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Yoga Day 36

WARM-UP

1. Toe Flexion/Extension

  1. Start in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Curl your toes forward, then raise them up so that the tips of your toes point toward you.
  3. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds, taking it nice and slow, then relax your toes.

2. Ankle Rotations

  1. Lift your right leg, placing both hands on the back of your right thigh to support it, and bring the knee up near your chest.
  2. Keeping the right foot off the ground, rotate your lower leg clockwise in a circular motion for 15 seconds, then counterclockwise for 15 seconds.
  3. Return your right leg to the mat, then repeat on the left.

3. Seated Knee Rotations

  1. Lie face down on the ground, toes pointed, ankles touching the ground. Extend your arms forward like Superman in flight, palms down, touching the ground.
  2. Pull one arm and the opposite leg off the ground by engaging your glutes, shoulders, core, and back. They should raise up 
2-3 inches.
  3. Ensure that your arms are also fully contracted.
  4. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
  5. Slowly lower your arm and leg back 
to the starting position. Repeat, using 
the other arm and opposite leg.
  6. Perform 10-15 repetitions on each 
side for a total of 20-30 repetitions.

 

4. 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 30-45 seconds, release your right leg back to the mat, then repeat with the left leg.

 

5. Seated Hip Rotations

  1. Bring your right ankle to the top of your left thigh.
  2. Start by gently pushing down on your right knee just enough to feel a stretch in the hips, then use your hand to gently pull the knee back up, repeating 4-5 times.
  3. Draw small circles in the air with your right knee 5 times, reverse the circles 5 times, and return to starting position.
  4. Finally, repeat on the left side.

 

6. 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.

 

7. Finger Abduction/Adduction

  1. With your hands raised or palms resting flat on your lap, alternate spreading and closing your fingers for 30 seconds.

 

8. Wrist Flexion/Extension

  1. Hold your arms in front of you; parallel to the ground with palms facing down and fingertips pointing straight ahead.
  2. Without moving anything but your wrists, slowly raise your fingertips to point skyward.
  3. Return to neutral, then bend your wrists so that your fingertips point to the ground.
  4. Repeat for 30 seconds.

9. Wrist Rotations

  1. With your arms still held out in front of you, move your thumbs to the center of your palm and close your fists around them.
  2. Rotate your hands at the wrist joint, first inward toward each other for 15-30 seconds, then outward for 15-30 seconds.

10. Elbow Flexion/Extension

  1. Keeping your arms outstretched, rotate your palms to face the ceiling.
  2. Slowly bend your elbows, bringing your right hand to your right shoulder and your left hand to your left shoulder.
  3. Hold for a moment or two, then slowly straighten your arms back out.
  4. Repeat 5-10 times (or 30 seconds).

 

11. Shoulder Socket Rotations

  1. Bring your right hand to your right shoulder, and your left hand to your left shoulder.
  2. Start by drawing the elbows inward to touch each other.
  3. Next, bring your elbows up next to your head so that they point to the ceiling.
  4. Then, bring the elbows back down and open them outward so that they point to either side of you.
  5. Repeat this movement for 30-60 seconds.

 

12. 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.

 

13. Easy Pose Upward Salute (Sukhasana Variation)

  1. Come into Easy Pose (Sukhasana) by sitting cross-legged, keeping your spine tall and chin parallel to the floor.
  2. Bring the palms of your hands together in front of your chest as if to pray, taking a moment to center yourself and breathe deep.
  3. Next, keeping your palms together, straighten your arms out in front of you with your fingertips pointing ahead of you.
  4. Take a deep breath, then bring them back to your chest for another deep breath.
  5. Finally, raise your joined hands above your head, fingertips pointing skyward.
  6. Remain here for 2-3 deep breaths, then bring your hands back in front of your chest. (30-60 seconds)

 

14. Easy Pose Side Bend w/ Fingers Interlocked (Parsva Sukhasana)

  1. Interlock your fingers with your palms facing away from you.
  2. Start by stretching your arms out straight ahead of you, feeling the stretch in your arms and shoulders as you take a deep breath.
  3. Then, with your fingers still interlocked, raise your arms above your head.
  4. Take 1-2 deep breaths here, then change the interlocking of your fingers so that the index finger of the opposite hand is now on top of the other and repeat.

