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Yoga Day 1

WARM-UP

1. Toe Flexion/Extension

  1. Start in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Curl your toes forward, then raise them up so that the tips of your toes point toward you.
  3. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds, taking it nice and slow, then relax your toes.

2. Ankle Rotations

  1. Lift your right leg, placing both hands on the back of your right thigh to support it, and bring the knee up near your chest.
  2. Keeping the right foot off the ground, rotate your lower leg clockwise in a circular motion for 15 seconds, then counterclockwise for 15 seconds.
  3. Return your right leg to the mat, then repeat on the left.

3. Seated Knee Rotations

  1. Lie face down on the ground, toes pointed, ankles touching the ground. Extend your arms forward like Superman in flight, palms down, touching the ground.
  2. Pull one arm and the opposite leg off the ground by engaging your glutes, shoulders, core, and back. They should raise up 
2-3 inches.
  3. Ensure that your arms are also fully contracted.
  4. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower your arm and leg back 
to the starting position. Repeat, using 
the other arm and opposite leg.
  6. Perform 10-15 repetitions on each 
side for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

 

4. Cradle Pose (Hindolasana)

  1. Raise your right leg, bringing the knee up to your chest and keeping your right foot flexed. You can keep your left leg straight, or bring it inward as if you’re going to sit cross-legged.
  2. Bring your right knee to rest in the crook of your right elbow, rotate the shin to run parallel to your chest, and rest the bottom of your foot in the crook of your left elbow.
  3. Remain here for 30-45 seconds, release your right leg back to the mat, then repeat with the left leg.

 

5. Seated Hip Rotations

  1. Bring your right ankle to the top of your left thigh.
  2. Start by gently pushing down on your right knee just enough to feel a stretch in the hips, then use your hand to gently pull the knee back up, repeating 4-5 times.
  3. Draw small circles in the air with your right knee 5 times, reverse the circles 5 times, and return to starting position.
  4. Finally, repeat on the left side.

 

6. Seated Butterfly Wings (Baddha Konasana)

  1. Bend your legs at the knee, bringing the soles of your feet together in front of you.
  2. Inhale and grab onto your feet with both hands. If possible, gently try to pull your heels in a bit closer toward the groin.
  3. Your arms and shoulders should remain relaxed, but your spine should be long and straight. Don’t force the stretch beyond what feels right!
  4. Pretend that your legs are butterfly wings, gently flapping the knees up and down. This gets your blood circulating and generates warmth in the muscles.
  5. Continue this movement for 30-60 seconds.
  6. To release, stop the movements, let go of your feet, and stretch one leg at a time straight in front of you.

 

7. Finger Abduction/Adduction

  1. With your hands raised or palms resting flat on your lap, alternate spreading and closing your fingers for 30 seconds.

 

8. Wrist Flexion/Extension

  1. Hold your arms in front of you; parallel to the ground with palms facing down and fingertips pointing straight ahead.
  2. Without moving anything but your wrists, slowly raise your fingertips to point skyward.
  3. Return to neutral, then bend your wrists so that your fingertips point to the ground.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds.

9. Wrist Rotations

  1. With your arms still held out in front of you, move your thumbs to the center of your palm and close your fists around them.
  2. Rotate your hands at the wrist joint, first inward toward each other for 15-30 seconds, then outward for 15-30 seconds.

10. Elbow Flexion/Extension

  1. Keeping your arms outstretched, rotate your palms to face the ceiling.
  2. Slowly bend your elbows, bringing your right hand to your right shoulder and your left hand to your left shoulder.
  3. Hold for a moment or two, then slowly straighten your arms back out.
  4. Repeat 5-10 times (or 30 seconds).

 

11. Shoulder Socket Rotations

  1. Bring your right hand to your right shoulder, and your left hand to your left shoulder.
  2. Start by drawing the elbows inward to touch each other.
  3. Next, bring your elbows up next to your head so that they point to the ceiling.
  4. Then, bring the elbows back down and open them outward so that they point to either side of you.
  5. Repeat this movement for 30-60 seconds.

