At Visual Therapy, we’re all about Mind, Body, and Soul. As we work with clients to line up their optimal wardrobes and help them to be the best version of themselves, we’re huge believers that it’s not the dress, but what’s in the dress that matters. And even though clothes can help you feel like a movie star, there’s something that needs to be taken care of first on a deeper level. Welcome to “Wellness Wednesday”: our weekly feature to bring you tips for a healthy, whole and fulfilled life.
Waking up is hard to do. Even if you’ve gotten a full eight to ten hours of shut-eye, getting out of bed in the morning can be such a drag…and if you’re body’s not energized from the get-go, it can be rough to get your day on track. Wake up your senses first thing in the morning with this yoga sequence by Danielle Cuccio, holistic health coach, celebrity yoga trainer and founder of Cuccio Somatology.
Whether you’re practicing on the beach like Danielle or in your apartment, this morning stretch sequence encourages you to tap into each of your five senses – sound, sight, touch, smell, taste – to help you get energized for your day, no matter what last night looked like.
Practicing and teaching yoga on the beach is a full mind, body and soul experience. The smell of salt in the air, the feel of sand on your body and the soothing sound of waves crashing onto the beach gives the perfect scene for a calm setting. When I practice near or on the beach, my yoga practice becomes heightened and an amazing, beautiful experience where I feel 100% connected to myself, at peace and completely alive.
Unfortunately our yoga practice can’t always be beachside; however, taking this sense-awakening experience with you wherever you practice can help!
My clients often start our sessions rather tense, negative or stressed, so we bring them in touch with themselves a little more by using the five senses. Simply by connecting our breath to movement we become more aware, present and less tense. We hear the birds chirping outside, we notice how strong our touch of our bodies are on our mats. We use our five senses to become even more in touch with ourselves, taking the mind off of our thoughts, the chatter, the tension, the past and the future – leaving us a whole lot happier and healthier after that one hour together.
Being aware of your senses brings you to a more focused, lighter and calm state of being – something I think we can all agree we need more of in our lives on a daily basis! Consider each sense during your practice.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG:
Start in a plank position. Bring your hips and tailbone high. Feet hip distance apart; hands shoulder distance apart. Shoulders relax away from your ears as you press your hands down towards the mat, spreading through all ten fingertips.
On an inhale, raise your right leg high.
KNEE TO NOSE:
On an exhale, bring your right knee to your nose.
Step your right knee in between your hands and using your abdominal muscles, while inhaling pull the body up to Crescent Pose. (Right knee lines up with right ankle, left heel is lifted off the mat, tailbone comes down, shoulders relax away from the ears as you shoot energy out through your fingertips, up towards the sky.)
On your exhale, release your hands down on both sides of your foot (right towards the right of the right foot, left towards the left) from Crescent Pose. Slide your right leg back to come into Plank.
UPWARD FACING DOG:
Inhale in Plank, exhale lower down (Chaturanga), bending your elbows so they squeeze the sides of your waist. On your inhale, push into your palms to lift the chest up, opening up through the heart. Think about reaching your spine forward towards your heart.
DOWNWARD FACING DOG:
Come back to start. Do the same sequence on the other side starting with the left leg.