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Yoga Day 43

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. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Transition: From Crocodile Pose, slowly work your way up to a standing position.

  1. Stand with your feet parallel a few inches apart (or, if you need to widen your stance for better support and stability, hip-width apart).
  2. Lifting one foot at a time, spread the toes and ball of the foot, then return them strong and flat to the floor with your weight evenly distributed.
  3. Lift your sternum up, creating a strong, open upper chest without drawing the lower ribs forward.
  4. Draw your shoulder blades slightly inward toward each other, and down away from your neck and ears. Stack and center the crown of your head over your pelvis with your bottom jaw parallel to the floor.
  5. Take one last breath or two here before moving on.

2. One-Legged Mountain Pose w/ Side Bend (Eka Pada Parsva Tadasana)

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose.
  2. Inhale your arms straight up toward the ceiling. Shift your weight onto your right foot and find your balance, then lift your left foot.
  3. Take a gentle side bend to the right with your upper body and arms, feeling the lengthening through the left side body.
  4. Try to remain here for 30 seconds, then release back to Mountain Pose. (Don’t worry about the left side here, we’ll get back to that!)

3. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Transition: From Mountain Pose, inhale and stretch your arms upward to join your palms together above your head.

  1. Beginning in Mountain Pose, bend your 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.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

4. Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

  1. Begin in 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, and breathe here for 30 seconds.
  3. On your next inhale, release from the twist to come back to regular Chair Pose.

 

5. Vinyasa I

Transition: From Chair Pose, bring your palms to the floor, planting them firmly. Step or jump your feet straight behind you in Plank Pose.

  1. On an exhale, lift your pelvis and lower your body to the ground (Four-Limbed Staff Pose).
  2. With your body on the ground, inhale and untuck your toes, lifting your torso off the ground (Upward-Facing Dog Pose).
  3. 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).

 

6. Reverse Warrior Pose (Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Transition: In Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inhale your right foot forward and rotate your left foot outward a bit, pivoting your body to face the left.

  1. Stretch your arms straight out to the side in a T shape and shift your gaze out to your right hand.
  2. Turn your right palm up toward the ceiling, then as you exhale, lower your left arm and slowly slide it down the back of your left leg
  3. Remain here for 30 seconds.

7. Twisted Reverse Warrior Pose (Parivrtta Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Transition: Inhale your upper body back up and your arms back into a T shape.

  1. Turn your left palm up toward the ceiling, then as you exhale, twist your torso to the right and slowly slide your right arm down the back of your left leg.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds.

8. Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Transition: Release from Twisted Reverse Warrior Pose, fold forward, and bring your right hand to the ground on the outside of your right foot.

  1. Inhale your left arm straight up, rolling your chest to the left and broadening the chest.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds, then release back to Warrior II.

 

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

 

9. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Transition: Release from Extended Side Angle Pose. Exhale and straighten your legs as you relax your arms back down to your sides to come into 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.

10. Crow Pose w/ Toe Taps (Bakasana)

Transition: From Forward Fold Pose, bend your knees and plant your hands on the ground.

  1. ​​Bend your elbows slightly, lean forward, and try to place your knees on the backs of your arms near your armpits.
  2. Slowly lean forward enough that you can bring your feet off the ground.
  3. Tap the toes of your right foot on the ground, then lift your foot again. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds on the right, then repeat on the left.

 

11. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Transition: Release from Crow Pose and stretch your legs out behind you.

  1. Plant your hands firmly on the ground, then step or jump your feet back, coming onto the toes and balls of the feet and creating a long, straight line from the crown of your head to your heels.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds.

12. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: From Plank Pose, lower your shins and the tops of your feet to the ground.

  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.

 

13. Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)

  1. Beginning in Child’s Pose, keep your forehead or the top of your head on the ground as you inhale and lift your sit bones away from your heels so that your knees create a 90-degree angle.
  2. Try to bring your head closer to your thighs as your slide your hands down your legs to grab your heels.
  3. Remain here for 30-60 seconds, breathing rhythmically and trying to deepen the stretch with each exhale.

