I like to think of this post as Coffee with Caroline Wagner. I actually don’t drink coffee—I know, shocker! But regardless of what you choose for a morning wake-up call, you can slip it in between these poses and really start your day off right. If you do the entire series, it will take more than ten minutes, but we wanted to give you options. So if you only have a little time to wake up and get to work or school, you can do Child’s Pose, Cat & Cow, Downward Dog and Plank. If you can do the full repertoire, you’ll even be more ready for your day.
Caroline is the very talented woman who helped open Equinox in LA. Now you know her fitness mastery is top tier. I’ve only begun doing yoga, so when in doubt, look at her!
Child’s Pose. Caroline says to begin with this. You start by kneeling and sitting back on your heels. Keep your big toes together and take your knees to the width of your hips. Breathe and relax. Remember, breathing is important for all of yoga. You can stay in this position as long as you want. But I’m warning you, it’s very relaxing. You could easily find that you’ve spent more than ten minutes here.
Cat & Cow. Alternatively round and arch your back about ten times to loosen up your muscles. Keep your knees aligned under your hipbones and your wrists under your shoulders.
Downward Dog. To stretch your hamstrings, calves, hands – and frankly probably about your entire body – this pose is perfect. Place your hands on the floor and bend your knees. Then straighten your legs to lift your hips. Press your heels and the palms of your hands into the mat. Fan out your fingers for comfortable support. Once you’ve obtained a nice stretch, you can seamlessly lower your body into a plank position.
Plank. I can just hear Caroline now. “Keep your core strong.” That is a key to a successful plank, which is excellent for strengthening back muscles. Once again, keep your wrists directly under your shoulders and your palms pressing into your mat. You can alternate between Downward Dog and Plank as many times as feels good.
Half Moon. Disclaimer: Look at Caroline on this one, not me. “Ideally, keep your leg at hip level,” she explains. “If you’re struggling with balance, touch your hand to the mat.” Caroline is super-sweet and she didn’t have the heart to correct my Half Moon, which she said I inadvertently turned into more of a ballet pose. “Ballet poses are pretty too,” she encouraged. As you can see, Caroline is both ultra-sweet and ultra-fun. Hold this pose for about 30 seconds on each leg.
Torture Chamber. That’s what I call this pose. I find it sheer misery, but your body will thank you later. Keep your abdomen tight to protect your back and press your shoulders down. Then switch and do the pose on the other side.
End as you began, with Child’s Pose, and you’re ready to rock your day. If you’re more of a night yoga girl, this routine can also be done before bed. It will put your body in great alignment and relax you.
Thank you to Caroline – aka super-fitness woman – for getting together with me to bring you this yoga rundown.