 

12. Seated Neck Rolls

  1. Relax your arms, placing the hands either on your lap or the floor. You can stay seated the way you are or bend your knees to sit cross-legged.
  2. Tuck your chin and slowly relax your head forward, feeling a stretch along the back of your neck and the base of your skull.
  3. Gently roll your head in a clockwise circle 4-5 times, then counterclockwise 4-5 times.

 

13. Easy Pose Upward Salute (Sukhasana Variation)

  1. Come into Easy Pose (Sukhasana) by sitting cross-legged, keeping your spine tall and chin parallel to the floor.
  2. Bring the palms of your hands together in front of your chest as if to pray, taking a moment to center yourself and breathe deep.
  3. Next, keeping your palms together, straighten your arms out in front of you with your fingertips pointing ahead of you.
  4. Take a deep breath, then bring them back to your chest for another deep breath.
  5. Finally, raise your joined hands above your head, fingertips pointing skyward.
  6. Remain here for 2-3 deep breaths, then bring your hands back in front of your chest. (30-60 seconds)

 

14. Easy Pose Side Bend w/ Fingers Interlocked (Parsva Sukhasana)

  1. Interlock your fingers with your palms facing away from you.
  2. Start by stretching your arms out straight ahead of you, feeling the stretch in your arms and shoulders as you take a deep breath.
  3. Then, with your fingers still interlocked, raise your arms above your head.
  4. Take 1-2 deep breaths here, then change the interlocking of your fingers so that the index finger of the opposite hand is now on top of the other and repeat.

 

15. Revolved Easy Pose (Parivrtta Sukhasana)

  1. Still in Easy Pose (Sukhasana), place your right hand on the ground next to you and bring your left hand to your right knee.
  2. Using that knee as leverage, slowly twist your torso toward the right, shifting your gaze out over the right shoulder.
  3. Take 1-2 deep breaths here, then slowly release the twist and bring your left hand to the ground next to you.
  4. Repeat on the left side.

 

16. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

  1. Slowly uncross your legs and rock forward onto your hands and knees.
  2. Inhale and arch your back downward, pushing your tailbone up and outward. Tilt your head back slightly, keeping your shoulders engaged and opening the chest. (Cow)
  3. On your exhale, tuck your chin and tailbone inward, pull your shoulder blades apart, and round your spine like a cat that’s stretching or startled. (Cat)
  4. Repeat this movement for 30-60 seconds.


 

PEAK FLOW

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Transition: After finishing up with Cat-Cow, slowly come up to a standing position.

  1. Stand with your feet parallel a few inches apart (or, if you need to widen your stance for better support and stability, hip-width apart).
  2. Lifting one foot at a time, spread the toes and ball of the foot, then return them strong and flat to the floor with your weight evenly distributed.
  3. Lift your sternum up, creating a strong, open upper chest without drawing the lower ribs forward.
  4. Draw your shoulder blades slightly inward toward each other, and down away from your neck and ears. Stack and center the crown of your head over your pelvis with your bottom jaw parallel to the floor.
  5. Breathe here for a few moments (30-60 seconds) before moving on to the next pose.

2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Transition: From Mountain Pose (Tadasana), inhale and stretch your arms upward to join your palms together above your head.

  1. Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Make sure you have a firm base of support through your feet.
  2. Bend the knees and slowly lower your tailbone as if you’re about to sit in an invisible chair, leaning the upper body very slightly. Try to make your thighs as parallel to the ground as you can.
  3. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds.

 

3. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Transition: From Chair Pose (Utkatasana), exhale and straighten your legs as you relax your arms back down to your sides to come into Mountain Pose (Tadasana).

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), exhale and take a very slight bend in the knee, folding your upper body forward and bringing the hands to the ankles, feet, or ground (or as close as you can comfortably reach!).
  2. Take a deep inhale into your chest, lengthening the spine.
  3. On the exhale, try to take that slight bend in the knee a bit straighter, making sure not to hyper-extend or lock your knees.
  4. Take another inhale, and as you exhale, feel your spine lengthening further down toward the ground. Lengthen and stretch the neck, keeping your shoulders pulled away from your ears.
  5. Remain here for another breath or two.

 

4. Half Forward Fold Pose (Ardha Uttanasana)

Transition: From Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana), inhale and raise your upper body so that it is parallel to the floor, bringing your hands to your shins. Keep your neck neutral.