 

14. Toe Squat w/ Cat-Cow Flow

Transition: Release from Rabbit Pose by lifting your torso back up, bringing your thighs together, and tucking your toes for Thunderbolt Pose.

  1. In Thunderbolt Pose, inhale and arch your back forward, pushing your tailbone outward. Tilt your head back slightly, keeping your shoulders engaged and opening the chest. (Cow)
  2. 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)
  3. Repeat this flow 5-10 times.

 

15. Thunderbolt Pose Heart Opener (Vajrasana)

Transition: Release from Toe Squat back to Thunderbolt Pose.

  1. Begin in Thunderbolt Pose.
  2. Point your toes with the tops of your feet flat on the floor/mat. Inhale deeply, broadening your chest and lengthening your spine.
  3. Exhale and bring your palms to the floor just behind your, taking a gentle backbend and allowing your neck to relax.
  4. Remain here for 60 seconds, opening your chest and deepening the stretch with each inhalation.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: From Thunderbolt Pose, release your legs and come to the floor 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.

2. Supine Butterfly Wings Flow (Supta Baddha Konasana)

  1. Start from Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana).
  2. As you inhale, bring the soles of your feet together, allowing the outer edge of your knees to drop to the sides.
  3. Imagine that your legs are now butterfly wings. Keeping the soles of your feet together, flap the butterfly wings by bringing the knees up and inward on the exhale, then lowering them once again on the inhale.
  4. Continue repeating this movement for 30-60 seconds..
  5. To release, straighten and stretch one leg at a time.

3. Banana Pose w/ Ankles Crossed (Bananasana)

Transition: Release your legs, straightening them and relaxing them down to the floor.

  1. Cross your right ankle over the left. Inhale and slide your hands and feet to the left in a deep side bend.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds, tuning into your breath.
  3. Inhale back to center and repeat this stretch on the opposite side.

4. Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Release from Banana Pose back to the center.

  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.
 

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

Transition: Relax your arms and legs down from Wind Release 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.

6. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: Release your legs from Supine Spinal Twist Pose back down to the floor.

  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!
 

7. Reclined Cow Face Pose (Supta Gomukhasana)

Transition: Exhale your legs back to the floor from Happy Baby Pose.

  1. Start out lying supine with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Bend your left knee and plant your foot on the mat, then cross your right leg over the left.
  3. Hug your knees in toward your chest enough to grab your right ankle with your left hand, and your left ankle with the right hand.
  4. Remain here, breathing deeply for 30 seconds, then inhale and return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat with your left leg crossed over your right.
 

8. Supine Spinal Twist Shoulder Stretch (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Transition: Relax your arms and legs to the floor from Reclined Cow Face 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 legs, bending at the knees ~90 degrees.
  4. Exhale and bring both knees to the floor on your right. Shift your gaze to your right fingertips.
  5. Stay here for 30 seconds. Each time you exhale, lift your left hand and sweep it over to touch your right. With each exhale, return the back of your left hand back to the floor, bringing your arms back to a T shape.
  6. On an inhale, return your legs to the center and repeat on your left side.
 

9. Cat Pulling Tail Pose

Transition: From Supine Spinal Twist Pose, release your legs straight and roll over onto your belly in a prone position.

  1. Roll onto your right side, bringing your upper right arm and elbow to the floor and resting your head in your right hand.
  2. Bend your left knee, bringing the inner side of your knee to the ground. Try to widen it a bit further away from your right leg, creating a deep stretch in your left leg.
  3. Inhale and bend your right knee, bringing the foot up behind you. Grab onto the top of your foot with your left hand.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then release back into the prone position you started in and repeat on the opposite side.

 

10. Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)

Transition: Remain in a prone position.

  1. Bring your body down to the floor completely, crossing your arms on the mat in front of you and bringing your forehead to rest on your forearms.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds, completely relaxing your body.

11. Easy Half Bow Pose (Ardha Dhanurasana)

  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.

12. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: From Easy Half Bow Pose, relax yourself down to the ground and roll over onto your back in a supine position.

  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!