Often in a yoga practice, the movements aren’t always preparatory. They’re revelatory. We don’t always need to practice to accomplish something. The practice might be most beneficial when we do it to check in with our body and feel.
We don’t move to get anywhere. We move to return to ourselves.
Try reorienting your warm-up as a way of welcoming yourself to the space of your body from the inside rather than from the outside. (You might think of this as a practice of “interoception.”) I tend to take more of a “gentle yoga” approach in my sequencing of warm-ups, but especially when interoception is front of mind.
Consider the organic path of movement that a warm-up sequence might take. This snippet highlights moves that start from the ground and build upward from there. It employs a variety of stretches, joint mobilizations, and prop usage. Think of these movement strategies as a way to engage in a dialogue between your body and mind—one that is compelling (novel) enough to keep your attention inside. There are much more variety to the way you might experience a movement than there are ways to move!
Try this sequence to warm in to you.
- Calf compression massage
- Shoulder flossing
- Resisted neck and spine mobilization
- Foot and toe stretches from kneeling to squat
- Forward fold
- Assisted abdominal massage + rotation