Grey skies, rainy days, and all the leaves off the trees, it is easy to get in a slump. Leaning on a movement practice during these months can provide that extra endorphin boost you need to power through your day! That is why we worked with one of our favorite yoga teachers, Audi Ferrin, to share her favorite mood-boosting moves she incorporates into her morning routine. See how you can change your negative thinking to positive by the time you are ending your practice with the moves listed below.
It's a Great Day to Have a Great Day! My mornings usually start with the sound of a little voice two inches from my face saying, “Mom, it's morning time!” Ideally, I try to wake up before any of my kids but my youngest isn't sleeping through the night yet, so that means I'm snoozing my 6am alarm.
Toddlers and babies are extremely unpredictable - how long they will sleep in, what mood they wake up in, how hungry they feel. Every morning when I open my eyes I wonder what the morning will hold. But one thing I do know, momma will get her yoga in.
I slowly make my way down to the kitchen with my little girls trailing closely behind me. I make toast and a caffeine drink. The girls grab their iPads and we head down to my yoga room. It's still dark, the space heater is blasting and we all assume our positions.
I throw my bolster on my mat and turn on my sound-canceling headphones to start my daily meditation. Slowly, I move my neck and start to pay attention to my breath. I tune into my body and notice how it showed up on my mat today. I breathe through the slow, subtle neck movements as I listen to the voice of a guided meditation helping me to “look at who is looking.” When I open my eyes ten minutes later I feel present, grounded, and awake.
I turn on my Peaceful Piano playlist on Spotify and crack open my gratitude journal. Before the pen hits the page I think back on the day before and I try to remember a time that I felt grateful. I try to relive that moment and describe it the best I can. That moment where I felt time stood still and magic was actually in the air. My girls making their baby brother laugh on a sunshine walk in the crisp fall air. Hearing the crunch of dead leaves under my stroller wheels with the birds chirping and an airplane overhead. Gratitude in that moment for my healthy body that allows me to care for my kids. For my kids cute voices, good nature, and sweet personalities. Grateful for the gift of today, I get to experience another day of life with these special people who are in my stewardship for a short time of my life.
I close up my journal and change the playlist. This time the music has a beat. Music can really make me come alive and feel things. I choose a “mood-boosting” playlist that will boost my endorphins and get me excited to move my body. And then… finally, I flow.
My feet come together at the top of my mat and reach my hands up over my head, take a big inhale, and exhale as I fold forward. I feel the pressure immediately releasing in my lower back, I usually stay in a forward fold longer than the average yogi. (It just feels so good!) I move through a handful of Sun Salutations and then I find any spinal movement that feels good. This depends a lot on how I slept the night before. My body feels different every single day. My stress levels and emotions will be different too. So as I move I pay attention to the tension or stagnant energy that might be in my neck, chest, or hips. And I move accordingly. I have my go-to stretches that help boost my mood and get my day off to a great start. I move and breathe until I feel aligned, content, and at peace. Living in a state where we experience every season means we experience fall. That means dark mornings and cold days.
But I am firm believer that if you have a solid morning routine, filled with habits and rituals that fill your body and soul with joy, you can have a great day not matter what. Rain or shine, I'm having a good day.
I usually finish my practice with some handstand practice because that is my current obsession, I'm so close! After a very short, and usually interrupted savasana, I take off my headphones and clock in for motherhood! It's a great day to have a great day!
7 Energizing Yoga Poses
Seated Cat/Cows [5 breaths]
(Seated in Hero's Pose) bring your hands to your knees. Exhale: Start to round your upper back while slightly tucking the chin. Try to spread your shoulder blades. Inhale: Slide your hands up your thighs as you press your heart through your shoulders. Look up towards the sky while rolling your shoulders back and down.
Seated Twist [3 breaths for each side]
(Seated in Hero's Pose) Inhale: Reach arms up over head. Palms come together, gaze towards thumbs. Try to lift and lengthen the spine. Exhale: Right hand goes behind you and left hand comes to the outside of your right knee. Repeat on the other side.
Side Stretches [3 breaths for each side]
(Seated in Hero's Pose) Inhale: Reach both arms over head. Exhale: Right hand plants by your side, left arm reaches up and over. Try to lengthen your left side body. Chin coming away from your chest slightly. Repeat on the other side.
Forward Fold Variations [5 breaths]
Standing in Mountain Pose feet hips distance. Inhale: lengthen the spine reaching arms up and over head. Exhale: fold forward, letting the head hang heavy, hollowing the belly, letting there be a slight bend in the knees.
Frog Rockets [5 breaths]
(Wide Malasana hands at heart center) Inhale: reach hands up as you stand tall, grounding through your feet. Exhale: lower back down to malasana.
In this short video, Audi moves through her favorite mood-boosting moves:
To learn more from Audi, follow her here.