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Yoga Day 16

WARM-UP

1. Ocean Breath (Ujjayi)

Starting position: Find a comfortable place to sit. Sit tall and straight with your chin parallel to the floor.

  1. Place one hand in your lap and the other in front of your mouth; palm facing you.
  2. Open your mouth and exhale into your palm as you would do to fog up a mirror. Pay attention to the sound and sensation that is made by your breath when you do this.
  3. Now, inhale a breath, making the same sound/sensation.
  4. Repeat this for 5-10 cycles, or until you feel like you’ve gotten the hang of it. Each time, try to inhale for 4 seconds and exhale for 4 seconds.
  5. Next, try to create the same sound/sensation, but with your mouth closed on the inhale and open on the exhale. Repeat for another 5-10 breath cycles, then try it for 5-10 cycles with your mouth open on the inhale and closed on the exhale.
  6. When you’ve gotten the hang of that, it’s time to do the actual Ujjayi breathing by closing your mouth on both the inhale and exhale.

2. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

  1. Begin in a seated position. Sit cross-legged with your sit bones firmly planted, your spine tall and straight, and your gaze forward.
  2. Take some time to gather your thoughts and take deep breaths.
  3. Remain here for 15-30 seconds (or longer if you’d like to).

3. Seated Torso Circles (Sufi Grinds)

  1. In Easy Pose (Sukhasana), place your hands on your knees.
  2. Inhale and open your chest as your lean forward, keeping your sit bones grounded.
  3. Rotate your torso in a clockwise circular motion for 30 seconds, keeping it slow and controlled, then repeat for 30 seconds counterclockwise.

 

4. Easy Pose Warm-Up (Sukhasana)

  1. Inhale and raise your arms straight overhead with palms facing each other.
  2. Exhale and bend your upper body to the right, bringing your right arm to the ground and your left arm stretched overhead, arms parallel and palms still facing each other.
  3. Inhale and raise your arms and torso back up, arms overhead.
  4. Exhale and lean your upper body to the left, bringing your left arm to the ground and the right arm overhead.
  5. Inhale and raise your arms and torso back to the center.
  6. Exhale, bringing your left hand to your right knee and your right hand on the ground to take a gentle spinal twist.
  7. Inhale and return to center, raising your arms overhead once more.
  8. Exhale and repeat the spinal twist on the opposite side.
  9. Inhale and return to center. Clasp your hands behind your back, pinching your shoulder blades together to broaden the chest. Lengthen the spine and take a very gentle backbend in your upper back.
  10. Exhale and bring your forearms to the ground in front of you, relaxing your head and neck forward.
  11. Inhale and return to Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

 

5. Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Uncross your legs and rock forward onto your hands and knees.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips, parallel to each other.
  2. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds, awakening and engaging the core and inner thighs; firmly rooting your shoulder blades down away from your ears.

 

6. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

  1. Beginning in Table Top Pose, 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)
  2. 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)
  3. Repeat this movement for 30-60 seconds.

7. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: Remain on your hands and knees.
  1. Press your palms into the mat as if to push the ground away from you and sink your sit bones all the way down and back to rest your heels.
  2. Rest your forehead on the mat, close your eyes, and breathe deep. Remain here for 60 seconds.

8. Balancing Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

Transition: From Child’s Pose, inhale and raise your sit bones up to come back into Table Top Pose.

  1. Begin in Table Top Pose.
  2. Inhale and raise your right arm and left leg, extending them straight. Try to raise them as high as you comfortably can without arching your back. Engage the muscles in your left foot, pushing outward through your heel.
  3. Remain here for 30 seconds. 
  4. Exhale and release your arm and leg back to the mat.
  5. Inhale and repeat with the left arm and right leg.

 

9. Supported Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

  1. Begin in Table Top Pose.
  2. After ensuring that your wrists are properly stacked below your shoulders, extend your right leg, planting your right foot on the mat/floor. Keep your left knee on the floor.
  3. Inhale your right arm up into the air, rolling your chest and upper body to face right.
  4. Take 1-2 deep breaths here, then exhale as you bring your right hand and knee back to the mat in Table Top Pose.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side.

10. Modified Half Gate Pose (Parighasana)

Transition: Release from Supported Side Plank and return to your hands and knees in Table Top Pose.

