Have been searching for an early morning stretch/meditation that did not involve triple-warrior-breath-of-fire style exertions, rather a sense of blissed out flow and awakening.  Maya Fiennes rather reassuring Yoga for Real Life has just the thing.  I have bought the book and I am going to share.  It is so good, anyone of any age or suppleness would benefit.  It takes about half an hour and you just need to roll out of bed and find somewhere warm to sit.  Once you’ve learnt the exercises, you don’t even have to open your eyes until the end, when a lovely spring dawn will finally be appearing.  Huzzah.  Pictures from here.

1.  Spinal Flex

Sit cross legged in easy pose.  Hold ankles and follow the groovy man for about 3 mins.


Once finished, root lock.  Suck in your tummy and clench all your bits front and back for about 30s.  Make sure the upper half of your body is relaxed.

2.  Sufi Grind

Lush.  Sit in easy pose.  Hold the knees.  Begin rotating the spine in a big circle, keeping the head upright.  Inhale as you circle forward across the knees and exhale as you rotate back.  Do each direction for about 3 minutes then root lock.

3.   Spinal Twist

Sit in easy pose.  Lift the elbows up at the sides, bend the arms and grab the shoulders with the fingers in front and thumbs in back.  Forearms should be parallel with the floor.  Inhale and twist the body to the left.  Exhale and twist to the right.  Rotate from the navel point.  Keep the neck straight, moving it with the spine.  Do not lead with the head.

This is a bit giddy making at first.  Do for 3 mins.

Then make gyan mudra with the hands and twist, raising the arms each time until you are in prayer pose above your head.  Hold for a minute. Lower hands in prayer pose and breathe.

4.  Neck rolls

Sitting in easy pose, lengthen the spine, dropping the shoulders down and back, lifting the chest up and slightly tucking the chin in.

Inhale and stretch the head back, allowing the heart center to lift further.  Slowly rotate the head as though you are drawing a giant circle on the ceiling above you with the head.  Exhale as the head comes down in the front, and let the chin skim the top of the chest as the head continues its rotation.  As you reach the back again, inhale deeply.  Continue  and then switch directions.  3 minutes each way and then root lock.

5.  Life Nerve stretch

Open legs, raise arms above head and inhale.  Exhale and drop over left leg, touching toes if possible.  Inhale and come up, exhale and drop arms over right leg.  Do this for 3 mins.  Immediately bring legs together and bend over legs with fingers touching toes if possible.  Rest there for 2 mins.

6.  Lie in corpse pose for a few minutes before enjoying your day.

Remember, even a little bit of movement is beneficial and the repetitions really bliss you out so don’t stop, even if it feels funny at first.  Nothing should hurt and you should never force your body.