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Yoga Day 44

WARM-UP

1. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Starting position: Begin in a seated position with your legs straight 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. 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.
  5. Remain here for 60 seconds, breathing deeply.

2. 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 bent or extend it straight.
  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 seconds, release your right leg back to the mat, then repeat with the left leg.

3. Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

Transition: Release from Cradle Pose and extend your legs straight.

  1. Bend your left knee, bringing the bottom of your foot toward your right inner thigh, and heel close to the groin.
  2. Sit up tall, lengthening the spine as you inhale.
  3. Exhale and hinge at the hips to fold forward over your right leg. Reach for the sides of your right foot with both hands. Keep the spine and neck straight, your gaze down.
  4. Stay here, breathing deeply for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

 

4. Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana)

  1. From Head to Knee Pose, roll the chest open to the left as you inhale your left arm overhead, pointing toward your right foot.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

 

5. Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)

Transition: Release from Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose and bring your body to the mat 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. Take a breath or two here to gather your thoughts, completely relaxing your body.

 

6. Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

  1. Begin in a prone (on your belly) position with your arms extending behind you, palms on the ground.
  2. Place the tops of your toes flat against the floor, pressing down with all 10 toenails.
  3. Press lightly on the floor with your hands, activate your core, and lift your thighs, lower legs, and torso away from the ground. Knit your shoulder blades together and the chest broad.
  4. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, then slowly release back down to the floor.

7. Dolphin Pose (Catur Svanasana)

Transition: Release from Locust Pose, relaxing your body down to the floor.

  1. 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.
  2. Inhale, tuck your toes and lift your sit bones up and back just as you would for Downward-Facing Dog Pose.
  3. Breathe here for 60 seconds.

8. Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: From Dolphin Pose, plant your palms and push the floor away as you lift your forearms and elbows away from the floor to come into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

  1. Beginning in Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inhale and lift your right leg, extending it up and out.
  2. Take a full breath here.

 

9. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

Transition: From Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose, exhale your right leg forward to the outside of your right arm.

  1. Stack your right knee above the ankle. Adjust your foot ever so slightly to point outward at a ~45-degree angle. Keep your left leg straight, toes tucked, and left thighbone pushing away from the floor.
  2. Take a deep breath, then exhale and bring your forearms to the floor. Keep your neck neutral, and your spine long and straight.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

10. Triangle Pose w/ Bent Knee (Trikonasana)

Transition: From Lizard Pose, inhale your torso up and push the ground away with your right foot as you extend your right leg. Come up into a standing position in a wide-legged stance.

  1. Angle your left foot toward the left side of your mat while keeping the right toes pointed forward. Roll your right thigh outward so that your knee aligns with your first two toes.
  2. As you lengthen both sides of the waist, bring your arms up and out to both sides so that they are parallel to the floor.
  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. Now, bend your right knee to create a ~90-degree angle, keeping your knee stacked above your ankle.
  6. 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. Remain here for 30 seconds.
  7. Release by pressing your feet firmly into the floor, leading your torso back up with your left hand.

 

Repeat poses 8-10, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.


11. Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana)

Transition: Release from Triangle Pose by straightening both legs and relaxing your hands to your sides. Step or jump your feet together hip-distance apart for 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 seconds.

 

12. Dangling Pose (Baddha Uttanasana)

  1. While in Standing Forward Fold Pose, allow your arms to dangle freely, or grab onto your elbows. Feel free to rock gently from side to side.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds.

 

13. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Transition: Release from Dangling Pose by raising your torso back up and straightening both legs to come into Mountain Pose.

  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.

 

14. Standing Backbend Pose (Anuvittasana)

Transition: Release from Chair Pose, straightening your legs and relaxing your arms to your sides.

  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.

PEAK FLOW

1. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Transition: Inhale yourself out of the backbend, remaining in Mountain Pose.

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana).
  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. Stay 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.

2. Tree Pose w/ Side Bend (Vrksasana)

  1. From Tree Pose, take a gentle side bend to the right.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds as you try to maintain balance.

3. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Transition: Release from Tree Pose back to Mountain Pose.

  1. 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.

 

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 hold this pose for 30 seconds.
  3. On an inhale, release from the twist to come back to regular Chair Pose.

 

Repeat poses 1-4, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

5. Downward Dog to Upward Dog Pose Flow

Transition: Release from Revolved Chair Pose and bring your palms to the floor.

  1. Begin by coming into Downward-Facing Dog Pose by pressing the floor away with your palms, stepping your feet back behind you, and lifting your sit bones up and back.
  2. Inhale yourself forward into Plank Pose.
  3. Exhale and lower yourself to the ground slowly, then inhale and press your upper body straight upward into Upward-Facing Dog Pose.

 

6. Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Tri Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Transition: From Upward-Facing Dog Pose, tuck your toes and inhale your sit bones up and back to enter Downward-Facing Dog Pose once more.

  1. In Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inhale and lift your right leg, extending it up and out.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

7. Bound Warrior to Humble Warrior Pose Flow (Virabhadrasana)

Transition: From Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog Pose, bring your right foot forward.

  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.
  5. Clasp your hands together behind your back and extend them backward, broadening your chest. (Bound Warrior)
  6. Take 1-2 deep breaths here, then exhale and hinge your torso forward as you raise your clasped hands skyward. (Humble Warrior Pose)
  7. Inhale yourself back up into Bound Warrior Pose.
  8. Flow between these movements for 30 seconds.

8. Crescent Low Lunge to Half Split Pose Flow

Transition: Ending in Bound Warrior Pose, release your left knee to the floor, untuck your toes, and lunge slightly further forward.

  1. Beginning in a low lunge, inhale your arms up, bringing your palms together overhead. (Crescent Low Lunge)
  2. Exhale and sweep your arms backward as you bend your left knee to a 90-degree angle. Lift the front of your right foot so that your right heel is the only part of your foot still touching the mat as you straighten your right leg. (Half Split Pose)
  3. Inhale forward again, coming back into Crescent Low Lunge.
  4. Alternate between these poses, flowing with your breath for 30 seconds.

 

Repeat poses 5-8, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

9. Crow Pose w/ Toe Taps (Bakasana)

Transition: Plant your palms and step your back foot forward, coming into a Standing Forward Fold Pose.

  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.

10. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Transition: From Crow Pose, swing your legs forward between your arms, coming into a seated position.

  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 seconds.

 

11. Seated Forward Fold Pose (Paschimottanasana)

  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.

12. Wind Release Pose (Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Forward Fold Pose, then lie back on the floor.

  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.

 


COOL DOWN

1. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: From Wind Release Pose, release your legs and remain 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 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!