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Yoga Day 21

WARM-UP

1. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)

Starting position: Begin this flow by coming into a seated position on the floor.

  1. Bring your legs together with the tops of your feet on the floor. Sink your sit bones back onto your heels and place your hands on top of your thighs.
  2. Breathe deeply here and gather your thoughts for 30-60 seconds.

2. Revolved Thunderbolt Pose (Parivrtta Vajrasana)

  1. Begin in Thunderbolt Pose with both hands on the floor next to you.
  2. Inhale deeply, then exhale, shift your weight onto your right hand a bit, take a gentle spinal twist to the right, and bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee/leg. Shift your gaze out over your right shoulder for a gentle stretch through the side of the neck.
  3. Take 2-3 breaths here, making sure that your shoulders stay rooted away from your ears.
  4. Inhale and release from the twist, coming back to the starting position.
  5. On your next exhale, repeat this stretch on the left side.

3. Kneeling Side Bends

Transition: From Thunderbolt Pose, lift your sit bones away from your heels until your body is a straight line from your head to your knees.

  1. Begin in Kneeling Pose with your arms at your sides.
  2. Inhale deeply and raise your right arm up toward the ceiling, feeling your spine and side body lengthen, your chest broaden, and your core activate.
  3. Exhale and keep your upper body long as you take a gentle side bend to touch the floor with your left fingertips or palm. Bring your right arm over your head so that your fingertips point to the left.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds, keeping that length in your spine and sides.
  5. Inhale and release the side bend, straightening your upper body and right arm. Exhale your right arm back down to your side.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

 

4. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

Transition: Bring your upper body forward onto your hands and knees - wrists stacked below shoulders, knees stacked below hips.

  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. Child's Pose Sphinx Flow

Transition: From Cat-Cow Pose, bring your big toes together. Sink your sit bones back toward your heels while pushing the floor away with your palms, resting your forehead on the floor as you enter Child’s Pose.

  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.

 

6. Wide Child's Pose (Prasarita Balasana)

Transition: End Child’s Pose Sphinx Flow in Child’s Pose.

  1. Inhale and widen your knees apart slightly. With each exhale, sink deeper into the posture.
  2. Breathe deeply here for 30 seconds.

7. Wide-Legged Vinyasa Flow

Transition: Inhale yourself up out of Wide Child’s Pose onto your hands and knees.

  1. Inhale, tuck your toes, and lift your tailbone up and back to come into Downward-Facing Dog Pose. From here, walk your feet apart so that they are slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  2. On your next inhale, bring your upper body forward, then exhale down through a wide-legged version of Four-Limbed Staff Pose. Remember to keep your elbows stacked above your wrists.
  3. Exhale your legs, pelvis, and tops of your feet down to the mat/floor. Inhale and press down through the palms to raise your upper body, coming into a wide-legged version of Sphinx or Cobra Pose.
  4. Take one last deep breath, then exhale your upper body to the floor. Inhale and float your tailbone up and back once more to return to a wide-legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

8. Downward Dog to Mountain Pose Flow

Transition: Slowly walk your legs back toward each other, remaining in Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

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

 

9. Mountain Pose Tiptoes Flow (Tadasana)

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Inhale deeply and sweep your arms up in the air as you rise up onto your tiptoes.
  3. On the exhale, sweep your arms back down to your sides and plant your feet firmly back on the floor.
  4. Repeat this flow for 30 seconds, keeping your movements synchronized with your breath.

10. Standing Arm Circles

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Inhale your arms straight out to the sides at shoulder height in a T-shape. Keep your fingers straight and together.
  3. Make circles in the air with your arms 5-10 times, then reverse the motion for another 5-10 circles.

 

11. Easy Joint Warm-Up Flow

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Ankle Circles: Shift your weight to the right foot. Keeping your toes and the ball of your left foot touching the ground, move your left ankle in a circular motion for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite foot.
  3. Neck Rolls: Start by looking down, tucking your chin slightly. Roll your head to the side, up, to the other side, and down in a circular motion 5-6 times in one direction, then repeat in the reverse direction.
  4. Shoulder Circles: Roll your shoulders forward, down, back, and up in a circular motion 5-6 times, then reverse the motion another 5-6 times.
  5. Wrist Rolls: Clasp your hands in front of you, interlocking your fingers, and rolling the wrist joint first so that your dominant wrist deviates toward you, then away from you in a figure-eight motion. Repeat this motion for ~30 seconds
  6. Twists: Bring the back of your left hand to the back of your right hip, and your right hand to your left shoulder. Inhale, swing your arms so that your right hand comes to your left shoulder and your left hand comes to the back of the right hip as you take a gentle twist toward the left. Keeping the momentum in your arms going, swing your left hand toward your right shoulder and your right hand to the back of your left hip. Do this movement 5-10 times, speeding it up as you get a feel for the motion.
  7. Hip Circles: Standing in Mountain Pose, move your pelvis/hips in a circular motion - 5-10 times clockwise, then counterclockwise.
  8. Knee Circles: Bend your knees and bend slightly forward at the hips, bringing your hands to your thighs. Move your knees forward, to the right, back, and to the left in a circular motion 5-10 times, then reverse the motion 5-10 times.

