„Good Morning AyurYoga“ Flow

Practicing Yoga in our busy day to day lives can be challenging with Job, Kids a dog and our daily schedule. Ayurveda is recommending to start the day with Yoga and Meditation to feel more stable, awake and grounded.

I really enjoy it to start my day the “Ayurvedic way”, because it gives me lots of strength, energy and creativity but also more balance.

A gentle morning Yoga practice got many benefits

In the morning hours our brain is still in it´s “theta waves” status, which is similar to the status you arrive in deep meditation. We are deeply in contact with intuition and creativity – practicing to make a slow transition from sleeping to being awake can help you to improve your whole life.

This is also the reason why in India and Ayurveda the morning hours are sacred and important for our spiritual progress. It is a sacred space to make the connection to your highest self, to the Universe.

Here is a short sequence I love to practice in my morning hours – it can be done in 15 minutes, if you find some longer time on your mat, it is also possible to stretch it to 30 minutes. But it will help you to start your day in a calm and gentle way!

  1. Bananasana
It is allowed to feel at ease
  • 1 minute each side

Lay on your back. Walk your feet to the right side of the mat, your hands to the right side, arms stretched over head. Place left foot on the right and grab with your left hand your right wrist. Stretch into the side and breathe deeply. Change side after a minute.

This posture helps to relax the area around your bile and will let you feel less anger throughout the day.

2. Crocodile Twist

Breathe deeply into your heart and try to connect with your intuition
  • 1 minute each side

Place your feet now on the mat and cactus your arms – let your legs sway gentle from side to side. Massage your lower back, close your eyes. Let your legs now fall to the left side. Place your foot on the other leg and try to ground your right shoulder as far as possible. Breathe deeply into the area around your belly and enjoy the side stretch and twist. Change side after a minute.

This posture helps you to relax the Psoas muscle. This helps to breathe more deeply and relax our nervous system.

3. Shoulder Bridge

Connect to your inner peace
  • hold for one minute

Open your heart for the new day. Plant your feet on the ground, hip distance apart. Press through your feet and lift your hips to the sky. Externally rotate your arms so your palms face the ceiling, then interlink the fingers behind your back. Open your chest and press into your forearms and hands.

This posture helps you to encourage strength and to walk throughout the day with an more open-heart.

4. Legs Up The Wall on a pillow or block

Feel happiness and balance
  • 2 minutes

Bring now a pillow or block underneath your sacrum and begin to stretch your legs towards the sky. Hips and legs are in alignment. Cactus your arms again to open your chest and feel your shoulders waking up from the night. Flex your feet and make circles to wake your whole lymphatic system up. Breathe deeply into your belly and close your eyes.

The posture helps your spine to start regenerative into a new day and will leave you awake, energized and will give you a happy mood boost.

5. Reclining Bound Angle Pose

You already start to feel awake
  • 2 minutes

Now bend your knees. Bring your feet together with the outer edges of both feet on the floor. Place your heels close to your groin.

Let your palms lie next to your hips, palms facing the earth.

Exhale, and ensure that your abdominal muscles contract as your tailbone moves close to your pubic bone. Feel the elongation in your lower back and the stability of your spine as your pelvis tilts.

With the next deep exhale, let your knees open up such that it creates a good stretch in your groin and inner thighs. Feet are touching. Let shoulders and head relax.

Bring your hands in prayer position to your forehead and let your thumbs rest on your third eye centre.

This pose will bring you a deep relaxation and open up your third eye. The morning hours are perfect for this practice.

6. Gentle side stretches

Make space for yourself
  • 1 minute each side

Come to a seated, cross-legged position. Bring your right hand on the floor close to your hip area. Draw your right shoulder now down, bend the right elbow a tiny bit. Focus on your shoulder here, breathe deeply in and move the left arm now in front of you and above your head. Stretch the left arm and upper body now while you lean towards the right. Change sides after one minute.

This posture will help you to get rid of stiffness in your shoulders and neck.

7. Crossed legged forward fold and side stretch

Everything is allowed to flow throughout you
  • 3 minutes

Sit tall and straight. Breathe deeply in and out and start slowly to walk your hands away from you. Find your back straight, shoulders open, neck long and relaxed and focus on the stretch of your back. Stay here for 10 – 15 deep breaths.

Start walking the hands now to the right (later left) and focus more on your shoulders and side. You should feel here a good stretch in your side body. Bring your hands close to one another and start tot wist gently. Your chest wants to open up to the sky. Relax your neck.

Walk your hand back in the middle and stretch the other side.

This posture will help you to open up and get rid off tightness in your side body and shoulders.

8. Seated spinal twist variation

Listen to your breath and let it come and go like waves
  • 1 minute each side

Sit tall again and let your spine grow long. Inhale and bring up both arms, palms facing one another. Exhale and twist with your upper body to the right. Bring your right hand on the bottom behind your back and the left hand onto your right knee. Your neck stays long and you can look towards the right if your neck allows it. If not, let your neck rest above your collarbone. Change sides.

9. Clear the air Pranayama and gratitude practice

Make space and let go – clear the surroundings around you
  • 1 minute up to five minutes

Sit tall, bring your hands onto your knees. While inhaling you bring your arms up slowly and let the palms touch above your head, look slightly up to your hands and pause for a moment. While exhaling, you bring the hands in prayer position slowly to your heart. Inhale through the nose and exhale with a sigh through your mouth. Inhale new space, energy – prana. Exhale everything, you want to let go off. Take 10 of these deep breaths. When finished, bring your hands in prayer position to your heart. Close your eyes.

