A gentle yoga flow on a cold autumn morning is a great way to warm the body by increasing circulation. It also stimulates the mind and increases energy. Use a yoga mat or towel to perform the following routine before starting your day.
Begin in Child's Pose. Kneel with feet together, and knees together or hip distance apart. Lay the torso onto or between the thighs, relax the tailbone back toward the heels, and reach the arms forward while keeping the shoulders relaxed away from the ears. Relax here for three to five breaths. On each exhale soften the belly and hip flexors.
Push up into Tabletop with the hands under the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Warm up the spine with Cat/Cow. Inhale arch the back, point the tailbone up, and look up at the ceiling. Exhale round the back, and look back at the legs. Continue for three to five breaths. Try to increase range of motion with each breath.
Move the hands forward one palms distance, and push up into Downward Facing Dog. Push the hands down and forward, and point the tailbone up and back. Try to press evenly through the hands. Lengthen the spine and the back of the legs. Keep the knees slightly bent if the hamstrings are tight. Hold here for three to five breaths.
Inhale forward into Plank. Place the hands under the shoulders, push through the shoulder blades, extend back through the heels, and absorb the belly up toward the spine. Feel the strength in this pose.
Exhale lower down Chaturanga. Lower the body heart first toward the mat while keeping the elbows tight to the sides. (Lower the knees to modify.) Push up into Cobra. Place the hands under the shoulders, elbows bent and tucked into sides, and press the body up off of the mat only to the hips, or push up into Upward Facing Dog. Push the arms straight, and press the body and legs off of the mat to stretch the front of the torso.
Press back up into Downward Facing Dog and lower down into Child's Pose. Repeat this quick, gentle flow until the body is warm and the muscles are loosened. Consider adding a 10-20 minute meditation after your practice.