  1. Remain here for a full breath cycle.

 

5. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Transition: From Upward Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana), exhale, and fold forward again, bringing the hands all the way down to the floor.

  1. Plant your hands firmly on the ground, then step or jump your feet back, coming onto the toes and balls of the feet and creating a long, straight line from the crown of your head to your heels.
  2. Remain here for 30-60 seconds.

6. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Transition: Starting in Plank Pose (Phalakasana), inhale and rock further forwards onto the toes, bringing your shoulders just past your hands.

  1. Raise your hips and shoulders away from the floor, tucking your tailbone slightly.
  2. As you exhale, slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows create a 90-degree angle.
  3. Inhale and lower your gaze to the floor a few inches ahead of you. As you exhale, try to lower yourself just a tad further.
  4. Release by lowering your body all the way to the floor.

 

7. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: Flow through Downward Facing Dog to Upward-Facing Dog Pose.

  1. Plant your palms beside your upper body with your elbows bent, pressing all ten toenails against the ground.
  2. Inhale and straighten your arms, pressing down into the tops of the feet to lift your legs and pelvis away from the ground.
  3. Pinch the shoulder blades toward each other to open the chest, taking a gentle skyward gaze without overdoing the curve in the back of the neck.
  4. Remain here for 60 seconds, breathing deeply and feeling your chest opening.

 

8. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: From Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), exhale and lower your legs and pelvis back to the ground.

  1. Start out lying prone (on your belly).
  2. Tuck your toes, then inhale and lift onto them, taking the tailbone back and up until your arms and legs are fully extended, creating an upside-down V shape with your body.
  3. Remain here for 2-3 full breaths.

 

9. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

Transition: From Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), lift your right foot and bring it between your hands so that your toes align with your fingertips, then shift it to the right a bit.

  1. With your right foot forward, knee bent at a 90-degree angle, and stacked above the ankle, rotate your left foot.
  2. Align the back/side of the left heel with the back of the right heel (or slightly wider if you need a wider base of support).
  3. Straighten your left knee by pushing the left thighbone back.
  4. Once you’re balanced and stable, inhale and raise your torso, lifting your belly away from your right thigh. As you do so, raise your arms to extend straight up with the palms facing each other.
  5. Hold for a few breaths or 30-60 seconds.

 

10. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Transition: From Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I), exhale and lean your torso forward to plant your hands to the ground shoulder-width apart. If it’s easier, you can also bring your left knee to the ground.

  1. As you inhale, step your right foot back next to the left, tucking the toes and engaging the core to enter Plank Pose (Phalakasana).
  2. Remain here for 30-60 seconds.

11. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

Transition: From Plank Pose (Phalakasana), inhale and rock further forwards onto the toes, bringing your shoulders just past your hands.

  1. Raise your hips and shoulders away from the floor, tucking your tailbone slightly. As you exhale, slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows create a 90-degree angle.
  2. Inhale and lower your gaze to the floor a few inches ahead of you.
  3. As you exhale, try to lower yourself just a tad further. Release by lowering your body all the way to the floor.

12. Upward-Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: From Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana), exhale and lower your body to the floor, untucking your toes and resting the tops of your feet on the ground.

  1. Plant your palms beside your upper body with your elbows bent, pressing all ten toenails against the ground.
  2. Inhale and straighten your arms, pressing down into the tops of the feet to lift your legs and pelvis away from the ground.
  3. Pinch the shoulder blades toward each other to open the chest, taking a gentle skyward gaze without overdoing the curve in the back of the neck.
  4. Remain here for 1-2 full breaths.

 

13. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: From Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), exhale and lower your body to the ground.

  1. Start out lying prone (on your belly).
  2. Tuck your toes, then inhale and lift onto them, taking the tailbone back and up until your arms and legs are fully extended, creating an upside-down V shape with your body.
  3. Remain here for 2-3 full breaths.

 

14. Half Forward Fold Pose (Ardha Uttanasana)

Transition: From Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), keep your palms on the floor as you slowly step your feet toward the space between your hands.