12. Mountain Pose Forward Fold Arm Swings (Tadasana)

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose. Make sure your feet are firmly planted hip-distance apart.
  2. Inhale both arms up into the air, broadening the chest.
  3. Exhale and sink your sit bones slightly down and back, folding forward over your thighs as you swing your arms all the way forward and back.
  4. Inhale your arms and torso back up to Mountain Pose.
  5. Repeat this movement a total of 5-6 times.

 

13. Standing Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

  1. From Mountain Pose, inhale, and lift your right foot slightly.
  2. Once you feel balanced and stable enough to do so, lift your foot higher and draw the top of your thigh toward your chest. Wrap one or both arms around your knee/shin to hug your leg closer to your chest.
  3. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, release back to Mountain Pose, then repeat on the other side.

 

14. Standing Quad Stretch

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Begin shifting your weight and balance onto your left foot. Inhale and bend your right knee, grabbing the top of your right foot behind you with your right hand, and pulling your heel toward your buttocks.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then exhale and release your right foot back to the ground.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

 

15. Mountain Pose w/ Namaste Hands (Tadasana)

  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. Bring your palms together in front of your chest and breathe here for 30 seconds before moving on to the Peak Flow.

 

PEAK FLOW

1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Transition: Remain in Mountain Pose with your feet hip-width apart, or slightly closer.

  1. 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.
  2. Lift your sternum up, creating a strong, open upper chest without drawing the lower ribs forward.
  3. 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.
  4. Take one last breath or two here before moving on.

2. One-Legged Mountain Pose w/ Side Bend (Eka Pada Parsva Tadasana)

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Inhale your arms straight up toward the ceiling. Shift your weight onto your right foot and find your balance, then lift your left foot.
  3. Take a gentle side bend to the right with your upper body and arms, feeling the lengthening through the left side body.
  4. Try to remain here for 30 seconds, then release back to Mountain Pose. (Don’t worry about the left side here, we’ll get back to that!)

3. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

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

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, bend your 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.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

4. Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

  1. Begin in Chair Pose.
  2. Bring your hands to a prayer position in front of your chest. On your next inhale, take a twist in the spine to hook your left elbow on the outer side of your right knee. Shift your gaze up toward the ceiling, and breathe here for 30 seconds.
  3. On your next inhale, release from the twist to come back to regular Chair Pose.

 

5. Vinyasa I

Transition: From Chair Pose, bring your palms to the floor, planting them firmly. Step or jump your feet straight behind you in Plank Pose.

  1. On an exhale, lift your pelvis and lower your body to the ground (Four-Limbed Staff Pose).
  2. With your body on the ground, inhale and untuck your toes, lifting your torso off the ground (Upward-Facing Dog Pose).
  3. 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).

 

6. Reverse Warrior Pose (Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Transition: In Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inhale your right foot forward and rotate your left foot outward a bit, pivoting your body to face the left.

  1. Stretch your arms straight out to the side in a T shape and shift your gaze out to your right hand.
  2. Turn your right palm up toward the ceiling, then as you exhale, lower your left arm and slowly slide it down the back of your left leg
  3. Remain here for 30 seconds.

7. Twisted Reverse Warrior Pose (Parivrtta Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Transition: Inhale your upper body back up and your arms back into a T shape.

  1. Turn your left palm up toward the ceiling, then as you exhale, twist your torso to the right and slowly slide your right arm down the back of your left leg.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds.

8. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Transition: Release from Twisted Reverse Warrior Pose, fold forward, and bring your right hand to the ground on the outside of your right foot.

  1. Inhale your left arm straight up, rolling your chest to the left and broadening the chest.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds, then release back to Warrior II.

 

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

 

9. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Transition: Release from Extended Side Angle Pose. Exhale and straighten your legs as you relax your arms back down to your sides to come into Mountain Pose.

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, 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.

10. Crow Pose w/ Toe Taps (Bakasana)

Transition: From Forward Fold Pose, bend your knees and plant your hands on the ground.

