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Yoga Day 48

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. Downward Dog to Three-Legged Downward Pose Flow

Starting position: From Crocodile Pose, tuck your toes, plant your palms below your shoulders, and inhale your sit bones up and back for Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

  1. Beginning in Downward-Facing Dog Pose, spend a few breaths gathering your thoughts, centering yourself, and tuning in to your practice.
  2. Inhale your right leg straight up into the air behind you.

2. Fallen Triangle Pose (Patita Tarasana)

Transition: From Three-Legged Downward Facing Dog, rotate your left foot so that your toes point to the left edge of your mat.

  1. Exhale, bend your right knee and thread your right leg underneath your left. Extend your right leg straight to the left, bringing the outer edge of your right foot to the floor. Make sure your foot is actively flexed.
  2. Inhale and raise your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, rolling your chest open.
  3. Take 2-3 breaths here. Try to bring your raised arm further up and behind you to create even more space and broadening in the chest.

3. Runner's Lunge Pose (Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana)

Transition: From Fallen Triangle Pose, bring both hands back to the floor and your right leg back to the center.

  1. Keeping your hands on the mat, lean forward to lunge over your right knee. Lift onto the ball off the left foot.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

4. Triangle Pose Side Stretch (Trikonasana)

Transition: From Runner's Lunge Pose, inhale your torso upward, then pivot to face the left side of your mat.

  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, then over your head so that your upper arm is next to your ear.
  5. Lengthen through the sides of the neck, keeping the neck aligned neutrally with the spine. Shift the gaze straight ahead or up, and breathe here for 30 seconds.
  6. Release by pressing your feet firmly into the floor, leading your torso back up with your left hand.

 

5. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Transition: Release from Triangle Pose by pressing your feet firmly into the floor, leading your torso back up with your left hand.

  1. Begin with your right foot forward and your left foot rotated outward a bit.
  2. Stretch your arms straight out to the side in a T shape and shift your gaze out to your right hand.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

6. Downward Dog to Three-Legged Downward Dog Pose Flow

Transition: From Warrior II Pose, bring both palms back to the floor and step/jump both legs back.

  1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Spend a few breaths here just gathering your thoughts, centering yourself, and tuning in to your practice.
  2. Inhale your right leg straight up into the air behind you.

7. Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

Transition: Exhale your right foot forward, planting it between your palms again.

  1. Inhale and engage your core, tucking your tailbone slightly forward and pulling your belly button up and in, as you lift your torso away from your right thigh. Place your hands on top
  2. Exhale and slowly lower your left knee, shin, and top of your foot to the floor. 
  3. Breathe here, making sure your hips and pelvis are squared forward and even, for 30 seconds. Push your left thighbone backward, sinking into a deep lunge.

8. Low Lunge w/ Tricep Stretch (Anjaneyasana)

  1. Beginning in Low Lunge Pose, bring your palms together in front of your chest as if you are praying. Inhale and extend your arms straight up toward the ceiling, palms still together. Exhale and bend your elbows, bringing your prayer hands to your upper back.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds. With each inhale, try to broaden your chest even more and slide your hands further down your back.

 

9. High Lunge Pose (Ashta Chandrasana)

Transition: From Low Lunge Pose, simply tuck your toes and lift your left knee off of the ground.

  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. Remain here with your arms overhead for 30 seconds.

10. Revolved High Lunge Pose (Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana)

  1. Begin in High Lunge Pose with a deep inhale.
  2. On the exhale, twist your upper body to the right, bringing your arms down to shoulder height in a T-shape.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then inhale and return to the starting position.

 

11. Side Lunge Pose (Skandasana)

Transition: Release from the twist, inhale deeply, and straighten both legs. Step or jump them back together until you're in Mountain Pose.

  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. Try to hold this lunge for 30 seconds, then exhale and return to starting position.

12. Wide-Legged Lateral Squat (Skandasana)

Transition: From Side Lunge Pose, step your feet further apart in a wide-legged stance, feet pointing toward the left edge of your mat.

  1. Start to bend the right knee, keeping the left leg straight. Flex your left foot so that your toes point to the ceiling.
  2. As you bend the right knee, you can either keep the right foot flat on the floor or come onto the ball of your foot. Bend until you bring the bottom of your thigh to the back of your calf muscle.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

Repeat poses 1-12, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

13. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

  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.

 

14. Vinyasa II

  1. Beginning in Plank Pose, exhale and lower yourself to the ground. Flow through Four-Limbed Staff Pose, keeping your elbows stacked above your wrists.
  2. Inhale and extend your arms, pushing down into the floor through the tops of your feet and toes as you lift your torso into Upward-Facing Dog Pose.
  3. Exhale and tuck your toes, lifting your pelvis up and back, pushing yourself up into Downward Facing Dog Pose.

 

15. Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana)

Transition: From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, lower your knees and shins to the floor and come into a seated position.

  1. Bring your legs together with the tops of your feet on the floor. Sink your sit bones back onto your heels and place your hands on top of your thighs.
  2. Breathe here and gather your thoughts for 30-60 seconds.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Camel Pose w/ Hands to Floor (Sanskrit)

Transition: Remain in Thunderbolt Pose.

  1. Start in Thunderbolt Pose with your legs underneath you.
  2. Inhale and lean back, placing your palms on the floor behind you, shoulder-width apart. Open your legs hip-width apart.
  3. On your next inhale, lift the sit bones away from your heels until your torso, pelvis, and upper thighs make a straight line. Keep your neck long and your shoulder blades down away from your ears.
  4. Remain here for 30 seconds.

2. Puppy Dog Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Transition: From Camel Pose, lift your torso back up and forward, coming onto your hands and knees.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees.
  2. Inhale and tuck the toes as your slowly walk your hands forward.
  3. 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.
  4. Breathe deeply here, directing the air toward your lower back for 30-60 seconds.

3. Reclined Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)

Transition: Release from Puppy Dog Pose by coming onto your hands and knees in Table Top Pose.

  1. Beginning in Table Top Pose, bring your knees closer together while keeping your feet roughly hip-width apart.
  2. Sink your sit bones back either to the mat or onto a block situated between your feet. When you sit back, the calves of your legs should be next to your thighs (rather than under them as they would be in Thunderbolt Pose).
  3. From this seated position, bring your hands to the mat next to your ankles and slowly work your way down into a gentle backbend until your forearms and elbows are fully on the ground and you can grab the bottoms of your feet with your hands.
  4. Shift your gaze up to the ceiling and remain here breathing deeply for 60 seconds.

4. Child's Pose (Balasana)

Transition: From Reclined Hero 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.
 

5. Table Top Pose (Bharmanasana)

Transition: Release and lift your sit bones away from your heels, coming forward onto your hands and knees.

  1. Get on your hands and knees with your hands stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips, parallel to each other.
  2. Remain in this pose for 30 seconds, awakening and engaging the core and inner thighs; firmly rooting your shoulder blades down away from your ears.

6. Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)

  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 30 seconds here to gather your thoughts, completely relaxing your body.
 

7. Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)

  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.
 

8. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: Release from Sphinx Pose back to the floor and roll over into 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. Breathe here for 60 seconds.
 

9. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: Release your legs from Reclining Bound Angle Pose, remaining supine.

  1. On an exhale, bring your knees 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!

 

10. Half Wind Release Pose (Ardha Pavanmuktasana)

Transition: Release from Happy Baby Pose, remaining supine.

  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.

11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Release from Half Wind Release Pose, relaxing your arms and legs to the floor for 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!