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Yoga Day 27

WARM-UP

1. Three-Part Breath

Starting position: Begin this flow in a comfortable seated position.

  1. Choose a comfortable spot to sit. Close your eyes and relax your body completely. It’s helpful to do it lying down at first so that you can feel the flow of the breath through you as your body comes into contact with the floor.
  2. Begin by breathing completely naturally, observing the sensations and flow of your breath. If distracting thoughts arise, remember to acknowledge them and then let them float away as you return your attention to your breathing.
  3. Breathe through your nose, inhaling deeply with your diaphragm so that your belly rises. As you exhale, draw your belly button inward to expel any remaining air. Repeat for 5 breath cycles.
  4. On your next inhale, breathe deeply and fill your belly with air again, and when it’s full, inhale just a tiny sip more, expanding into the rib cage. Exhale, releasing air first from the ribcage, then slowly deflating your belly. Repeat for 5 breath cycles.
  5. Inhale again, this time expanding your belly, then your rib cage, then all the way up to the collarbone. Exhale, slowly lowering your chest, rib cage, and belly back down. Repeat for 5-10 breath cycles, or until you feel comfortable with it.

2. Seated Neck Rolls

  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.

3. Wrist Rolls w/ Hands Clasped

  1. 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.
  2. Repeat this motion for 30 seconds

 

4. Seated Torso Circles (Sufi Grinds)

  1. Come to a seated position in Easy Pose and 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.

 

5. Seated Butterfly Wings (Baddha Konasana)

  1. Bend your legs at the knee, bringing the soles of your feet together in front of you.
  2. Inhale and grab onto your feet with both hands. If possible, gently try to pull your heels in a bit closer toward the groin.
  3. Your arms and shoulders should remain relaxed, but your spine should be long and straight. Don’t force the stretch beyond what feels right!
  4. Pretend that your legs are butterfly wings, gently flapping the knees up and down. This gets your blood circulating and generates warmth in the muscles.
  5. Continue this movement for 30-60 seconds.
  6. To release, stop the movements, let go of your feet, and stretch one leg at a time straight in front of you.

 

6. Fish Pose w/ Butterfly Legs (Matsyasana)

  1. From Seated Butterfly Wings, 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. Breathe deeply here for 60 seconds.

7. Bound Angle Upward Plank Pose Flow

Transition: Inhale your torso up, returning to Seated Butterfly Wings/Bound Angle Pose. Plant your hands on the ground just behind you, shoulder-length apart.

  1. On your next inhale, engage your core and lift your pelvis up and forward similarly to an Upward Plank Pose. Keep the bottoms of your feet together on the floor.
  2. Exhale yourself back down to the floor in Bound Angle Pose.
  3. Repeat this movement 5-10 times.

8. Seated Star Pose (Tarasana)

  1. With your legs wide apart in Bound Angle Pose 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, making 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. Thread the Needle Pose Flow (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana)

Transition: Inhale your torso up and release your legs from Seated Star Pose. Swing your legs to the side and rock forward, coming onto your hands and knees in 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, then repeat the same number on your left.

10. Table Top Pose w/ Knee Lift (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Remain in Table Top Pose.

  1. Beginning in Table Top Pose, tuck your toes and engage your core, lifting your knees up so that your shins and knees hover a few inches above the floor.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

11. Table Top Pose Lifted Knees Cat-Cow Flow (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Remain in Table Top Pose with your knees lifted.

  1. In Table Top Pose w/ your knees lifted, inhale and arch your spine downward, rolling your head back a bit and pushing your tailbone up and out. (Cat)
  2. Exhale and round your back, tucking your chin slightly. (Cow)
  3. Repeat for 5-10 rounds of Cat-Cow.

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

Transition: Remain in Table Top Pose with your knees lifted.

  1. Inhale and take 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.

 

13. Dangling Pose (Baddha Uttanasana)

  1. Beginning in Downward-Facing Dog Pose, slowly walk your feet toward your hands to come into a Standing Forward Fold
  2. Allow your arms to dangle freely, or grab onto your elbows. Feel free to rock gently from side to side.
  3. Remain here for 60 seconds.

 

14. Standing Roll-Up Flow

Transition: From Dangling Pose, bend your knees and relax your upper body further down, palms to the floor.

  1. From Standing Forward Fold with both knees bent, inhale and slowly raise your torso as you straighten your knees. Allow your arms to dangle, rounding your spine.
  2. Once your legs are straight, continue slowly rolling your spine up until your spine is straight and your arms are relaxed by your sides in Mountain Pose.

