Hello all! Happy Thursday! I am extra happy today because it's my first day of Rodeo Break. Rodeo Break? What's that, Paige? Well, let me tell you. It's when, in Arizona, the rodeo comes to town, and so many kids participate in it, that we don't go to school. Seriously. I'd never heard of such a thing before I moved here, but when I told my kids about schools in the Midwest getting the first week of deer hunting season off they were flabbergasted, so I guess it isn't THAT crazy.
I also am SO SO SO excited to announce a project that myself and a couple of other beautiful bloggers are working on! We will be hosting an Instagram yoga challenge for the month of March...look for all the details and the official announcement this coming Monday :) I couldn't be more excited about this!
Do you guys read? I mean, you should. You really, really should. Not only is reading tons of fun it's super relaxing and good for your brain :) I'm not going to blab on and on (I AM an English teacher though..) but last night I read an entire book from cover to cover in one sitting. It was called The Silent Land by Graham Joyce. My sister leads a book club and this was the book my mom chose. It. Sucked. Me. In. I couldn't put it down...it was so eerie and weird and sad and awesome all at the same time. That's not what my post is about today but I figured some of you might enjoy reading and if you haven't read this, I really recommend it. I couldn't sleep last night because I kept thinking about it after I finished...a mark of a truly good book.
So, the last couple of weeks I have really been sticking to my "wake up early and do yoga" plan. It was one of my goals for Self Love February and I've been very pleased that I've actually stuck to it. I'm getting about 15-20 minutes every weekday morning, and then doing a full workout after work and it's been fantastic.
I have been doing Yogaglo workouts in the mornings, which I can't recommend enough btw, but there aren't a ton of 15-20 minute workouts that I really like. I have about three I have been doing but this week I decided to change it up a little, go out on a limb, and make up my own. It worked really nicely for me yesterday.
I focused on good, deep stretches that would warm up my body, but stayed away from anything too intense, quick, or complicated. I stuck to basic poses that would loosen up my muscles and mind. Here are some great stretches and poses to wake you up in the morning and get you ready for the day!
1. Side stretch- Do both sides and add a little backbend in there if you are feeling it. As you stretch to the right, push your hips as far left as they will go. Same for the opposite side. Try and keep your arms as straight as possible.
2. Forward fold with arm stretch- Keep your fingers interlaced and only let your arms fold down as far as is comfortable; don't push it. This is a great shoulder stretch! I like to start this pose with bent knees/in chair position and then stand up straighter after a minute or two.
3 and 4- Cat Cow- Great stretches for the spine. Keep your knees shoulder width apart. Push shoulders and hips to sky in cow pose and look up. Sink shoulders to ground for cat pose and push up off the ground through your hands, letting your head hang low.
5. Triangle- Ahhhhhhh triangle is fantastic. A fabulous stretch for your hamstrings. Front foot faces the front, back foot angles in. Push forward through your leading arm and come down to ground (or block). Twist back arm toward the sky and look up towards fingers if possible. USE BLOCK IF NECESSARY! I only just started being able to do this pose correctly without the block, and sometimes I rest my hand on my shin if I can't get the ground. Don't push it- not worth it.
6. Crescent lunge- My favorite! Both feet face forward; lunch down in your front knee until knee is over the ankle. Arms up to the sky and hands parallel. Tuck your tailbone in as far as possible to sit up straight. I have trouble with this (you can see my huge butt making it almost impossible to sit correctly) but it's all about practice!
Do you workout in the mornings? What are some of your favorite wake-up stretches?