  1. Beginning in Table Top Pose, inhale your torso straight up as you lift your sit bones up, creating a straight line from your head to your knees.
  2. On the next inhale, extend your arms straight out at shoulder height in a T-shape.
  3. Extend your right leg straight out to the side, planting your right foot.
  4. Take a deep breath or two here, then exhale, release your arms down and bring your right leg back to the center.
  5. On your next inhale, repeat on the other side.

 

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

Transition: Return to Table Top Pose.

  1. Beginning in Table Top Pose, 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.
  2. 2. Remain here for 2-3 full breaths.

12. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Transition: Lift your feet onto your tiptoes and lower yourself down to Plank Pose.

  1. Remain in Plank Pose for 30-60 seconds, keeping your core engaged and tuning into your breath.

 

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

Transition: From Plank Pose, lower your leg and belly to 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 30 seconds, breathing deeply and feeling your chest opening.

 

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

  1. Beginning in Upward-Facing Dog Pose, tuck your toes and inhale as you lift onto them, taking the tailbone back and up until your arms and legs are fully extended. Your body should create an upside down V shape.
  2. Remain here for 2-3 full breaths.

 

15. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: Release from Downward-Facing Dog Pose, bringing your knees to the floor.

  1. Beginning on your hands and knees, press your palms into the mat as if to push the ground away from you and sink your sit bones all the way down and back to rest your heels.
  2. Rest your forehead on the mat, relax your arms, close your eyes, and breathe deep. Remain here for 30 seconds.

 

16. Child's Pose Sphinx Flow

  1. From Child’s Pose, inhale and raise up onto your hands and knees. Cross one heel over the other.
  2. Inhale and slowly walk your hands and upper body forward to come into a plank position with crossed ankles.
  3. Exhale and slowly lower your upper body and the fronts of your thighs to the ground, keeping your elbows stacked over your wrists.
  4. Inhale and place your forearms and palms flat on the floor, lifting your upper body for Sphinx Pose.
  5. Exhale and lift your pelvis, pushing the ground away with your palms as you sink the sit bones back onto your heels for Child’s Pose.
  6. Repeat this movement sequence 1-2 times.

 

PEAK FLOW

1. Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: From Child’s Pose, inhale your sit bones up and back, pushing the floor away with your palms and extending your legs to come into Downward-Facing Dog.

  1. Beginning in Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inhale and lift your right leg, extending it up and out.
  2. Take a full, deep breath here.

2. Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose w/ Knee Rotations (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

  1. From Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose, bend your right knee and bring the back of your calf to the back of your thigh. Keep your right thigh aligned with the rest of your body.
  2. Draw 4-5 circles in the air with your knee, then reverse it.

3. Runner's Lunge (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)

Transition: Swing your right foot forward, planting it on the mat between your hands, slightly off-centered toward your right hand.

  1. Keeping your hands on the mat, lean forward to lunge over your right knee. Lift onto the ball off the left foot.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

4. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

  1. Begin 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. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

5. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

  1. With your right foot forward and your left foot rotated outward a bit, pivot your body to face the left.
  2. Stretch your arms straight out to the side in a T shape and shift your gaze out to your right hand.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

6. Reverse Warrior Pose (Viparita Virabhadrasana)

  1. From Warrior II Pose, turn your left palm up toward the ceiling, then as you exhale, lower your left arm and slowly slide it down the back of your left leg
  2. Remain here for 1-2 breaths.

7. Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana)

Transition: From Warrior II Pose, turn your pelvis and upper body to face forward once more.

  1. With your right leg forward, toes pointing ahead, and knees bent ~90 degrees, rotate the left foot to face the front left corner of your mat and square the hips forward.
  2. Engage your core, tucking your tailbone slightly forward and knitting the bottom ribs in.
  3. Bring your hands together behind your back with palms facing each other and interlock your fingers.
  4. Exhale and extend your arms back and upward, leaning your torso forward so that it is on the inner side of your right thigh.
  5. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

8. Vinyasa I

Transition: Release from Humble Warrior Pose, stepping your legs together and relaxing your arms to your side.