 

15. Sun Salutation Variation A (Surya Namaskar A)

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Inhale your arms straight upward, gently shifting your gaze skyward.
  3. Exhale and hinge forward at the hips, diving into Forward Fold Pose.
  4. Inhale and lift your head and torso slightly in an Upward-Facing Forward Fold.
  5. On your next inhale, step or jump your feet back behind you and plant your palms on the floor to come into Plank Pose.
  6. Exhale and lower yourself to the ground through Four-Limbed Staff Pose, keeping your hands planted and your elbows stacked above your wrists.
  7. Inhale, bring the tops of your feet to the floor, and lift your torso straight up as you shift your gaze slightly upward. Your shoulders, elbows, and wrists should remain stacked as you extend your arms.
  8. On your next inhale, tuck your toes and float your sit bones up and back into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

 

16. Sun Salutation Variation B (Surya Namaskar B)

  1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog Pose.
  2. Inhale and walk your feet forward to your hands. Keep your torso slightly lifted away from the thighs and the gaze slightly forward/upward in Half Forward Fold Pose.
  3. Exhale and sink your torso back down into a full Standing Forward Fold.
  4. Inhale and slowly sweep your arms and torso straight up, coming into a standing position with your arms extended skyward and your gaze shifted up at them.
  5. Exhale and release your arms, relaxing for a moment in Mountain Pose.

 

PEAK FLOW

1. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, make sure you have a firm base of support through your feet.
  2. Bend the 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.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

2. Straight-Legged Warrior I Salute Flow (Virabhadrasana I)

Transition: Release from Chair Pose back into Mountain Pose, then step your right foot forward and left foot back, coming into Warrior I Pose.

  1. Inhale your arms straight out to the sides in a T-shape.
  2. On your next inhale, straighten your legs and sweep your hands up overhead, joining palms or holding them parallel to each other. Shift your gaze skyward.
  3. Exhale and return to Warrior I pose, bringing your arms back into a T-shape and bending your right knee.
  4. Repeat 1-2 more times.

3. Warrior II Intense Leg Stretch Flow (Virabhadrasana II)

Transition: With your right foot forward and your left foot rotated outward a bit, pivot your body to face the left (Warrior II).

  1. Stretch your arms straight out to the side in a T shape and shift your gaze out to your right hand. Breathe here for 20-30 seconds.
  2. On an exhale, slide your right arm down your right leg and bring the left elbow overhead, your left hand reaching up and behind you. Gently shift your gaze up toward your elbow. Breath here for 20-30 seconds.
  3. Inhale and extend your reach to the right, bringing your upper body over the right leg. Shift your hips back slightly.
  4. Exhale your right arm down, bringing the right hand to either your ankle, a block, or the floor. Rotate the front of your ribcage toward the ceiling, reaching your left arm straight up.
  5. Lengthen through the sides of the neck, keeping the neck aligned neutrally with the spine. Shift the gaze straight ahead or up toward your left hand.
  6. On an exhale, bring your left hand down to the mat on the inner side of your leg, lengthening your spine and neck into a neutral position.
  7. Ground down into the floor with all 4 corners of your feet and bring both hands to the floor (or on blocks). Take a breath or two here.
  8. Inhale and walk your hands to the center, lengthen your spine down toward the floor now, being careful not to round the back. Keep your spine and neck nice and straight as much as possible.
  9. Breathe here for 20-30 seconds.

 

4. Revolved Wide-Legged Forward Fold Pose (Parivrtta Prasarita Padottanasana)

  1. Begin in Intense Leg Stretch Pose.
  2. Inhale and lift your upper body so that it is parallel to the floor. Extend both arms straight out to the sides in a T-shape.
  3. On an exhale, gently twist so that you’re facing to the right. The fingertips of your left hand should graze the floor/mat, while the right arm extends skyward.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then release from the twist and step or jump your legs back together.

 

5. Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)

Transition: Inhale yourself back up from Revolved Wide-Legged Forward Fold, remaining in a wide stance.

  1. Start out facing the left side of your mat with your feet roughly 3 ft. apart from each other.
  2. Rotate the right foot to face the upper right corner of your mat, and the left foot to face the upper left corner of your mat.
  3. Exhale and bend your knees, sinking into a squat. Try to get the bottom of your thighs parallel to the floor.
  4. Draw the shoulder blades down and bring your arms up into a T shape. Bend your elbows so that your fingers are pointing skyward with your palms facing away from you.
  5. Maintain this pose for 30-45 seconds, breathing deeply.

 

6. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

  1. Remaining in a wide stance, point your right foot toward the front of your mat. Bend the right knee roughly 90 degrees as you straighten the left leg, angling your left foot inward a bit.
  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.

7. Reverse Warrior Pose (Viparita Virabhadrasana)

  1. Begin in Warrior II Pose.
  2. On an exhale, slide your right arm down your right leg and bring the left elbow overhead, your left hand reaching up and behind you. Gently shift your gaze up toward your elbow.
  3. Breath here for 30 seconds, then release back to Warrior II Pose.

8. Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana)

Transition: Inhale your torso back up, returning to Warrior II Pose.

  1. Inhale your arms up, extending them straight ahead of you or straight out to each side. Feel the energy flowing through your arms as you lengthen your side body.
  2. Slowly begin to shift your weight onto your right leg, firming the inner thighs and engaging the core.
  3. Inhale and lift your left leg, extending it straight and pressing through the heel. If you can, try to lift your leg so that it creates a straight line from the crown of your head to the heel of your left leg. Keep the right leg engaged.
  4. Challenge yourself to remain here for 30 seconds, keeping your breaths slow and deep.