  1. Keeping as much of a bend in the knees as you need, come into a forward fold with your hands still on the ground.
  2. Breathe here for a moment and allow gravity to decompress your spine.
  3. As you straighten your legs, lift and lengthen your torso and bring your hands to your shins.
  4. Remain here for 30-60 seconds.

 

15. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Transition: From Half Forward Fold Pose (Ardha Uttanasana), exhale and lower your hands back to the ground, keeping your spine and neck as long and straight as possible.

  1. Exhale and take a very slight bend in the knee, folding your upper body forward and bringing the hands to the ankles, feet, or ground (or as close as you can comfortably reach!).
  2. Take a deep inhale into your chest, lengthening the spine.
  3. On the exhale, try to take that slight bend in the knee a bit straighter, making sure not to hyper-extend or lock your knees.
  4. Take another inhale, and as you exhale, feel your spine lengthening further down toward the ground. Lengthen and stretch the neck, keeping your shoulders pulled away from your ears.
  5. Remain here for another breath or two.

 

16. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Transition: From Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana), inhale, and slowly raise your torso to come into Mountain Pose (Tadasana).

  1. Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) Make sure you have a firm base of support through your feet.
  2. Bend the knees and slowly lower your tailbone as if you’re about to sit in an invisible chair, leaning the upper body very slightly. Try to make your thighs as parallel to the ground as you can.
  3. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds.

 

17. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Transition: From Chair Pose (Utkatasana), return to Mountain Pose (Tadasana) by inhaling, straightening the legs, and bringing your arms down to relax by your sides.

  1. Stand with your feet parallel a few inches apart (or, if you need to widen your stance for better support and stability, hip-width apart).
  2. Lifting one foot at a time, spread the toes and ball of the foot, then return them strong and flat to the floor with your weight evenly distributed.
  3. Lift your sternum up, creating a strong, open upper chest without drawing the lower ribs forward.
  4. Draw your shoulder blades slightly inward toward each other, and down away from your neck and ears. Stack and center the crown of your head over your pelvis with your bottom jaw parallel to the floor.
  5. Breathe here for a few moments (30-60 seconds) before moving on to the next pose.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Transition: Come to a seated position; sit cross-legged with your sit bones firmly planted, your spine tall and straight, and your gaze forward.

  1. Take some time to gather your thoughts and take deep breaths.
  2. Remain here for 30-60 seconds (or longer if you’d like to).

2. Seated Cat-Cow Pose (Upavistha Chakravakasana)

  1. While in Easy Pose (Sukhasana) with your hands on your knees, inhale and arch your back, pushing your tailbone back and upward.
  2. Tilt your head back slightly, keeping your shoulders engaged and opening the chest. (Cow)
  3. On your exhale, tuck your chin and tailbone inward, pull your shoulder blades apart, and round your spine like a cat that’s stretching or startled. (Cat)
  4. Repeat for 30-60 seconds.

 

3. Revolved Easy Pose (Parivrtta Sukhasana)

  1. In Easy Pose (Sukhasana), lengthen the tail bone toward the ground, creating a tall, straight spine.
  2. Start with both hands relaxed on the ground next to you.
  3. Inhale and bring your right hand to the outside of your left knee; exhale and use your right hand to help you take a gentle spinal twist as you shift your gaze out over your left shoulder.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then return to Easy Pose (Sukhasana) and repeat on the other side.

 

4. Upward-Facing Seated Straddle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Upavistha Konasana)

Transition: From Easy Pose (Sukhasana), uncross your legs and bring them straight out in front of you, sitting tall to come into Staff Pose (Dandasana).

  1. Starting from Staff Pose (Dandasana), lean back slightly, supporting yourself by planting your hands on the ground slightly behind you on each side.
  2. Inhale and push your thigh bones into the ground and open your legs roughly 90 degrees (or whatever amount feels the most beneficial for you).
  3. Exhale and engage your feet, toes pointing straight up.
  4. Inhale and shift your weight slightly back onto your hands, broaden the chest, and tilt your head back to gaze at the ceiling - or however far you can without straining the neck.
  5. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply.

 

5. Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Transition: From Upward Facing Seated Straddle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Upavistha Konasana), exhale and bring your legs back together straight out in front of you.