 

15. Revolved Easy Pose (Parivrtta Sukhasana)

  1. Still in Easy Pose (Sukhasana), place your right hand on the ground next to you and bring your left hand to your right knee.
  2. Using that knee as leverage, slowly twist your torso toward the right, shifting your gaze out over the right shoulder.
  3. Take 1-2 deep breaths here, then slowly release the twist and bring your left hand to the ground next to you.
  4. Repeat on the left side.

 

16. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

  1. Slowly uncross your legs and rock forward onto your hands and knees.
  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 30-60 seconds.


 

PEAK FLOW

1. Standing Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: From Cat-Cow Pose, inhale and work your way up to a standing position at the front of your mat.

  1. Beginning in 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, then release back to Mountain Pose.

2. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

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

3. Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Parivrtta Padangusthasana)

  1. Reach down with your left hand, grasping the big toe of your right foot with your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
  2. Inhale and try to straighten and extend your right leg and left arm. Bring your right arm up to shoulder level, shifting your gaze out past your right hand.
  3. Breathe deeply here for 30 seconds, maintaining balance with a strong core and grounded leg.

 

4. Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

Transition: Release from Revolved Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, coming back to Mountain Pose.

  1. Sink your sit bones down and back to lower into 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.
  3. Remain here for 30 seconds.

 

5. High Lunge w/ Arms Extended (Ashta Chandrasana)

Transition: Release from Revolved Chair Pose, then keep your right foot forward and step your left foot back.

  1. With your right leg forward, knee bent at ~90 degrees, keep your pelvis squarely forward and engage your core, tucking your tailbone forward slightly. Push back through the left thighbone.
  2. Extend your arms, bringing your upper arms next to your ears, and remain here for 30 seconds.

 

6. Easy Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

Transition: From High Lunge Pose, lower your left knee to the ground.

  1. Bring your palms together in front of your chest, pushing them together.
  2. Inhale and lengthen the spine, then exhale and try to extend further forward.
  3. On the next inhale, twist to the right so that the back of your upper left arm is on the outer side of your right leg.
  4. Remain here for 30 seconds.

7. Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

  1. Keeping the rest of your body in Easy Revolved Side Angle Pose, inhale, and lift your left knee away from the floor.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

8. Downward Dog Vinyasa Flow

Transition: Release from the twist, plant both palms on the floor, and step your front leg back.

  1. Tuck your toes, then inhale and lift onto them, taking the tailbone back and up until your arms and legs are fully extended, creating an upside-down V shape with your body. Take a breath or two here.
  2. Bring your forearms to the floor in front of you and either clasp your hands together or place your palms on the floor for support. Breathe here for a moment.
  3. Inhale back up onto your hands, stacking them below your shoulders. As you exhale, slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows create a 90-degree angle.
  4. Inhale and lower your gaze to the floor a few inches ahead of you. As you exhale, try to lower yourself just a tad further.
  5. Inhale and extend your arms, lifting your torso up into Plank Pose.
  6. On the next inhale, float your tailbone up and back until your arms and legs are fully extended, creating an upside-down V shape with your body. Take one last deep breath here before moving on.

 

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

 

9. Four-Limbed Staff to Plank Push-Up

Transition: Inhale your body forward, stacking your wrists under your shoulders and extending your legs straight behind you to come into Plank Pose.

  1. As you exhale, slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows create a 90-degree angle.
  2. Inhale and lower your gaze to the floor a few inches ahead of you. As you exhale, try to lower yourself just a tad further.
  3. On the next inhale, extend your arms to come back into Plank Pose.
  4. Take another deep breath or two here.

10. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: Release from Plank Pose, bringing your knees to the floor.

  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. Thread the Needle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana)

Transition: From Child’s Pose, rock forward onto your hands and knees in Table Top Pose.

  1. 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.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds, resting your left ear to the floor and progressively relaxing deeper into the pose.
  3. Inhale and return to your hands and knees, then repeat with the right arm threaded under you.