Let your heart open wide

What are you grateful for today? Can you invite gratitude into your morning?

Here are some helpful gratitude affirmations:

  • Thank you for this new day.
  • Thank you for all the blessings this day will bring.
  • I invite gratitude to my heart.
  • I am grateful for who I am and what I have.
  • I am thankful for simply being alive.

When you found your affirmation, stay a moment with it and repeat it in silence. Let it sink to the bottom of your heart. Bring your hands in prayer position to your third eye center.Bring your hands to your mouth. Bring your hands back to your heart and bow your forehead slightly down towards your fingertips.

Gratitude towards yourself. For showing up. For taking time. For your practice.

This new day is full of new possibilities. Let it be your best day yet.

Namaste,

Krishnaprema

Ayurveda SOS guide to stay cool during the heat wave

Climate change brought us last year some challenging summer in Europe and it seems that is will continue this year. As we have Sahara winds this week and upcoming days, I would like to call out to you that you pleeeeease stay safe and hydrated.

Watch out for elderly people and animals as well. Offer help when you see someone is suffering during the heat – homeless people have often no chance to hide before the sun as good as we can.

Stay compassionate, stay conscious. Here is my SOS guide to make the hot days safe!

Dr. Vasant Lad is writing in his book ‘The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies’ that “Summer is hot, bright and sharp, the season of pitta. Thus, it is recommended to keep cool and not allow pitta dosha to become aggravated.”

Here are the most effective ways to stay cool during the heat period and this summer

Gentle Yoga or Tai Chi in the early morning hours
  • Do not excersice like crazy

When you want to practice Yoga or sports, do it in the early morning hours and do it more gentle than you usually would. Don´t stress your body more than the heat already does. A gentle flow, and followed by gentle stretches, a short and calm jogging session would be the best way to move your body in a safe way.

  • Practice Pranayama to cool you down!

Pranayama got some amazing possibilities to cool down the body temperature. Imagine that in some parts of India it is naturally super hot – for sure Yogis had some ideas how to stay cool and relaxed for meditation!

Beat the heat with Sitali:

  • Sit in a comfortable seated position with the head, neck, and spine in alignment.
  • Close your eyes, breathe even and deep for several minutes, then open the mouth and form the lips into an “O.”
  • Curl your tongue lengthwise and stick it out of the mouth about ¾ lenght.
  • Inhale deeply across the tongue and into the mouth as if drinking through a paper straw.
  • Focus your attention on the cooling sensation of the breath as the abdomen and lower ribs expand during your inhales and exhales.
  • Withdraw the tongue and close the mouth, exhaling even through the nostrils.

If you can´t curl your tongue, try Sitkari:

  • Sit in a comfortably seated position with your eyes closed.
  • Press your lower and upper teeth gently together and separate your lips as much as you comfortably can, so your teeth are exposed to the air, feel like the cheshire cat!
  • Inhale slowly through your teeth gaps and focus on the hissing sound of your breath.
  • Close the mouth and slowly exhale through the nose.
  • Repeat this up to 20 times.
  • Close your mouth and breath evenly in and out.
Calm your Pitta horses!
  • Eat Food that is Pitta pacifying

Forget your Dosha for one moment and focus on a heat reducing diet. Summer is Pitta season and so it is awesome to follow a Pitta friendly diet anyways!

Water-rich fruits like Coconut, pineapple, watermelon, peaches, berries will taste even better these days. Watery veggies like cucumber, asparagus and broccoli will be perfect alongside leafy greens. Salads are cooling, especially for dinner time.

Avoid food that is causing heat into your body – tomatoes, chilies, but also citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, beetroots and carrots have warming qualities.

Avoid excessive consumption of meat. Do not skip meals – this will aggravate your Pitta Dosha. Do not overeat.

Coconut oil is perfect to calm Pitta and also got cooling qualities
  • Apply oils with cooling qualities

Coconut oil is – like you might know – a perfect match in summer, but also Sandalwood, Jasmine got the ability to cool you down. Apply in the evening and leave the oil over night onto your skin, coconut oil is also great into your hair to keep it nourished from the dry weather and sunlight. And – it will help to keep your head cool!

Shower in the morning. And feel fresh!

Cucumber water with mint will Keep your head cool
  • Drink at room temperature

Avoid drinking ice cooled drinks, also stimulating drinks like coffee, alcohol, and sugary soda. Opt for homemade lemonade or cooled-down herbal teas like peppermint.

Water at room temperature with some cucumber slices will be perfect during the day to keep yourself hydrated and cool your system.

  • Stay away from the sun and try to relax in the shades. During the hottest time oft he day, try to avoid being outside. Wear light and loose natural fabrics that allow your skin to breathe, a hat and sunglasses will give you extra shade when you need to be outside anyway. Use a organic sun lotion to stay safe and don´t get sun burned!
I will keep myself cool with green smoothies! 😎

And: keep it simple: If something feels too hot, stay away. If it feels cool, try it out for the summer season! Especially me as a Vata person love to drink smoothies all day now! 🙂