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Yoga Day 39

WARM-UP

1. Wrist Flexion/Extension

Starting position: Begin this warm-up by standing in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat.

  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.

2. 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 seconds, then outward for 15 seconds.

3. Neck Twists

  1. Begin in a standing 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.

 

4. Standing Ankle Rotation

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Slowly shift your weight onto your left leg.
  3. Inhale and lift your right leg, bending your knee ~90 degrees.
  4. Pointing your toes, move your feet in a circular motion at the ankle joint.
  5. Spend 15 seconds rotating your right ankle clockwise, then 15 seconds counterclockwise.
  6. Exhale your right foot back to the ground, then repeat with your left foot lifted.

 

5. Standing Knee Rotation

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Slowly shift your weight onto your left leg.
  3. Inhale and lift your right leg, bending your knee ~90 degrees.
  4. Pointing your toes, move your lower leg in a circular motion at the knee joint.
  5. Spend 15 seconds rotating your right knee clockwise, then 15 seconds counterclockwise.
  6. Exhale your right foot back to the ground, then repeat with your left leg lifted.

 

6. Leg Kicks Flow

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Slowly shift your weight onto your left leg.
  3. Inhale and bend your right knee, bringing your heel to your buttocks.
  4. Exhale and swing your leg forward.
  5. Inhale and repeat. Alternate between these two movements with each breath for 30 seconds.
  6. Release your right foot back to the floor, then shift your weight to the right and repeat with the left leg lifted.

7. Side Lunge Pose w/ Arms Raised (Skandasana)

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, bring your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Keep your spine straight and shift your weight slightly back onto your heels. Bring your palms together in front of your chest as if to pray.
  2. As you inhale, shift your weight to the right, bending your right knee ~90-degrees, stacking your right knee over your right ankle.
  3. Remain here for 30 seconds, then exhale back to starting position and repeat on the other side.

8. Standing Pelvic Circles

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose and place your hands on your hips.
  2. Keeping your core engaged, draw circles in the air by moving your pelvis/hips in a wide circular motion.
  3. Continue this motion for 30 seconds clockwise, then 30 seconds counterclockwise.

 

9. Intense Side Stretch Pose (Parsvottanasana)

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Step your feet apart and come into a wide-legged stance with your feet further than hip distance apart.
  3. Inhale and broaden your chest, joining your palms together (like prayer/namaste hands) behind your back. Alternatively, just clasp your hands together behind your back and extend your arms down/back. Feel your spine lengthening, tall and straight.
  4. Exhale and hinge at the hips, folding forward and to the right next to your right leg.
  5. Remain here for 30 seconds, then inhale your torso back up.
  6. Repeat on the other side.

10. Standing Backbend Pose (Anuvittasana)

Transition: Step your feet in, returning to Mountain Pose.

  1. From Mountain Pose, bring your hands to the outer sides of the small of your back.
  2. Knit your shoulder blades together to broaden your chest. As you inhale, imagine that there’s a string attached to the very center of your chest near your heart that is being pulled up to help open your heart’s center. Allow your neck to continue the curve in your upper back as you relax your head backward.
  3. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, feeling the backbend deepen with each exhale.

 

11. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

  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.

12. Plank Pose w/ Knee-to-Elbow (Phalakasana)

Transition: From Standing Forward Fold Pose, plant your palms on the floor and step/jump your feet back behind you to come into Plank Pose.

  1. In Plank Pose, inhale your right leg up.
  2. Exhale, and try to bring your right knee to your left elbow.
  3. Inhale your right leg straight back again, then repeat this movement 5-10 times.
  4. Inhale and release your right foot back to the floor, then repeat with your left leg lifted.

 

13. Forearm Plank Flow (Phalakasana)

Transition: Remain in Plank Pose.

  1. Beginning in Plank Pose, bring your forearms to the ground on your next exhale, palms facing down and planted firmly for support. Take 1-2 breaths here.
  2. Inhale and lift yourself back up to a regular plank and take 1-2 breaths.
  3. Alternate between Plank Pose and Forearm Plank Pose 5-10 times. Try to speed it up a little bit each time and see how many reps you can do!

 

14. Forearm Plank Hip Twists (Phalakasana)

  1. Begin in Forearm Plank Pose.
  2. On an exhale, roll your body to the side and try to tap the outside of your right hip to the floor.
  3. Inhale back up to starting position, then exhale and tap your left hip to the floor.
  4. Repeat this movement 5-10 times.

 

15. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

Transition: From Forearm Plank Pose, exhale your body completely to the floor.

  1. Start out lying flat on your belly. Tuck your tailbone forward and down, lengthening and broadening the lower back. Press the tops of your feet firmly into the mat.
  2. Inhale and come up onto your forearms, keeping them parallel to each other and lifting your upper torso away from the ground.
  3. Breathe deeply here for 60 seconds.

 

16. Sphinx Pose Cat-Cow Flow (Salamba Bhujangasana)

  1. Begin in Sphinx Pose.
  2. On an exhale, round your back and engage your core as you lift your pelvis and thighs away from the floor. (Cat)
  3. Inhale and return to Sphinx Pose.
  4. Alternate between these movements for 30-60 seconds.
 