  1. ​​Bend your elbows slightly, lean forward, and try to place your knees on the backs of your arms near your armpits.
  2. Slowly lean forward enough that you can bring your feet off the ground.
  3. Tap the toes of your right foot on the ground, then lift your foot again. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds on the right, then repeat on the left.

 

11. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Transition: Release from Crow Pose and stretch your legs out behind you.

  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 seconds.

12. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: From Plank Pose, lower your shins and the tops of your feet to the ground.

  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.

 

13. Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)

  1. Beginning in Child’s Pose, keep your forehead or the top of your head on the ground as you inhale and lift your sit bones away from your heels so that your knees create a 90-degree angle.
  2. Try to bring your head closer to your thighs as your slide your hands down your legs to grab your heels.
  3. Remain here for 30-60 seconds, breathing rhythmically and trying to deepen the stretch with each exhale.

 

14. Toe Squat w/ Cat-Cow Flow

Transition: Release from Rabbit Pose by lifting your torso back up, bringing your thighs together, and tucking your toes for Thunderbolt Pose.

  1. In Thunderbolt Pose, inhale and arch your back forward, pushing your tailbone 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 flow 5-10 times.

 

15. Thunderbolt Pose Heart Opener (Vajrasana)

Transition: Release from Toe Squat back to Thunderbolt Pose.

  1. Begin in Thunderbolt Pose.
  2. Point your toes with the tops of your feet flat on the floor/mat. Inhale deeply, broadening your chest and lengthening your spine.
  3. Exhale and bring your palms to the floor just behind your, taking a gentle backbend and allowing your neck to relax.
  4. Remain here for 60 seconds, opening your chest and deepening the stretch with each inhalation.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: From Thunderbolt Pose, lean back and release your legs forward, coming into a supine position.

  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.

 

2. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: Remain supine, releasing your legs to the floor.

  1. On an exhale, bring your legs back 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!

 

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

Transition: Release from Happy Baby Pose and straighten your legs.

  1. Extend your arms out to each side of you like you’re making a T shape.
  2. Inhale and lift your right leg, bending at the knee ~90 degrees.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. On an inhale, roll your right hip back down to the ground, then exhale and release your leg back to the floor.
  6. Repeat on your left side.

 

4. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Transition: Straighten your legs in front of you and raise your torso up to Staff Pose.

  1. Beginning in Staff Pose, 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.
  2. 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.
  3. On your next inhale, relax your head and neck, touching the crown of your head to the floor.
  4. Take deep breaths here for 60 seconds.

5. Full-Body Stretch Pose

Transition: Release from Fish Pose, remaining supine.

  1. 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.

6. Half Plow Pose (Ardha Halasana)

Transition: Remain supine bringing your legs together and hands palm-down next to your thighs/hips.

  1. Inhale and lift both legs straight up so that they make a 90-degree angle with your upper body.
  2. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, making sure your shoulder blades and pelvis remain square and grounded.
  3. When you release, do so very slowly without lifting your head.

7. Sage Marichi Pose C (Marichyasana)

Transition: As you release from Half Plow Pose, lift yourself up to a seated position.

  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.

 

8. Sitting Swan Pose

Transition: Release from Sage Marichi Pose C, remaining in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you.

  1. Place your hands on the floor behind you and lean your torso back, shifting your upper body weight to your palms.
  2. Bring your right ankle to your left thigh, just above the left knee.
  3. Take a deep breath, then exhale as you bend your left knee and walk your left foot closer to your torso. Move it around until you find a satisfying stretch. Your muscles might resist at first, but hold the pose and stay still for 30 seconds.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.
 

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

Transition: Remain in a seated position, bringing your legs together.

  1. Starting from Staff Pose, 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.
 

10. Seated Straddle Forward Fold Pose (Upavistha Konasana)

Transition: From Upward Facing Seated Straddle Pose, straighten your spine and fold forward, bringing your forearms to the floor in front of you and rest your head on them. Make sure your sit bones are grounded and your spine stays long.

  1. Beginning in a seated straddle position, take a deep inhale, then exhale as you bring your forearms to the ground in front of you and hinge forward to rest your forehead on them.
  2. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, then raise back up to Seated Straddle Pose.

11. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Transition: Raise your torso up from Seated Straddle Forward Fold Pose.

  1. Bring your legs together, stretching them straight out in front of you, toes pointing up toward the ceiling.
  2. Close your eyes and breathe deeply here for 30 seconds.

12. Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana)

  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.

13. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Forward Fold Pose and get comfortable 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!