Meditative Yoga Flow to Center Your Body and Mind

Beginning your day with a series of grounding yoga poses is a simple yet impactful morning practice that can help loosen muscles and calm your mind.

Sun Salutation B — Surya Namaskara B

The sequence presented is referred to as “Sun Salutation B” (Surya Namaskara B). It includes the basic components of a Sun Salutation as understood in most styles of yoga such as Ashtanga, Power and Vinyasa Yoga.  Always breathe through your nose with the lips sealed, this form of breathing is referred to as Ujjayi (Victorius Breath) it warms up the body and cultivates a meditative aspect to your practice.

  1. Standing Mountain Pose — Tadasana or SamasthitiStanding Mountain Pose 1

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Press your palms together in prayer position. Rest your thumbs on your sternum (your spiritual heart) and take several breaths through the nose.

  1. Chair Pose – UtkatasanaChair pose 2

Exhale as you bend your knees, sink back into your heels and hips. Inhale as you sweep your arms overhead and take several breathes through the nose. Gaze is lifted.

  1. Standing Forward Fold — UttanasanaStanding Forward Fold 3

Exhale as you fold forward. Bending your knees if your fingertips do not touch the ground. Rest your hands beside your feet and draw your nose to your knees, crown of the head is heavy.

  1. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha UttanasanaHalf Standing Forward Fold 4

Inhale as you lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Keep your fingertips on the floor, or bring them to your shins.

  1. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga DandasanaFour Limbed Staff Pose

Exhale as you step or jump back into Plank Pose (High Push-Up Pose), with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart. Continue exhaling as you lower your body toward the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga or all the way down to your belly for Cobra. Otherwise, keep your legs straight and reach back through your heels.

  1. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha SvanasanaUpward Facing Dog

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart and eyes to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha SvanasanaDownward Facing Dog

Exhale as you press your hips and tuck your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Gaze is toward the back of the mat or at your knees. Stay here for five breaths. On your last exhalation, bend your knees and look between your hands.

  1. Warrior I (right side) – Virabhadrasana IWarrior 1

Inhale, stepping your right foot between your hands, back foot pivots flat. Keep a 90 degree bend to your right knee and exhale. Inhale as your sweep your arms overhead, gaze is lifted. Take several breath cycles here and exhale as you step back into Chaturanga Dandasana.

  1. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga DandasanaFour Limbed Staff Pose

Exhale as you step or jump back into Plank Pose (High Push-Up Pose), with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart. Continue exhaling as you lower your body toward the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga or all the way down to your belly for Cobra. Otherwise, keep your legs straight and reach back through your heels.

  1. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha SvanasanaUpward Facing Dog

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart and eyes to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha SvanasanaDownward Facing Dog

Exhale as you press your hips and tuck your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Gaze is toward the back of the mat or at your knees. Stay here for five breaths. On your last exhalation, bend your knees and look between your hands.

  1. Warrior I (left side) – Virabhadrasana IWarrior 1

Inhale, stepping your left foot between your hands, back foot pivots flat. Keep a 90 degree bend to your right knee and exhale. Inhale as your sweep your arms overhead, gaze is lifted. Take several breath cycles here and exhale as you step back into Chaturanga Dandasana.

  1. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga DandasanaFour Limbed Staff Pose

Exhale as you step or jump back into Plank Pose (High Push-Up Pose), with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart. Continue exhaling as you lower your body toward the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga or all the way down to your belly for Cobra. Otherwise, keep your legs straight and reach back through your heels.

  1. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha SvanasanaUpward Facing Dog

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart and eyes to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.

  1. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha SvanasanaDownward Facing Dog

Exhale as you press your hips and tuck your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Gaze is toward the back of the mat or at your knees. Stay here for five breaths. On your last exhalation, bend your knees and look between your hands.

  1. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha UttanasanaHalf Standing Forward Fold 4

Inhale as you lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Keep your fingertips on the floor, or bring them to your shins.

  1. Standing Forward Fold— UttanasanaStanding Forward Fold 3

Exhale as you fold forward. Bending your knees if your fingertips do not touch the ground. Rest your hands beside your feet and draw your nose to your knees, crown of the head is heavy.

  1. Chair Pose – UtkatasanaChair pose 2

Exhale as you bend your knees, sink back into your heels and hips. Inhale as you sweep your arms overhead and take several breathes through the nose. Gaze is lifted.

  1. Mountain Pose — TadasanaStanding Mountain Pose 1

Exhale as you come back into Mountain Pose. Bring your hands into prayer position. Rest your thumbs on your sternum. Repeat the sequence two or more times.

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Main image photo credit: Getty Images

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