I typically meditate first thing in the morning and a short yoga sequence helps me shake off sleepiness before I settle in to meditation. This is just one sequence that I love to do before meditating and it only takes a few minutes.
This one hits all of the spots to prepare you for a more comfortable meditation — you open the shoulders and chest, bring some heat and fluidity to the hips and hamstrings, and stretch the side body.
Sidenote: If you’d like more meditation guidance, check out my online course, Start Your Year With Self Care. It includes 12 meditations, a supportive community, plus journal prompts to help you bring them into your life. You can find more details here.
A Yoga Sequence to Prepare for Meditation
POSES 1 & 2
Note: It’s a good idea to get your props ready – like a cushion or blankets – so that at the end of this sequence, you can go right into your meditation.
Start in in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) and place your hands in a comfortable position – the hands are in prayer here, but you can also bring your hands to your heart or face down on your knees.
Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
When you’re ready, place your right hand on left knee and twist to the left. 5 deep breaths.
Come back to center and switch sides.
POSES 3 & 4
You can either stay in Easy Pose or sit up on your shins. Interlace your fingers and reach your arms overhead, feeling length in your side body. Stay for 5 breaths.
Release your fingers and sweep your arms in front of you, bringing your right arm under your left. Bend at the elbows and wrap the forearms until your right fingers press into your left palm. 5 deep breaths, eyes soft.
Then release and do the other side.
POSES 5 & 6
Come to hands and knees and warm up your spine. Inhale as you tilt the hips forward, reach the chest forward and look up. Exhale as you tilt the hips back and round the spine. Move at a pace that feels good to you and do 10 rounds.
From there, tuck your toes and lift your hips into Down Dog. Adjust your stance as you need to. Check in with your body and try to figure out where you need to focus today. It might feel good to focus on getting length in the spine; or you might bend one knee at a time, warming up the legs. Stay for 5-10 breaths.
POSES 7 & 8
Bring your right foot forward and come into a low lunge. Press into the front foot and tuck the tailbone to feel a stretch along the front of the left thigh.
As you feel steady, clasp hands behind you and lift the chest. Stay for three more breaths, then switch sides, coming to Downward Dog in between.
From Down Dog, sit down and bring your legs wide. Take a deep breath or two, gaining length in your spine. As you’re ready, fold over your right leg. Breathe and release any expectation. Come back to center and switch sides.
This reclined version of Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) feels great and it’s easier to control the depth of the stretch than the upright version.
Lie on your back and cross the right knee over left. Place your hands on your ankles. You don’t have to pull! Be mindful that you don’t stress your knees – if there’s pain in your knees, back off.
Stay for five deep breaths, then switch sides.
When you’ve finished, roll to your right side and sit up. With your props nearby, you’re ready to meditate.