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Yoga Day 19

WARM-UP

1. Thunderbolt Pose w/ Torso Twists (Vajrasana)

Starting position: Come into a seated position with your legs underneath you. Bring your legs together with the tops of your feet on the floor.

  1. Inhale and raise your arms overhead, interlocking your fingers with palms facing skyward.
  2. Exhale and gently twist your upper body to the right side.
  3. Inhale and return to the center, then exhale and twist to the left.
  4. Repeat this movement for 30-60 seconds.

2. Thunderbolt Pose w/ Swinging Arms (Vajrasana)

Transition: Release your arms down to your sides.

  1. Begin in Thunderbolt Pose.
  2. With your spine tall and straight, inhale and sweep your arms forward. Exhale and swing them back behind you.
  3. Repeat this movement for 30-60 seconds, flowing with your breath.

3. Thunderbolt Pose w/ Eagle Arms

Transition: Release your arms down to your sides, remaining in Thunderbolt Pose.

  1. Begin in Thunderbolt Pose.
  2. Extend your arms straight in front of you, then bend your elbows ~90 degrees. Cross your arms with your upper left arm crossed above your upper right arm.
  3. With your left palm facing to the right, try to hook the fingers of your right hand on your left wrist or the lower palm of your left hand.
  4. Remain here for 30 seconds, then release your arms and repeat with your right arm crossed over your left.

 

4. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

Transition: From Thunderbolt Pose, come forward onto the hands and knees in Table Top Pose.

  1. 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.

 

5. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

Transition: From Cat-Cow Pose, lie prone on the floor.

  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.

 

6. Rowing the Boat (Nauka Sanchalanasana)

Transition: From Sphinx Pose, lower your body back to the ground and roll over onto your back. Use your hands to push you back up into a seated position with your spine tall, sit bones grounded, and your legs straight in front of you.

  1. Begin in Staff Pose.
  2. Inhale, leaning the torso back. Pretend you’re holding invisible rowboat oars, bringing your hands up near your chest.
  3. As you exhale, row your hands forward as you bring the upper body into a forward fold. If possible, try to grab the outer sides of your feet.
  4. Inhale once again, lifting your upper body and rowing the hands toward the chest, then return to a forward fold on the exhale.
  5. Repeat the flow slowly for 30-60 seconds.

 

7. Fish Pose Backbend Flow (Matsyasana)

Transition: Release from Rowing the Boat Flow to Staff Pose, sitting tall and straight.

  1. Begin in Staff Pose (Dandasana).
  2. Lean your torso back, bringing your forearms to the floor and tucking them close to your torso. Pinch your shoulder blades together to broaden the chest.
  3. Inhale and lift your pelvis slightly, tuck your hands underneath your buttocks, then lower back down. Your buttocks should rest on the back of your hands.
  4. On your next inhale, relax your head and neck, touching the crown of your head to the floor.
  5. Take 1-2 deep breaths here
  6. Bring your head back up and forward while rounding your upper back slightly. Take another 1-2 breaths.
  7. Flow between both movements for 60 seconds.

8. Boat Pose Roll-Ups (Navasana)

Transition: From Fish Pose, lift your torso back up to come back into Staff Pose.

  1. Begin in Staff Pose (Dandasana).
  2. Inhale and bend both knees, placing your feet flat on the floor.
  3. Exhale and extend both arms straight forward beside you, arms parallel and palms facing each other.
  4. Inhale, leaning your upper body back. Engage your core, rolling your tailbone in slightly and pulling the belly button up and in. Lean back until you feel a slight rounding in your spine. Keep your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  5. Exhale, rolling back up to a seated position with your arms still outstretched.
  6. Repeat this movement for 30-60 seconds.
 

9. Full-Body Stretch to Seated Forward Fold Flow

Transition: Release from Boat Pose Variation Roll-Ups, lowering your legs and torso all the way to the ground.