2. Striking Cobra Flow

Transition: From Thread the Needle Pose, release and relax your sit bones back to come into Child’s Pose.

  1. Take a moment to center yourself in Child's Pose.
  2. On your next inhale, raise your upper body and walk your upper body forward slightly as you extend your legs behind. Exhale, allowing the front of your pelvis to become grounded.
  3. Inhale and extend your arms and shift your gaze slightly up so that the curve in the back of your neck is a continuation of the curve created by your spine.
  4. Breathe deeply here for 3-4 full breath cycles.

3. Easy Half Bow Pose (Eka Pada Dhanurasana)

Transition: From Striking Cobra Pose, fully release your body to the floor with your arms extended flat on the floor in front of you and rest your forehead for a moment.

  1. Begin by lying prone on the floor with your arms outstretched forward.
  2. Inhale and bend your right knee to kick your foot toward your buttocks, grabbing onto it with your right hand. Keep your right thigh, hips, and the front of your right shoulder grounded.
  3. Remain here for 30 seconds, pressing the top of your foot into your hand just enough to keep your right arm fully extended.
  4. On an exhale, release your foot and arm back to the starting position, then repeat on the other side.

4. Half Wind Release Pose (Ardha Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Lower yourself back down to the ground, then roll over onto your back in the center of your mat.

  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.
 

5. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: From Half Wind Release Pose, relax everything back down to the floor/mat, remaining on your back.

  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!

6. Revolved Abdomen Twist Pose (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Transition: From Happy Baby Pose, release your arms and legs down to the mat and bring them together.

  1. Inhale and sweep the arms along the floor, bringing them to a T-shape with your palms facing skyward.
  2. With your legs together and toes pointed, exhale and take a gentle twist to bring them both to the right, left leg stacked on top of the right. You can choose to keep them extended straight, or bend the knees so that your legs are parallel to your right arm.
  3. If it’s comfortable to do so, shift your gaze toward your left hand.
  4. Remain here and breathe deeply for 30 seconds, then inhale and return to the center.
  5. Repeat with your legs pointed toward the left.

 

7. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Transition: From Revolved Abdomen Twist, release your legs back to the center, then slowly push yourself up to a seated position.

  1. Begin seated 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.
 

8. Bharadvaja's Twist (Bharadvajasana)

Transition: From Staff Pose, shift your weight to the right, bringing your right palm to the floor next to you for support. Bend your knees and bring the right foot to the groin and the left foot to the outer side of your left hip.

  1. Inhale deep, mindfully opening and broadening the chest. Root the shoulder blades down away from the ears.
  2. Bring your left hand behind you and grasp the right elbow (or reach as close to it as you can).
  3. Gaze out over your right shoulder, taking deep breaths. Remain here for 30 seconds, then exhale and release the twist.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.
 

9. Easy Boat Pose (Sahaja Navasana)

Transition: From Bharadvaja’s Twist, release back into Staff Pose with your legs straight in front of you.

  1. Bend your legs at the knees, resting the feet flat on the floor/mat close to your body. Raise your arms straight in front of you, parallel to the floor with palms facing inward toward each other.
  2. Now, engage your core and lean back slightly as you inhale.
  3. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds, then exhale and return to the starting position.

10. Upward Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)

Transition: Release back into Staff Pose with your spine tall, sit bones grounded, and legs extended in front of you.

  1. Place your hands on the mat next to your hips, fingers pointing straight ahead. Bring your big toes together, but rotate the heels outward a bit to create space there. Rotate your inner thighs down toward the mat slightly.
  2. Inhale and knit your shoulder blades in toward each other, lifting and broadening your chest.
  3. Exhale, point your toes forward, then reach forward and down with the bottoms of your toes. Plant your feet and toes firmly, keeping your big toes rotated in toward each other.
  4. Press down into your feet and toes, lifting your knees and pelvis. Relax your head back, but not so far that it disrupts breathing.
  5. Remain here, breathing deeply for 30-60 seconds.

11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Upward Plank Pose into a supine position on your floor/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!