PEAK FLOW

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

Transition: From Sphinx Pose, plant your hands firmly on your mat. Push the ground away and lift your sit bones up and 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.
  2. Remain here for 2-3 full breaths.

2. Downward Dog to Plank Pose Flow

  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.

3. Forward Fold Flow

Transition: Keeping your hands planted, slowly walk your feet toward your hands to come into a forward fold.

  1. Beginning in Forward Fold Pose, inhale and lift your torso so that it’s a straight horizontal line with your spine and neck neutral.
  2. Exhale back down to a full Forward Fold.

 

4. Volcano Pose (Urdhva Hastasana)

Transition: Slowly inhale your way up from Forward Fold Pose to Mountain Pose.

  1. While in Mountain Pose, inhale and sweep your arms up over your head, either joining your palms together or keeping them parallel to each other.
  2. Shift your gaze up to the ceiling and breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

5. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Transition: Release your arms to your sides, returning to Mountain Pose.

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, bring your palms together in front of your chest. Begin slowly shifting your weight onto your right leg.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

6. Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

Transition: Release from Tree Pose back to Mountain Pose.

  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.

7. Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

Transition: Release from Dancer Pose, planting your left foot back behind you.

  1. 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. Remain here for 30 seconds.

8. Downward Dog to Mountain Pose Flow

Transition: Exhale your palms to the ground and step your right foot back to flow into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

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

 

Repeat poses 1-7, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

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

Transition: From Mountain Pose, exhale your palms to the ground and step your right foot back to flow into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

  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.
  2. Remain here for 1-2 breaths.

10. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

  1. Inhale your body forward, stacking your wrists under your shoulders and extending your legs straight behind you to come into Plank Pose.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds.

 

11. Side Plank 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.

12. Wild Thing Pose (Camatkarasana)

  1. In Side Plank Pose, keep your left arm firmly planted, shoulders stacked above the hands.
  2. With your left foot planted, grounding through all four corners of the foot, lift the right foot and bring the ball of the foot to the floor slightly behind you.
  3. Inhale and try to roll your body further so that your chest is angled skyward and your right arm is extended toward the wall behind you with your upper arm next to your ear.

 

Repeat poses 9-12, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

13. Wide Child's Pose (Prasarita Balasana)

Transition: Release from Wild Thing Pose, bringing your hands and knees to the mat in Table Top Pose.

  1. Starting on your hands and knees, make sure your knees are slightly wider than hip-distance apart while bringing the toes of both feet together.
  2. Press your palms into the mat as if to push the ground away from you and sink your sit bones all the way down and back to rest your heels.
  3. Rest your forehead on the mat, close your eyes, and breathe deep. Remain here for 30 seconds.

 

14. Eight-Limbed Striking Cobra Flow

  1. Inhale one last time in Wide Child’s Pose.
  2. Exhale and rock forward onto your hands, arching your back slightly and bringing the tailbone up to flow into Four-Limbed Staff Pose.
  3. On your next inhale, push the floor away and extend your arms straight to lift your upper body into Cobra Pose.
  4. Exhale your way back down into Four-Limbed Staff Pose.
  5. Inhale, then exhale your sit bones back toward your heels, returning to Child’s Pose.
  6. Repeat this flow for 30 seconds.

 

15. Puppy Dog Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Transition: From Child’s Pose, inhale yourself up onto your hands and knees.

  1. Inhale and tuck the toes as your slowly walk your hands forward.
  2. Exhale and move your sit bones back halfway toward your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor, relaxing your neck. Push your tailbone slightly outward, creating a gentle curve in the lower back.
  3. Breathe deeply here, directing the air toward your lower back for 30-60 seconds.

 

16. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: From Puppy Dog Pose, inhale yourself up onto your hands and knees.

  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. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Transition: From Child's Pose, inhale your torso straight up and swing your legs around to extend them in front of you.

  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. Your arms and shoulders should remain relaxed, but your spine should be long and straight.
  3. 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!
  4. Remain here for 60 seconds.
  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.

2. 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.

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

Transition: Inhale your torso up straight and extend your legs forward.

  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.

4. Sitting Swan Pose

Transition: Release from Half Lord of the Fishes back into Staff Pose.

  1. Start in a seated position with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands on the floor behind you and lean your torso back, shifting your upper body weight to your palms.
  3. Bring your right ankle to your left thigh, just above the left knee.
  4. 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.
  5. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.
 

5. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: Release your legs straight and slowly lower yourself back and down to the floor until you’re lying in a supine position.

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

Transition: Release from Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana) by returning your arms and legs to the floor.

  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.
 

7. Half Plow Pose (Ardha Halasana)

Transition: Release your legs, relaxing them straight out in front of you.

  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.
 

8. Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Transition: Release your legs and slowly come back up to a seated position in Staff Pose.

  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. Breathe deeply here for 60 seconds.
 

9. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: Release yourself all the way down to the mat in a supine position.

  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.
  3. Stay in the pose for 30-60 seconds, maintaining slow, rhythmic breaths.

 

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

Transition: Release your legs and arms from Reclining Bound Angle Pose, relaxing them to the floor.

  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.

11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release the stretch and allow your muscles to relax completely into 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!