  1. Begin by lying supine on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Engage your feet, pushing your heels away from you. Lengthen the back of the neck.
  2. Inhale and sweep your arms overhead, keeping them flat on the floor with palms facing upward. Extend them fully, feeling an energizing stretch all the way from your fingertips to your heels. Take another deep breath here as you start to engage your core. (Full-Body Stretch Pose)
  3. On the exhale, use your core to raise your torso up to a seated position. Take a moment to straighten your spine nice and tall, ground your sit bones, and take in a deep inhale as you extend your arms forward.
  4. Exhale and hinge at the hips to bring your upper body toward the thighs, arms reaching for the outer edges of your feet, ankles, or lower legs. (Seated Forward Fold Pose)

 

10. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Forward Fold by lifting your torso back up and relaxing your arms. (Staff Pose)

  1. Begin in Staff Pose (Dandasana)
  2. Place your palms on the ground behind you and lean back until you can comfortably bend your left leg and bring the outer side of your left knee to the ground directly below your right knee. Bring the heel of your left foot in toward your right thigh as close as you can.
  3. Sit tall once more, straightening the spine and grounding the sit bones.
  4. Inhale your right arm up, bending your elbow and bringing your palm to touch your right shoulder blade. Bend your left arm at the elbow with the back of your hand against your back. If you can, grab onto your right fingers with your left fingers.
  5. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then release back to Staff Pose and repeat with the opposite leg and arm.

 

11. Seated Neck Rolls

Transition: From Cow Face Pose, relax your arms and release your legs, keeping them crisscrossed to come into Easy Pose.

  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.

12. Seated Shoulder Rolls

  1. In Easy Pose (Sukhasana), relax your shoulders. Either relax your arms down to your lap, the floor, or in front of your knees.
  2. Rotate your shoulders up, forward, down, and back in a circular motion.
  3. Repeat while you take 1-2 deep breaths, then reverse the motion for 1-2 breaths.

 

13. 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 counterclockwise.

 

14. Seated Deltoid Stretch

  1. From Easy Pose (Sukhasana), inhale your right arm straight out in front of you, palm facing to the left.
  2. Exhale as you bring your extended right arm across your chest, keeping your shoulder blades down. Bring your left arm up with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and use it to push your right arm closer to your chest.
  3. Take 1-2 breaths here, release, and repeat on the other side.

 

15. 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 seconds, release your right leg back to the mat, then repeat with the left leg.

 

16. Easy Pose Side Bend (Parsva Sukhasana)

Transition: From Cradle Pose, release your legs and sit cross-legged in Easy Pose.

  1. Begin in Easy Pose.
  2. Inhale, raise your right arm above your head, and bring your left hand to your right knee.
  3. Exhale and lean your upper body to the left, bringing your right arm up and over.
  4. Breathe deeply here for 30 seconds, then inhale back to center and repeat on the opposite side.
 

PEAK FLOW

1. Plank to Downward Dog Pose Flow

Transition: Rock forward onto your hands and knees from Easy Pose.

  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. Inhale and lift 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 1-2 full breaths.

2. Three-Legged Downward Dog to Tiger Curl Flow

Transition: From Downward Facing Dog, flow through some Tiger Pose curls.

  1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog Pose.
  2. Inhale and lift your right leg, extending it up and out.
  3. As you exhale, really draw your core in and round your back slightly to bring your right knee to your elbow or nose.
  4. Repeat this motion for 30 seconds.

 

3. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

Transition: Return to Downward Facing Dog Pose, and prepare to flow into Lizard Pose.

  1. Begin in Downward Facing Dog.
  2. Inhale and float your right leg up, then exhale it forward to the outside of your right arm. Stack your right knee above the ankle. Adjust your foot ever so slightly to point outward at a ~45-degree angle. Keep your left leg straight, toes tucked, and left thighbone pushing away from the floor.
  3. Take a deep breath, then exhale and bring your forearms to the floor. Keep your neck neutral, and your spine long and straight.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

4. Sleeping Swan Pose (Kapotasana II)

Transition: From Lizard Pose, exhale the outer side of your right leg down onto the mat. Your right knee should be aligned with your right hip and your pelvis facing squarely forward. Lay the top of your left foot on the mat/floor, and keep your front foot flexed.