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose. Exhale into a forward fold, bringing your hands to the mat and stepping your legs back to come into Plank Pose.
  2. Take another breath, then exhale, lifting your pelvis and lowering your body to the ground (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
  3. With your body on the ground, inhale and point your toes, lifting your torso off the ground (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
  4. Exhale and tuck your toes as your push the floor away with your hands, lift your sit bones high into the air, and plant your heels (Downward Facing Dog Pose).

 

Repeat poses 1-8, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

9. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

Transition: Bring your body down to the floor in a prone position.

  1. Start out lying flat on your belly. Tuck your tailbone forward and down, lengthening and broadening the lower back. Press the tops of your feet firmly into the mat.
  2. Inhale and come up onto your forearms, keeping them parallel to each other and lifting your upper torso away from the ground.
  3. Breathe deeply here for 30-60 seconds.

10. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

Transition: Release to the ground from Sphinx Pose, remaining in a prone position.

  1. Begin in a prone position on the floor with your arms extending behind you, palms on the ground.
  2. Place the tops of your toes flat against the floor, pressing down with all 10 toenails.
  3. Press lightly on the floor with your hands, activate your core, and lift your thighs, lower legs, and torso away from the ground. Knit your shoulder blades together and the chest broad.
  4. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, then slowly release back down to the floor.

 

11. Contralateral One-Legged Bow Pose (Eka Pada Dhanurasana)

Transition: Release to the ground from Locust Pose, remaining in a prone position.

  1. Beginning in a prone position, bend your right knee, lifting your lower leg off the mat as if to touch your toes to your glutes.
  2. Extend your right arm forward and the left arm back. Grasp the inner side of your right ankle with your left hand.
  3. Engage your glutes, lower back, and core to raise your entire upper body off the mat, using your right forearm for additional support.
  4. Remain here for 30 seconds, keeping the right thigh from drifting back down to the floor. With every inhalation, try to deepen the stretch.
  5. Release your leg and return to the starting position. Take a few moments to rest, then repeat on the opposite side.

12. Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

  1. Beginning in a prone position, lengthen and stretch your legs as you press the tops of your toes down against the floor, keeping the toes pointed and engaged.
  2. Bend your knees, lifting your legs off the mat as if to touch your toes to your glutes, and grab the tops of your feet or your ankles.
  3. Then, engage your glutes, lower back, and core to raise the entire upper body off the mat.
  4. Remain here for 30 seconds, keeping the thighs from drifting back down to the floor. With every inhalation, try to deepen the stretch.

 

13. Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)

Transition: Release from Bow Pose, relaxing your body while remaining in a prone position.

  1. Cross your arms on the mat in front of you and bring your forehead to rest on your forearms.
  2. Take 30 seconds here to gather your thoughts, completely relaxing your body.

 

14. Downward Dog to Plank Pose Flow

Transition: From Crocodile Pose, plant your hands on the floor and tuck your toes. Inhale and lift your tailbone up and back, coming into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

  1. Beginning in Downward-Facing Dog Pose, exhale and bring your body forward, shifting the weight onto the hands to come into Plank Pose.
  2. Take a breath here before moving on to the next pose.

 

15. Side Pose (Vasisthasana)

  1. From Plank Pose, turn your knees and toes to face out to the right as you rotate the left side of your body into a side plank. Keep your feet engaged while supporting yourself on the outer edge of your foot. You can bring your right hand to your hip, up in the air, or overhead.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.
  3. Exhale and release back to Plank Pose, then repeat on the other side.

 

16. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: Release from Side Plank Pose to Table Top Pose - hands stacked under shoulders, knees stacked under hips.

  1. Press your palms into the mat as if to push the ground away from you and sink your sit bones all the way down and back to rest your heels.
  2. Rest your forehead on the mat, close your eyes, and breathe deep. Remain here for 30-60 seconds.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Child's Pose w/ Reverse Prayer (Balasana)

Transition: Remain in Child’s Pose.

  1. From Child’s Pose, bring your palms together in front of you as if you were going to pray.
  2. Keeping your elbows grounded, lift your hands toward your upper back and rest them there.
  3. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds.

 

2. Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Release your arms from the reverse prayer position, lift your sit bones away from your heels, and come forward onto your hands and knees.

  1. Table Top Pose is super simple: just get on your hands and knees with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips, parallel to each other.
  2. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds, awakening and engaging the core and inner thighs; firmly rooting your shoulder blades down away from your ears.

