Yoga and Essential Oils
This simple yoga routine helps you to take notice and enjoy every last moment. I find this particularly helpful when I am on holidays and want to be present to savour every new experience. This meditative yoga flow encourages you to stay in the moment and appreciate each breath, each movement, each sunrise and each event in our day.
Practice in the morning to set your day to be full of appreciation and intention or practice in the evening to prepare for a restful sleep – this one works both ways!
This series is one that I keep coming back to and often incorporate into my teaching. It’s super simple with only a few poses which makes it easy to remember especially when you are on the go. The simplicity though is the key to just being able to flow through the series and focus on the pose and how you feel as you repeat the pose during the practice and how it changes after a week of practice.
We start the practice by setting our intention for balance and focus. Close your eyes in Mountain pose as you begin and just notice how you feel.
• Do you feel the same on each side of the body?
• What does your breath feel like to start?
Flow through the 3 simple balance poses… just noticing. We’ll get more familiar with these later.
As you flow through your Sun Salutations you will repeat each of the balance poses for 3 breaths. Do one side then another series and balance yourself out on the other side. If you are pressed for time you can always shorten this series by doing both sides at once and then just doing four Sun Salutations instead of seven. During each round of Sun Salutations hold Down Dog for 3 breaths.
A couple things to keep in mind for your standing poses:
Find your comfortable balance point and its ok if its different on each side. Have the leg turned out from the hip, not just the ankle so you get a hip stretch plus strengthen your stabilizer muscles. Your choices are;
1. Easiest is to place your foot on the ankle (toe on the ground).
2. Medium Challenge is to balance with your foot on your calf.
3. Most difficult is to place your foot on your thigh, opening your hips and working your balance
Just make sure not to place the foot on the knee as this is too much pressure on the knee joint where it’s not meant to bend.
Tip – when practicing in shoes – just place the foot across your leg so you don’t get footprints on your pants!
This is one of my favourites for stretching the shoulders. It also works really well to pull your focus in when you feel scattered.
Start with placing one arm over the other, crossing at the elbows then wind your arms back towards each other to your flexibility point. Then lift your elbows as high as your shoulders if you can and take your fingertips away from you to get a delicious stretch through the shoulders.
Take the opposite leg over the other and again you can choose where to cross based on your balance that day; cross the ankles, the thighs, or wrap the top leg around to also cross at the calves.
Feel your energy pulling inwards in the pose and focus on long, smooth breaths.
This is one of the more challenging one-footed balance poses. Feel free to do this one at a wall if needed. Dancer pose is great to challenge our balance but also works really well at stretching the hip flexor muscles, the ones that get shorter when we run, walk, bike or even sit. As you start to take your hand over your head you also start working to open the heart area in a backbend. Lots of great reasons to enjoy this pose.
Start by bending the knee and grasp your foot behind you keeping the knees parallel. If you can’t catch the foot, your pant leg will do or just hold the leg in place.
Take your opposite arm up towards the sky. Inhale and stretch upwards, exhale and start bending forward at the hips, lifting your back leg behind you and curving your top hand back as if you were to grasp your back foot. Do ahead and do that if you can reach!
As you hold the pose, press your foot into your hand to get a deeper stretch in the hips and continue reaching back with the top hand to open the area around the chest and heart. Feel graceful, flexible and strong.
On your last round of Sun Salutations (#7 – can you believe it!) step forward into Pigeon Pose from Down Dog and enjoy a nice deep stretch through the hips. Feel free to come forward over your front leg and hold this longer than 6 breaths if you have the time.
This practice while meditative and simple is a challenging practice so the cooldown is important and will feel extra sweet. Head to Knee Pose is a great way to calm the mind and stretch through the hamstrings. Tight hamstrings cause a lot of lower back pain and knee pain.
Ending with a Seated Twist helps to keep the spine supple and mobile plus helps with our digestion. When doing a twist make sure to sit up straight first and then gently start to turn from your low back and working your way with each breath up to your shoulders and neck.
Reclined Mountain is really just a teaser for Savasana but it helps us to align our spine after the twist before doing bridge pose. Enjoy a couple breaths in each of these poses so your Final Relaxation Pose feels even sweeter.
Want the guided experience to go through the series you can join me for the practice in the video below.
This video is part of a seven-week series of yoga routines to create the habit of doing yoga every day. It’s amazing what 20-30 minutes a day can do for your flexibility and your strength. Want to try more like this – join in and Start Your Own Yoga Home Practice.
If you are intrigued by the idea of going deeper in your yoga practice by using essential oils here’s more on why I love to use the doTERRA brand of oils – they truly do make a difference!
Print out your Yoga Pose Guide for the Meditative Yoga Flow.
Notice how you feel after your practice. Notice how the rest of the day flows after you’ve set this intention for being present. Try this one in the evening too and notice how well you sleep!
Share in the comments below how you feel and when you like to use this flow.
Easy Peasy Morning Yoga
How to Start a Yoga Practice at Home
Over 20 yoga videos to make getting started easy and accessible, even if you’ve never tried yoga before. Or even worse – you’ve tried and been discouraged.