  1. Begin in Pigeon Pose. Inhale and lengthen your spine, sitting up tall and broadening through the chest.
  2. Exhale and hinge forward at the hips, using your hands to slowly walk your torso forward to find a comfortable forward fold stretch over your right leg. Keep the spine long and avoid rounding it. Once you’ve lowered all the way into the forward fold, extend your arms forward, palms on the floor.
  3. Breathe deeply here for 30 seconds.

Repeat poses 1-4, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.


5. Plank to Downward Dog Pose Flow

  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. Inhale and lift 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 1-2 full breaths.

6. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Transition: From Downward Dog, walk your feet toward your hands to come into a forward fold.

  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 30-60 seconds, allowing gravity to pull you deeper into the stretch.
 

7. Extended Mountain Pose Backbend (Utthita Tadasana)

Transition: From Standing Forward Fold Flow, inhale and slowly lift your upper body to come into Mountain Pose.

  1. In Mountain Pose, raise your arms above your head with your palms together or parallel to each other.
  2. Inhale, your chest broadening upwards as you slowly lean your arms backward. Stay steadily grounded, and don’t overexaggerate the backbend — keep it subtle and sweet. Let your neck relax comfortably back.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

8. Mountain Pose Backbend w/ Cactus Arms (Utthita Tadasana)

Transition: From Extended Mountain Pose Backbend, bring your upper arms out to the sides at shoulder height with forearms up and palms out (Cactus Arms).

  1. In Mountain Pose, inhale your upper arms to shoulder height with your forearms up and palms facing away from you (Cactus Arms)
  2. On your next inhale, take a very slight backbend up the upper back, allowing the neck to relax back slightly in a continuation of the curve.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

9. Garland Pose w/ Hands Forward (Malasana)

Transition: Return to Mountain Pose, then flow your way down to Garland Pose.

  1. Begin in a standing position.
  2. Bring your feet slightly wider than hip-distance and angle the feet outward a bit.
  3. Exhale and bend your knees all the way, coming down into a deep squat. Bring your thighs slightly wider than your torso and lean your torso forward slightly.
  4. Inhale and reach your hands forward so that you can comfortably rest your fingertips on the floor in front of you.
  5. Breathe deeply here for 30 seconds.
 

10. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Transition: From Garland Pose w/ Hands Forward, lean backward to come into a seated position and situate yourself in Staff Pose.

  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 30 seconds.

11. Bridge Pose w/ Arm Flow

Transition: From Staff Pose, lie back on your mat in a supine position with your feet flat on the floor.

  1. Take a moment to completely relax the spine and bring awareness to your breath.
  2. Inhale and swing your arms up into the air with palms parallel and facing each other. Engage your back, core, glutes, and quads to lift your body up, keeping your shoulder blades planted.
  3. At the height of the pose, your arms will come all the way to the ground, fingertips pointing away from you. There should be a straight line running along your chest all the way out to your knees, and your knees should be stacked above your ankles.
  4. Hold this position and breathe for 30-60 seconds.

12. Half Plow Pose Flow (Ardha Halasana)

Transition: Release from Bridge Pose, laying your back and head flat on the floor with your arms to your sides and palms down on the ground. Plant the bottoms of your feet on the mat, then move through Half Plow Pose Flow.

  1. Begin in a supine position with your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Inhale and bend the knees 90 degrees, thighs raised straight up and stacking your knees above your hips. Keep your feet engaged.
  3. On your next inhale, straighten your legs into Half Plow Pose. Now your ankles, knees, and hips should be stacked.
  4. Slowly exhale your legs back down to the mat as far as you can without flattening or rounding the small of your back, keeping them extended straight.
  5. Repeat this flow for 30-60 seconds.

