HJ: Taking a few minutes to stretch the body and mind before we begin our day lays an incredible foundation for increased awareness, presence and peace in our daily activities. Through this simple, yet powerful practice we can easily cultivate health and higher physical and mental functioning. Plus, it just feels good — really good. Since beginning a morning yoga & meditation practice many years ago, I just don’t feel right if I don’t do at least some stretching before I start my day. Stretching literally makes me flexible physically and mentally. Without it, I feel as if the dreamy/sleepy energy of the night before simply lingers into my day and keeps me passive and spacey. Not that there is anything wrong with being passive or spacey, but with my full schedule, it does not serve me (at least during the week).
The beauty of this series is that it is quick, simple, and powerful. Even the busiest individuals should have no problem integrating into their morning routine. Furthermore, it is very powerful to integrate daily routines into ones life. Even though we may only spend 5 or 10 min a day doing it, it adds up and the effects are cumulative. Practicing regularly sets up new neural pathways in our brain and literally reprograms us for higher consciousness.
Basic Wake up Series
Yogi Bhajan recommends the following series every morning upon (or even before) arising. This can be done while still in bed. The first moments of your day can determine the quality of your whole day. This is a potent tool for relating to the inside of you and beginning your day on the “right foot”.
1. Stretch Pose: Lying on back, arms and legs kept straight. raise feet head and hands 6″ off the ground and hold with Breath of Fire from 1 – 3 minutes or as long as possible. Eyes should look at big toes, and hands point towards feet (tuck your chin so as to extend the cervical vertebra but don’t stretch your head forward). If the small of the back lifts off the floor, place a prop (a rolled up towel works well) under the bottom of your butt. You may also use your hands. This will keep proper tilt of the pelvis. If held less than a minute, rest and repeat pose, increasing time daily. Sets the navel. Definitely lay out for a couple of minutes to integrate the experience.
2. Nose to Knees: Bend the knees and clasp legs with arms, raising head so that nose comes between knees and hold with Breath of Fire for 2 minutes. Eliminates intestinal gas, opens the lower lumbar region, stimulates the thyroid and combines Prana with Apana.
3. Spinal Rock: In same position, rock back and forth on the spine from neck to tailbone for 1 minute. Distributes pranic energy and relaxes the spine.
4. Ego-Eradicator: Sit in Easy Pose and raise arms to 60 degrees out to the sides, fingertips on pads of fingers, thumbs extended straight up and hold with Breath of Fire for 2 minutes. Then deeply inhale and VERY SLOWLY raise arms until thumbtips touch overhead, flatten hands and slowly arc them down, sweeping the aura with the palm, collecting any darkness, negativity or sickness, and press and release it into the earth, to clean and ener-gize the aura. Feel light around you and meditate on that light.