck the right hand behind your back, into the left hip crease.
Extend Leg Out, toes stay on ground for a calf-stretch
With your right hand bound behind your back, begin to extend your right leg back behind you, keeping your toes on the mat. Press into your left palm for a calf stretch in the back of your leg.
Sunbird (Dandayamana Bharmanasana)
Unwrap your right hand from behind your back and extend it straight out in front of you. Bring your right knee to the mat and lift your left leg straight behind you to come into sunbird pose. Flex the left foot and engage the core to stay balanced.
Sunbird Option 2 (Dandayamana Bharmanasana)
Option to bring your knee into your nose and bend your elbow to meet your knee to take this pose further. Now, come back to table-top and find the last two poses on the opposite side.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Bring your knees wide and allow your hips to sink back towards your feet. Walk your hands forward to extend your arms long and bring your chest down towards the mat. Your forehead might also rest on the mat.
Table Top (Bhramanasana)
Come back through your table top pose as a transition.
Cat / Cow (optional)
Move through one more cycle of cat / cow postures to close this sequence. Ask your students to notice how the body feel now, as opposed to when you began. The spine and body should feel much more awake!