13. Shoulderstand Pose (Salamba Sarvangasana)

Transition: Release from Half Plow Pose Flow to lie supine on your mat/floor and get ready for a shoulder stand inversion.

  1. Begin by lying supine on the mat/floor.
  2. Exhale and engage your core, pulling the tailbone forward, knitting the low ribs in, and pulling the belly button up and inward. Make sure your upper back is broad and flat with your shoulder blades rooted down away from the ears.
  3. Inhale and swing your legs up into the air and overhead, using that momentum to raise your hips and lower-to-middle back. Use your hands for support, either by placing your palms down on the mat next to you or supporting yourself on the upper arms with your hands holding up the small of your back. Make sure your elbows are drawn close to you, keeping your arms parallel.
  4. Remain here for 30-60 seconds.

14. Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Slowly bend your legs and roll your spine down to return to lying supine on your mat, then hug your knees in for Wind Release Pose.

  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.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Wide Child's Pose (Prasarita Balasana)

Transition: Release your legs from Wind Release Pose and work your way up to a seated position first, then to your hands and knees.

  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 30-60 seconds.

2. Camel Pose w/ Hands to Floor (Ustrasana)

Transition: From Wide 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. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

3. Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Transition: From Camel Pose w/ Hands to Floor, lift your torso back up to come into Kneeling Pose.

  1. Begin in Kneeling Pose. Make sure your legs are hip-width apart.
  2. Take a deep breath, tucking your tailbone in toward your knees, then exhale and bring your pelvis forward and lower your hands to your heels in a deep backbend.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

4. Puppy Dog Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Transition: From Camel Pose, lift your torso back up and then 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.

5. Thread the Needle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana)

Transition: From Puppy Dog Pose, walk your hands back up until your spine is neutral and your wrists are stacked below your shoulders.

  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.

6. Table Top to Child's Pose Flow

Transition: From Thread the Needle Pose, return to your hands and knees.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees with your shoulders stacked above your wrists and your legs hip-width apart. (Table Top Pose)
  2. Take a deep breath, and on your exhale, sink your sit bones back to your heels as you push the floor away from you through your palms. Widen the legs slightly and bring your forehead to the floor. (Child’s Pose)
  3. Inhale and come back onto your hands and knees.
  4. Repeat this cycle for 30-60 seconds, ending in Table Top Pose.

7. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Transition: From Table Top Pose, lift the arms and bring the legs forward to come to a seated position.

  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 30-60 seconds.

8. Easy Spinal Twist Pose (Vakrasana)

  1. Begin in Staff Pose (Dandasana)
  2. Inhale and lift your right leg, placing your foot flat on the mat a few inches from your pelvis. Broaden the chest, pulling your shoulder blades down and together.
  3. Exhale and twist to the right, bringing your right hand to the floor behind you and your left arm to the outer side of your right leg, extending it straight alongside your right knee and lower leg.
  4. Breathe deeply here for 30 seconds, then inhale and release the twist, returning to Staff Pose (Dandasana).
  5. Repeat on the other side.
 

9. Full-Body Stretch Pose (Supta Utthita Tadasana)

Transition: After releasing from Easy Spinal Twist Pose to Staff Pose, lie down supine on your mat.

  1. Begin by lying supine on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Engage your feet, pushing your heels away from you. Lengthen the back of the neck.
  2. Inhale and sweep your arms overhead, keeping them flat on the floor with palms facing upward. Extend them fully, feeling an energizing stretch all the way from your fingertips to your heels.
  3. Remain here and breathe deeply for 30 seconds.
 

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

Transition: From Full Body Stretch Pose, sweep your arms back down to relax by your sides.

  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.

11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Supine Spinal Twist II Pose, straightening both legs and relaxing your entire body on the floor.

  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!