 

3. Thread the Needle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana)

Transition: Remain in Table Top Pose.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Take a deep breath as you lift your left palm. Exhale and thread your left arm underneath you and past your right arm, bending the right arm so you can fully extend the left arm and lay it flat on the floor.
  3. Remain here for 30 seconds, resting your left ear to the floor and progressively relaxing deeper into the pose.
  4. Inhale and return to your hands and knees, then repeat with the right arm threaded under you.

4. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Transition: Release from Thread the Needle Pose by lifting your upper body, sitting back, and swinging your legs around to bring them in front of you.

  1. Come to a seated position with your sit bones grounded and your spine straight and tall.
  2. Stretch your legs straight out in front of you, toes pointing up toward the ceiling.
  3. Close your eyes and breathe deeply here for 60 seconds.

5. Sage Marichi Pose C (Marichyasana C)

Transition: Flow into Sage Marichi Pose from Staff Pose.

  1. Begin in Staff Pose with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Bend your right knee and plant your right foot on the ground. Inhale and take a twist to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right knee with your palms facing outward and fingers pointing skyward. Place your right hand behind you.
  3. Shift your gaze out over your right shoulder and breathe here for 30 seconds.
  4. On an exhale, release back to Staff Pose and repeat on the other side.

 

6. Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Transition: Release from Sage Marichi Pose C to Staff Pose, then flow into Seated Forward Fold.

  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.

7. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Transition: Lift up from Seated Forward Fold into Staff Pose, then get yourself situated and comfortable to flow into Bound Angle Pose.

  1. Start in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Bend your legs at the knee, bringing the soles of your feet together in front of you.
  3. Inhale and grab onto your feet with both hands. If possible, gently try to pull your heels in a bit closer toward the groin. Your arms and shoulders should remain relaxed, but your spine should be long and straight.
  4. On the exhale, slowly allow gravity to pull your legs apart and open until both legs have relaxed all the way to the ground. Keep breathing and with every exhale try to lower the knees a little further. Just don’t try to force the stretch beyond what feels right!
  5. When you’re ready to release, let go of your feet and stretch one leg at a time out straight in front of you and return to starting position.

8. Seated Star Pose (Tarasana)

Transition: Flow from Bound Angle Pose to Seated Star Pose.

  1. With your legs wide apart and the bottoms of your feet together, grab onto your ankles and pull them apart slightly. Feel the sides of your feet activated and push down on the mat.
  2. Inhale and lengthen your spine forward over your legs, being sure to hinge at the hips. As you exhale allow your upper back to relax toward the floor. Stay grounded through your sit bones.
  3. Close your eyes and breathe deeply here for 60 seconds.
 

9. Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Star Pose by inhaling your torso back up, straightening your legs one by one, then lying 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 60 seconds. With each exhalation, hug your knees a bit tighter and closer to your chest, then relax your grip slightly with each inhale.
 

10. Half Plow Pose (Ardha Halasana)

Transition: From Wind Release Pose, return your legs flat to the mat to flow into Half Plow Pose.

  1. Start out lying supine on your mat with your legs together and your hands placed palm-down next to your thighs/hips.
  2. Inhale and lift both legs straight up so that they make a 90-degree angle with your upper body.
  3. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, making sure your shoulder blades and pelvis remain square and grounded.
  4. When you release, do so very slowly without lifting your head.

11. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Transition: Slowly release your legs back down to the mat and plant the bottoms of your feet on the floor.

  1. Take a moment to completely relax the spine and bring awareness to your breath.
  2. Engage your back, core, glutes, and quads to lift your body up, keeping your shoulder blades planted. Use your arms for support - you can either have them palm-down beside you, or you can clasp your hands together underneath you.
  3. Hold this position and breathe here for 30-60 seconds, then lower your body back to the mat to release from the pose.

 

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

Transition: Lower yourself back to the ground from Bridge Pose, relax your legs straight in front of you, then flow into Supine Spinal Twist.

  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.

13. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: Release from Supine Spine Twist by relaxing your arms and legs flat on the mat.

  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.

14. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Reclining Bound Angle Pose, relaxing your arms and legs onto the mat.

  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!