If you've ever done a few sun salutations to warm up before a run, you'll love this shorter variation you can add to your routine. It targets the hamstrings, calves, back, neck, shoulders, and arms so you'll feel open, invigorated, and ready to get moving.
Begin in downward facing dog with equal weight on hands and feet. Flare heels slightly wider than toes so outside edges of feet are parallel with the outside edges of your mat. Spread fingers wide, and press into palms to push hips away from you. Work on lowering heels to the floor without rounding spine. Relax shoulders and head, and gaze at your navel as you breathe for 5 breaths.
On your next inhale, shift weight forward into hands as you scoop chest between hands, coming into upward facing dog with toes tucked.
Exhale to lift hips up, and press back, returning to down dog.
Flow between these postures 5 or more times, pausing in either pose to spend a little more time opening areas that are tight for you.
Photo: Louisa Larson Photography