If life (read: work, family, relationships, etc.) is stressing you out, you might be in need of some peace and silent. Yoga instructor Kirby Koo takes us through a 15-minute calming yoga flow to help achieve inner peace. Follow along in the video above to help reconnect with yourself and find your cool.
“Go ahead and find a nice comfortable seat,” Koo says at the beginning of the video, encouraging yogis to use a pillow or block for extra support. She prefers to sit in a cross-legged posture but also suggests sitting on your shins. “Whatever makes you feel comfortable,” Koo adds. Close your eyes and focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale through your nose.
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After this meditative breathing exercise, Koo opens her eyes and starts to roll her neck gently in a circular motion. Repeat in both directions three times.
Next, Koo reaches her arms toward the sky and interlaces her fingers together, stretching over to both sides. While gently twisting her body, she reminds viewers to focus on their breath.
Shortly after, Koo transitions to a stance on her hands and knees and suggests a couple rounds of cat-cows to warm up the spine. For this, she recommends bringing your bellybutton to your spine on the exhale and articulating through your vertebrae when you inhale. “Just moving as organically as you need to, waking up your body, releasing tension.”
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Shifting to a classic downward-facing dog, Koo says, “I always like to pedal out my feet here, maybe shake my tail–or my hips–from side to side.” She lifts her leg into three-legged downward dog, which helps to open the hips. From here, Koo moves between the downward dog and cobra poses, mixing in warrior two and peaceful warrior, so that yogis hit a nice, deep lunge and stretch.
Afterwards, Koo comes back to a seated position for the staff pose. She flexes her toes toward her face and keeps her legs and back as straight as possible. Then she says to bend the right leg, place it into your left inner thigh, and fold your body forward. “The goal of this posture is not to be able to reach your toes but to really feel the stretch on your hamstring, elongate your spine, and just to be able to surrender forward,” she says. The thought is to lengthen, lift, and stretch (make sure you’re not hunching your back).
“A common misconception we have when we go is we only go each body part separately, but all movement should be with the entirety of your body,” Koo shares at the end of her flow. She wraps up the session by returning to a centered, seated posture. Repeat the routine as necessary.