My favorite morning yoga practice lately has been the Kundalini Yoga “Wake Up Series.” It leaves me feeling focused, energized, and calm. Four postures, one breath technique, and I am happily ready to take on my day.
- stimulates healthy digestion
- is healing to the lower spine
- activates the 72,000 energy channels, called nadis, in the body
- strengthens your core
- activates the lymph to remove waste and toxins
- connects you to your value and intention for the day
We use Breath of Fire in this set. Contraindication include pregnancy and the first 3 days of moon cycle in which cases long deep breathing will serve you more. Breath of fire is done in and out through the nose. With each exhale you draw your navel into your spine pressing all of the breath out. The inhale happens naturally. It creates a steady, rhythmic breathing pattern. Need more guidance? Check out the Breath of Fire tutorial on my website for a quick lesson on how to get going. www.julieknail.com
Breath of fire:
- increases flow of oxygen to the brain
- improves focus
- stabilizes nervous system
- brings new red blood cells to heart and lungs
- breaks old patterns stored in the body and mind, great for breaking bad habits and addictions
Kundalini Yoga Wake Up Series
Begin by tuning in with the mantra “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”. Chant it 3 times. It means, I bow to my own inner wisdom. You may want to warm up your spine with some cat/cow spinal flexes, a down-dog, and/or a few sun salutes.
1. Stretch Pose (Ardha Navasana): Lie on your back and lift your legs 6 inches up off of the floor, then lift your chest up reaching your fingertips towards your toes. Whole body activated, begin your breath of fire. *You may need to do this one leg at a time or with one hand behind your head to support your neck. Do your best at where your own edge is for 2 minutes.
2. Knees to Chest (Apanasana): Immediately, hug your knees into your chest and draw your head up in between your knees as you continue your breath of fire. *You can also support your neck with one hand behind your head here if need be. 2 min.
3. Rocking and Rolling: Knees hugged into chest, rock and roll back and forth/ front to back along your spine avoiding coming all the way back to the neck. Keep massaging your entire body here continuing your breath of fire. 2 min.
4. Ego Eradicator: Bring your arms out to 60 degrees, arms back in line with the ears and perfectly straight. Have your fingertips curled into the base of your fingers, as shown, with your thumbs extended pointed towards each other like they are drawing a big arc over your head. Keep your arms up the whole time. Continue with your breath of fire here for 2 min. At the end of the 2 minutes, inhale and suspend the breath. Don't look, just feel- bring your thumb tips to touch together overhead drawing all of your energy up to the crown of your head. Open your palms and exhale bring your arms out around you by your sides and rest the palms facing up on the thighs.
6. To end, bring your hands into prayer pose (anjali mudra) at the center of your heart. Close your practice by chanting one long Sat Nam- it means “I am my truth." Enjoy.
Join me for our next Ten Week Series, “Building Better Habits,” at Yoga Soup starting September 27 where we will use Kundalini Yoga to explore our patterns, redirect our focus, and grow into more of the potential we see within ourselves. Classes are Saturday/Monday/Wednesday 9-10:25am.
For more from Julie, check out her website at www.julieknail.com.