  1. Begin with your legs out in front of you, sit bones grounded and spine tall.
  2. Push your heels away from your body, engaging the feet and toes. Your arms should be by your side with your palms or fingertips pressing down into the floor.
  3. Inhale and keep the front of your torso long as you hinge forward at the hips and reach for your toes/feet.
  4. Remain and breathe here for 60 seconds, lengthening your torso forward and walking your hands forward with each exhalation until you can grasp the outer sides of your feet.

6. Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana) and lie back on your mat.

  1. Begin lying supine on the ground with your feet together and arms relaxed beside you.
  2. Inhale, then exhale and bring the knees in toward the chest, thighs pressing against your abdomen. Wrap your arms around your knees, hugging them close and clasping your hands or grabbing your elbows.
  3. Breathe deeply here for 1 minute. With each exhalation, hug your knees a bit tighter and closer to your chest, then relax your grip slightly with each inhale.

 

7. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: From Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana), release your arms and legs back to the floor and remain supine. Take a moment to breathe, then continue.

  1. Start lying supine on your mat.
  2. On an exhale, bring your legs back up toward your chest.
  3. Inhale and grab onto the outer sides of your feet, widening your legs slightly and trying to bring your knees to your armpits.
  4. Spend 30-60 seconds here, gently pulling your feet downward with your hands. Try to very gently rock your body from side to side, just like a happy baby!

8. Supine Spinal Twist II Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana II)

Transition: Release from Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana) by returning your arms and legs to the floor.

  1. Start out lying supine on your mat.
  2. Extend your arms out to each side of you like you’re making a T shape.
  3. Inhale and lift your right leg, bending at the knee ~90 degrees.
  4. Exhale and bring the inner side of your right knee or foot to the floor on the other side of your left leg, taking a gentle twist in the spine. Shift your gaze to your right fingertips.
  5. Stay here for 30 seconds. Close your eyes and really relax into this posture, allowing gravity to pull your right knee closer to the ground.
  6. On an inhale, roll your right hip back down to the ground, then exhale and release your leg back to the floor.
  7. Repeat on your left side.

 

9. Reclining Bound Angle Pose w/ Elbow Grab (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: Return your left leg to the ground from Supine Spinal Twist II Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana II) and remain supine.

  1. Bend your legs at the knee, bringing the soles of your feet together.
  2. Allow gravity to slowly pull your knees away from each other, lowering them toward the ground. Deepen the stretch to whatever capacity feels most comfortable to you by adjusting how close your heels are to your groin.
  3. Bring your upper arms next to your ears and grab your elbows with the opposite hand. Stay in the pose for 30-60 seconds, maintaining slow, rhythmic breaths.

 

10. Supine Butterfly Wings Flow (Parivrtta Dandasana)

  1. Start from Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana).
  2. As you inhale, bring the soles of your feet together, allowing the outer edge of your knees to drop to the sides.
  3. Imagine that your legs are now butterfly wings. Keeping the soles of your feet together, flap the butterfly wings by bringing the knees up and inward on the exhale, then lowering them once again on the inhale.
  4. Continue repeating this movement for 30-60 seconds.
  5. To release, straighten and stretch one leg at a time.

11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) by straightening one leg at a time.

  1. Begin by lying supine on the floor or mat.
  2. Inhale and widen your legs, bringing your feet to the sides of your mat (or a bit further than hip-width apart). Rotate the feet outward so that the toes point away from each other.
  3. Lift your pelvis slightly to tuck your tailbone, then release back to the floor and soften the lower back without flattening your back. Lengthen the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
  4. Extend your arms straight up toward the ceiling and broaden your back by rocking your upper back from side to side slightly and pulling the shoulder blades away from each other. Then, relax your arms back down to the floor next to you, palms up and fingers relaxed.
  5. Focus on relaxing your face and neck muscles. Close your eyes, completely relax them deeper into your skull, then rotate them down as if to gaze directly at your heart.
  6. Stay here for as long as you’d like, letting your mind enter a meditative state while you progressively relax your muscles.
  7. When you’re ready to exit the pose, exhale and roll onto one side. Take a breath or two here, then exhale and slowly press your palms to the floor and lift your upper body to come to a seated position.

 

Namaste!