 

9. Sugarcane Pose (Ardha Chandra Chapasana)

  1. From Warrior III Pose, rotate your upper body and pelvis outward to the left and bring your right hand to the floor (or a block).
  2. Inhale and bend your left knee. Roll your chest open as you grasp the top of your left foot with your left hand.
  3. Shift your gaze skyward and hold this pose for 30 seconds.

10. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

  1. Beginning in Sugarcane Pose, inhale, extend your left leg straight, and reach your left arm straight up toward the ceiling.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds, keeping the core engaged and right leg strong.

 

11. Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

Transition: Release from Dancer Pose, take a breath or two, then prepare to find your balance again.

  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.

12. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Transition: Release from Dancer Pose and come to the top of your mat, bringing your legs together hip-width apart in 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.

 

Repeat poses 1-12, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

13. Garland Pose (Malasana)

Transition: Release from Standing Forward Fold Pose, inhaling your torso up.

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, bring your feet slightly wider than hip width apart and angle your feet outward a bit.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring your palms together in the center with your elbows tucked against your inner thighs.
  4. Breathe deeply here for 30 seconds.

 

14. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Transition: From Garland Pose, sink all the way down to the floor to come into a seated position on your mat/floor.

  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. 
  5. Remain here for 30 seconds. 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!
  6. 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.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

  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.

2. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

  1. Begin in Staff Pose (Dandasana) with your sit bones grounded and your spine straight and tall.
  2. Inhale and lift your right leg, bringing it over the left leg and planting your foot on the mat beside your left outer thigh.
  3. Exhale and bend the left knee, bringing the heel of your left foot toward your right sit bone OR keep your left leg straight.
  4. Inhale and broaden your chest, keeping the shoulder blades strong and down away from the ears.
  5. Exhale and slowly twist your upper body to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outer side of your right knee. Your left palm should be facing out to the right. Shift your gaze out past your right shoulder.
  6. Breathe here for 30 seconds, gently pressing your elbow against your knee to deepen the twist with each exhale.
  7. Slowly release the twist and return to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.

3. Staff Pose w/ Feet Movements (Dandasana)

Transition: Release from Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana), bringing your legs together in front of you and relaxing your arms.

  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. Spend 30 seconds alternating rolling your feet/legs inward and outward.

 

4. Fish Pose Backbend Flow (Matsyasana)

  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. Repeat both movements once more, then release from the pose.

5. Caterpillar Pose

Transition: Release from Fish Pose Backbend Flow (Matsyasana) and raise your torso back up.

  1. Start in a seated position with your sit bones grounded and your legs extended in front of you. Your legs should be together or hip-width apart.
  2. Inhale and bend your knees slightly, keeping the heels on the ground. Engage the feet so that your toes point upward.
  3. Exhale and hinge at the hips to bring your torso forward to meet the thighs.
  4. On your next inhale, extend your arms forward to grab the outer sides of your feet.
  5. Spend 30 seconds here, breathing deeply.

6. Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Transition: Release from Caterpillar Pose by straightening your legs and raising your torso to sit up tall.

  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 30-60 seconds, lengthening your torso forward and walking your hands forward with each exhalation until you can grasp the outer sides of your feet.

7. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana) and lower your torso to the ground so that you’re lying supine.

  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.

8. Half Wind Release Pose (Ardha Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Lower yourself back down to the ground so that you’re lying supine again.

  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.

 

9. Wind Release Pose w/ Knee-to-Nose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Release from Half Wind Release Pose (Ardha Pavanmuktasana) and remain supine.

  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. As you exhale, lift your head up and bring your head to your knees (or as close as you can).
  4. Breathe deeply here for 30-60 seconds. With each exhalation, hug your knees a bit tighter and closer to your chest, then relax your grip slightly with each inhale.
 

10. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: From Wind Release Pose w/ Knee-to-Nose (Pavanmuktasana), relax your head back to the ground, and extend your legs forward.

  1. Start lying supine on your mat.
  2. On an exhale, bring your legs back up toward your chest.
  3. Inhale and grab onto the outer sides of your feet, widening your legs slightly and trying to bring your knees to your armpits.
  4. 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!

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

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

  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.

 

12. Banana Pose (Bananasana)

  1. Begin in a supine position on the floor/mat.
  2. Clasp your hands together and, trying to keep your shoulders on the ground, take a gentle side bend in the upper body.
  3. Keeping your legs tucked together, start to bend your legs to the same side that your arms are going toward.
  4. Inhale, breathing deep into your rib cage. Focus on the stretch, relaxing wherever you feel lingering tightness. Breathe here for 30 seconds.
  5. Exhale and relax back into a neutral position, then repeat on the other side.

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

Transition: Return your legs to center from Banana Pose.

  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.

14. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) by straightening one leg at a time.

  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!