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Yoga Day 41

WARM-UP

1. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Starting position: Begin lying supine on your mat/floor.

  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 60 seconds, maintaining slow, rhythmic breaths.

2. Revolved Abdomen Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Transition: Remain supine and release your legs straight.

  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 for 30 seconds, then inhale and return to the center.
  5. Repeat with your legs pointed toward the left.

3. Forward-to-Backward Neck Stretch

Transition: Inhale yourself up into a seated position.

  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.

 

4. 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.

 

5. Alternating Shoulder Shrugs

  1. Exhale and fully relax any tension in your shoulders. Let gravity pull down on your arms, pulling the tightness away.
  2. Keeping your neck straight, inhale, and shrug your right shoulder upward.
  3. Exhale and relax your right shoulder again.
  4. Repeat with the left shoulder, then continue alternating shoulders 5-10 times.

 

6. Seated Torso Circles (Sufi Grinds)

Transition: Bend your knees and come into a cross-legged seated position in Easy Pose.

  1. In Easy Pose (Sukhasana), 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.

7. Seated Straddle Pose (Upavistha Konasana)

Transition: Extend your legs straight out in front of you once more.

  1. Starting from Staff Pose (Dandasana), lean back slightly, supporting yourself by planting your hands on the ground slightly behind you on each side.
  2. Inhale and push your thigh bones into the ground and open your legs roughly 90 degrees (or whatever amount feels the most beneficial for you).
  3. Exhale and engage your feet, toes pointing straight up.
  4. Bring your palms to the ground in front of you, leaning your torso forward as much as your comfortably can.
  5. Breathe deeply here for 30-60 seconds.

8. Seated Forward Fold Prep (Paschimottanasana)

Transition: Bring your legs back together, returning to Staff Pose.

  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. Clasp your fingers, palms facing outward, and extend your arms straight.
  3. Inhale and keep the front of your torso long as you hinge forward at the hips, but without fully folding. See how far forward you can reach your arms.
  4. Remain and breathe here for 30 seconds, continuing to lengthen forward.

 

9. Sage Marichi Pose C (Marichyasana)

Transition: Inhale yourself up, coming back into 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.

10. Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana)

Transition: Extend both legs straight once more and release from Sage Marichi Pose C.

  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.

 

11. Upward-Facing Seated Straddle w/ Toe Grab (Urdhva Mukha Upavistha Padangusthasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Forward Fold Pose back up to Staff Pose.

  1. Starting from Staff Pose (Dandasana), lean back slightly, supporting yourself by planting your hands on the ground slightly behind you on each side.
  2. Inhale and push your thigh bones into the ground and open your legs roughly 90 degrees (or whatever amount feels the most beneficial for you).
  3. Exhale and engage your feet, toes pointing straight up, hingeing forward at the hips just far enough to grab your big toe with your thumb, index, and middle fingers.
  4. Inhale and shift your weight slightly back, broaden the chest, and tilt your head back to gaze at the ceiling - or however far you can without straining the neck.
  5. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply.

12. Cat-Cow Pose (Chakravakasana)

Transition: Release from Upward-Facing Seated Straddle w/ Toe Grab and rock forward, slowly coming onto your hands and knees.

  1. Slowly bend your knees, shift them to the side, and rock forward onto your hands and knees in Table Top Pose.
  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.

 

13. Table Top Side-to-Side Flow (Bharmanasana)

  1. In Table Top Pose, bring your arms slightly wider, bring your legs together, and take a deep inhale here.
  2. On the exhale, lean your body to the right, keeping your knees on the ground.
  3. Inhale back to the center, then exhale and lean your body to the left.
  4. Repeat this movement slowly back and forth for 30-60 second.

 

14. Balancing Table Top Knee-to-Nose Crunches (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Return to a normal Table Top Pose with your hips stacked above your knees and shoulders stacked above your hands.

  1. Begin in Table Top Pose.
  2. Inhale your right leg up straight behind you.
  3. Exhale, tuck your chin, bend your right knee, and bring the right knee forward toward your nose.
  4. Inhale and release, returning to Table Top Pose.
  5. Exhale, then inhale and repeat 4-5 more times on the right.
  6. Repeat on the left side with the same amount of reps.

 

15. Unilateral Balancing Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

  1. Begin in Table Top Pose.
  2. Begin to shift your weight over onto your left leg and hand. When you’re stable and balanced enough to do so, inhale and slowly lift your right hand and leg, extending them straight.
  3. Try to remain here in this pose for 30 seconds, then exhale to release.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.

 

16. Wide Child's Pose (Prasarita Balasana)

  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 60 seconds.

PEAK FLOW

1. Standing Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: From Wide Child’s 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. 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!