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Yoga Day 18

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. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: From Child’s Pose Sphinx Flow, plant your hands firmly on your mat. Push the ground away and lift your sit bones up and back.

  1. 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. Remain here for 2-3 full breaths.

2. Downward Dog to Plank Pose Flow

  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.

3. Forward Fold Flow

Transition: Keeping your hands planted, slowly walk your feet toward your hands to come into a forward fold.

  1. Beginning in Forward Fold Pose, inhale and lift your torso so that it’s a straight horizontal line with your spine and neck neutral.
  2. Exhale back down to a full Forward Fold.

 

4. Volcano Pose (Urdhva Hastasana)

Transition: Slowly inhale your way up from Forward Fold Pose to Mountain Pose.

  1. While in Mountain Pose, inhale and sweep your arms up over your head, either joining your palms together or keeping them parallel to each other.
  2. Shift your gaze up to the ceiling and breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

5. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Transition: Release your arms to your sides, returning to Mountain Pose.

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, bring your palms together in front of your chest. Begin slowly shifting your weight onto your right leg.
  2. Once you’re stable and balanced, inhale the left leg up, bending the knee and opening the front of the pelvis. Depending on your comfort level, you can bring the bottom of your left foot to your right ankle, calf, lower thigh, or groin area.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds, maintaining your balance and keeping your core engaged. If you feel comfortable, you can raise your arms overhead and/or close your eyes.

 

6. Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

Transition: Release from Tree Pose back to Mountain Pose.

  1. Bend your right knee slightly and begin to shift your weight onto your right leg. Float your right arm forward.
  2. When you’ve gathered your balance, begin to lift the left leg up behind you and reach back to grab the top of your foot with your left hand. Keep your neck neutral by gazing forward.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds, trying to deepen the pose with each exhale.

7. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

Transition: Release from Dancer Pose, planting your left foot back behind you.

  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. Remain here for 30 seconds.

8. Downward Dog to Mountain Pose Flow

Transition: Exhale your palms to the ground and step your right foot back to flow into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

  1. On an exhale, begin walking your feet forward to come into Standing Forward Fold Pose.
  2. Take 2-3 breaths here and alternate bending and straightening your knees.
  3. Inhale and slowly raise your torso up to come into Mountain Pose.

 

Repeat poses 1-7, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

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

Transition: From Mountain Pose, exhale your palms to the ground and step your right foot back to flow into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

  1. 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. Remain here for 1-2 breaths.

10. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

  1. Inhale your body forward, stacking your wrists under your shoulders and extending your legs straight behind you to come into Plank Pose.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds.

 

11. Side Plank 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.

12. Wild Thing Pose (Camatkarasana)

  1. In Side Plank Pose, keep your left arm firmly planted, shoulders stacked above the hands.
  2. With your left foot planted, grounding through all four corners of the foot, lift the right foot and bring the ball of the foot to the floor slightly behind you.
  3. Inhale and try to roll your body further so that your chest is angled skyward and your right arm is extended toward the wall behind you with your upper arm next to your ear.

 

Repeat poses 9-12, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

13. Wide Child's Pose (Prasarita Balasana)

Transition: Release from Wild Thing Pose, bringing your hands and knees to the mat in Table Top Pose.

  1. Starting on your hands and knees, make sure your knees are slightly wider than hip-distance apart while bringing the toes of both feet together.
  2. 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.
  3. Rest your forehead on the mat, close your eyes, and breathe deep. Remain here for 30 seconds.

 

14. Eight-Limbed Striking Cobra Flow

  1. Inhale one last time in Wide Child’s Pose.
  2. Exhale and rock forward onto your hands, arching your back slightly and bringing the tailbone up to flow into Four-Limbed Staff Pose.
  3. On your next inhale, push the floor away and extend your arms straight to lift your upper body into Cobra Pose.
  4. Exhale your way back down into Four-Limbed Staff Pose.
  5. Inhale, then exhale your sit bones back toward your heels, returning to Child’s Pose.
  6. Repeat this flow for 30 seconds.

 

15. Puppy Dog Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Transition: From Child’s Pose, inhale yourself up onto your hands and knees.

  1. Inhale and tuck the toes as your slowly walk your hands forward.
  2. Exhale and move your sit bones back halfway toward your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor, relaxing your neck. Push your tailbone slightly outward, creating a gentle curve in the lower back.
  3. Breathe deeply here, directing the air toward your lower back for 30-60 seconds.

 

16. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: From Puppy Dog Pose, inhale yourself up onto 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 30-60 seconds.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Camel Pose w/ Hands to Floor (Sanskrit)

Transition: From Child’s Pose, sit up and bring your legs back together.

  1. Start in Thunderbolt Pose with your legs underneath you.
  2. Inhale and lean back, placing your palms on the floor behind you, shoulder-width apart. Open your legs hip-width apart.
  3. On your next inhale, lift the sit bones away from your heels until your torso, pelvis, and upper thighs make a straight line. Keep your neck long and your shoulder blades down away from your ears.
  4. Remain here for 30 seconds.

2. Puppy Dog Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Transition: From Camel Pose, lift your torso back up and forward, coming onto your hands and knees.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Inhale and tuck the toes as your slowly walk your hands forward.
  3. Exhale and move your sit bones back halfway toward your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor, relaxing your neck. Push your tailbone slightly outward, creating a gentle curve in the lower back.
  4. Breathe deeply here, directing the air toward your lower back for 30-60 seconds.

3. Reclined Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)

Transition: Release from Puppy Dog Pose by coming onto your hands and knees in Table Top Pose.

  1. Beginning in Table Top Pose, bring your knees closer together while keeping your feet roughly hip-width apart.
  2. Sink your sit bones back either to the mat or onto a block situated between your feet. When you sit back, the calves of your legs should be next to your thighs (rather than under them as they would be in Thunderbolt Pose).
  3. From this seated position, bring your hands to the mat next to your ankles and slowly work your way down into a gentle backbend until your forearms and elbows are fully on the ground and you can grab the bottoms of your feet with your hands.
  4. Shift your gaze up to the ceiling and remain here breathing deeply for 60 seconds.

4. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: From Reclined Hero Pose, inhale yourself up onto 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 30-60 seconds.
 

5. Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Release and lift your sit bones away from your heels, coming forward onto your hands and knees.

  1. 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.

6. Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)

  1. Bring your body down to the floor completely, crossing your arms on the mat in front of you and bringing your forehead to rest on your forearms.
  2. Take 30 seconds here to gather your thoughts, completely relaxing your body.
 

7. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

  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 60 seconds.
 

8. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: Release from Sphinx Pose back to the floor and roll over into a supine position.

  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. Breathe here for 60 seconds.
 

9. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: Release your legs from Reclining Bound Angle Pose, remaining supine.

  1. On an exhale, bring your knees up toward your chest.
  2. Inhale and grab onto the outer sides of your feet, widening your legs slightly and trying to bring your knees to your armpits.
  3. 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!

 

10. Half Wind Release Pose (Ardha Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Release from Happy Baby Pose, remaining supine.

  1. Start out lying supine on your mat with your legs hip-width apart. Engage your feet, pushing your heels away from you.
  2. Inhale and raise your right leg, bending the knee and bringing the thigh toward your chest. Support your leg by grabbing behind the knee or on the shin and hug your leg tighter.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then release to the starting position and repeat with the left leg.

11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Half Wind Release Pose, relaxing your arms and legs to the floor for Savasana!

  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!