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Yoga Day 22

WARM-UP

1. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

Starting position: Begin this portion of the flow by coming into a comfortable seated position.

  1. Find somewhere comfortable to sit. Keep your spine straight and tall, and your chest open.
  2. Relax your left hand in your lap, and bring your right hand in front of your face.
  3. Rest the index and middle fingers of your right hand gently in the space between your eyebrows. There’s no need to apply any pressure, just lightly anchor them there.
  4. Take a deep breath through your nose, taking a moment to prepare yourself.
  5. With your right thumb, close your right nostril. Take a slow, steady inhale, and at the top of the inhale, use your ring finger to close your left nostril as well.
  6. Hold the breath with both nostrils closed for a few moments, then open your right nostril for a steady exhale.
  7. Inhale again through the right nostril and hold it for a few moments, plugging both nostrils, then open your left nostril and exhale slowly.
  8. Inhale once more through your left nostril, plugging both at the top, then exhaling through the right nostril.
  9. Repeat this breathing exercise for 2 minutes.

2. Easy Pose Warm-Up (Sukhasana)

Transition: Remain in a seated position, crossing your legs in Easy Pose.

  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).

 

3. Seated Neck Rolls

  1. Relax your arms, placing your 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.

 

4. Neck Twists

  1. Begin in a seated position looking straight ahead, chin parallel to the floor.
  2. Take a deep inhale, then exhale and look to the right, stretching the left side of the neck.
  3. Inhale your gaze forward again, then repeat on the other side.
  4. Continue this stretch for 30-60 seconds, alternating sides with each exhale.

 

5. Side-to-Side Neck Stretch

  1. Begin in a seated position looking straight ahead, chin parallel to the floor.
  2. Keeping your shoulder blades firmly rooted down and your gaze forward, exhale and tilt your head to the right. Try to touch your ear to your shoulder.
  3. Take two or three deep breaths here, feeling that stretch throughout the left side of your neck.
  4. Inhale your head back up, then exhale and repeat on the other side.

 

6. Forward-to-Backward Neck Stretch

  1. Begin in a seated position looking straight ahead, chin parallel to the floor.
  2. Inhale, then exhale and allow your head to roll forward, bringing your chin toward your chest.
  3. Take a breath here, then inhale your head back up.
  4. Exhale again, allowing your head to roll back as you gaze up to the ceiling.
  5. Take a breath here, inhale back up, then repeat for 30 seconds.

7. Cat-Cow Pose w/ Lateral Leg Extension (Chakravakasana)

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

  1. In Table Top Pose, bring your right leg straight out to the side, planting your right foot.
  2. Inhale and arch your back downward, pushing your tailbone up and outward. Tilt your head back slightly, keeping your shoulders engaged and opening the chest. (Cow)
  3. On your exhale, tuck your chin and tailbone inward, pull your shoulder blades apart, and round your spine like a cat that’s stretching or startled. (Cat)
  4. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds on this side, release your right leg back into Table Top Pose, then repeat on the other side.

8. Tiger Pose Crunches (Vyaghrasana)

  1. Begin in Table Top Pose.
  2. Take a deep inhale and round the spine to bring your right knee to your forehead (or as close as you can).
  3. Inhale and arch the spine, directing your gaze to the ceiling as you bring your thigh parallel to the floor and extend your right foot upward. Exhale and bring your right knee to your right elbow, engaging your core.
  4. Repeat this movement on the right side 4-8 times.
  5. Release back to Table Top Pose and repeat with the left leg.

 

9. Table Top Pose Wrist Stretch (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Remain in Table Top Pose, but rotate your arms so that your wrists face forward and your fingers point toward you.

  1. Slowly rotate your hands until your wrists face forward and your fingers point toward you.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds, then release.

10. Cat-Cow to Child's Pose Flow

Transition: Remain in Table Top Pose.

  1. From Table Top Pose, inhale a deep breath. As you exhale, round your spine, push the floor away through your palms, and tuck your chin slightly to stretch the back of the neck. (Cat Pose)
  2. Inhale again. Exhale and sink your sit bones to your heels and rest your forehead on the ground.
  3. Take 1-2 breaths here. On in inhale, raise back up to Table Top Pose on your hands and knees.
  4. On your next inhale, arch your back and round your tailbone up and out. (Cow Pose)
  5. Repeat this flow 1-2 times, keeping your breath and movements slow and steady.

 

11. Thread the Needle Pose Flow (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana)

Transition: End the Cat-Cow to Child’s Pose Flow by returning to Table Top Pose.

  1. Beginning in Table Top Pose, inhale and raise your right arm straight in the air, twisting your upper body to the right and shifting your gaze up toward your right hand.
  2. As you exhale, thread your right arm under your left, bringing your arm flat to the ground and resting your right ear/side of the head against the floor.
  3. Inhale and return to Table Top Pose. Repeat this movement 2-3 times on your right and repeat the same number on your left.

12. Dolphin to Downward Dog Push-Ups

  1. Begin in Table Top Pose.
  2. Bring your forearms to the floor and either clasp your hands together or place your palms on the floor for support.
  3. Inhale and lift your sit bones up and back just as you would for Downward-Facing Dog Pose.
  4. On your next inhale, raise off of your forearms, plant your palms, push the floor away and come into a full Downward-Facing Dog Pose
  5. Exhale yourself back down onto your forearms.
  6. Alternate between Dolphin Pose and Downward-Facing Dog Pose for 30-60 seconds, remaining in sync with your breath.

 

13. Half Headstand Pose (Ardha Sirsasana)

Transition: End your Dolphin to Downward-Facing Dog Push-Ups in Dolphin Pose.

  1. From Dolphin Pose, slowly walk your feet forward and bring the crown of your head to the floor between your arms
  2. Spend 30-60 seconds here, breathing deep and working on keeping your core and arms actively engaged as you work your way deeper into the pose.

 

14. Tripod Pose Prep (Catur Svanasana Ardha Sirsasana)

  1. From Half Headstand Pose, try to bring your palms to the floor in front of your face.
  2. Slowly work on lifting your right foot away from the ground. Try to balance here for 30 seconds, then return your foot to the floor.
  3. Repeat with the left foot raised.

 

15. Crocodile Pose on Elbows (Makarasana)

Transition: Release from Tripod Pose Prep into a prone position on the floor.

  1. Bring your body down to the floor completely, resting your head in your hands with your elbows on the floor.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds to gather your thoughts, completely relaxing your body.

 

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!