FP Awakenings: Awaken with Movement

This is the third in a 4-part series about awakening with beauty by Jolene Hart, health coach and author of the Eat Pretty book series.

The choices you make as you begin each day are some of the most impactful regarding your beauty and health. Morning routines — including thoughts, nutrition, movement, and self-care — set the tone for your entire day.

This week, consider the power of movement to shape your day from its start. Your morning movements, and even the speed with which you perform those movements, strongly influence your beauty and brain. Not only are your very first morning movements a chance to counter the hours you’ve just spent in a horizontal position, they can encourage your body to oxygenate and increase circulation, which are two key practices for radiant skin, energy and overall wellbeing. Breathing deeply from your abdomen, as you do in the yoga ‘sun salutation’ sequence below, turns on the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, making you relaxed and focus. It also initiates detoxification in your body from your very first waking moments. Another reason that I love the practice of a morning yoga sequence is that it stretches, lengthens and gently warms up your muscles for the day, while serving as a meditative moment that you can practice without intense focus, once you’ve learned the routine. You’ll give both your mind and physical body a few welcome moments to wake up and adjust before jumping into your day.

Jolene’s AM Sun Salutation for Beauty

Practice this sequence, my favorite day-opening sun salutation, inhaling fully each time you open and stretch upward, and exhaling fully as you fold or reach downward. Try to work through this sequence at least twice before starting your day, to raise circulation, oxygenate your body, and stretch and lengthen your muscles. Feel free to adjust the movements to suit your individual needs and body.

  1. Begin standing, with your hands together at your chest, breathing normally.
  2. Raise your arms up and inhale deeply to stretch and awaken your body.
  3. Fold down to touch your toes as you exhale deeply.
  4. Raise your arms and inhale again as you move down into a bended-knee pose.
  5. Push back into downward dog pose as you exhale, then push forward until you are flat on the ground with your stomach touching the floor.
  6. Push your arms and chest up into cobra pose as you inhale and stretch your core and chest.
  7. Push back into downward dog pose as you exhale.
  8. Raise your arms and inhale again as you move down into a bended-knee pose with one knee bent (the opposite knee from the one you chose in step 4).
  9. Fold down to touch your toes as you exhale deeply.
  10. Raise your arms up and inhale deeply to stretch and awaken your body.
  11. Return to the start, with your hands together at your chest, breathing normally.

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based health coach and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. Her coaching and Eat Pretty book series teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.

 

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