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Yoga Day 51

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, tuck your toes and inhale up into Plank Pose.

    1. Inhale, 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. Crescent Low Lunge Pose (Ashwa Sanchalanasana)

Transition: From Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), lift your right foot and plant it between your hands slightly right of center.

  1. Bring your right knee forward and your left knee on the ground, just far enough back to create a stretch in the front of your left thigh.
  2. Inhale and sweep your arms overhead, leaning back ever so slightly for a gentle backbend.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

 

3. Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana)

  1. Remain in a low lunge, bringing your hands back to the floor.
  2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

4. Revolved Crescent Low Lunge Pose (Parivrtta Ashwa Sanchalanasana)

  1. Beginning in a low lunge, inhale your torso straight up and raise your arms to shoulder level.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds.

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

Transition: Release from the side twist and exhale your hands back to the mat.

  1. Inhale your left knee up from the floor, coming up onto the tiptoes/ball of your left foot as you straighten your left leg back.
  2. Remain here for 30 seconds, breathing deeply.

 

6. Forward Fold Flow (Uttanasana)

Transition: From Runners Lunge Pose, inhale your torso up, step your left foot forward, and come into a Standing Forward Fold.

  1. Beginning in Standing Forward Fold Pose, inhale and raise your torso into a straight, neutral position. Place your hands on your shins.
  2. Exhale back down into a full forward fold.
  3. Repeat this flow 4-5 times.
 

7. Revolved Forward Fold w/ Bent Knee (Uttanasana)

  1. Begin in Standing Forward Fold Pose.
  2. Keeping your right leg straight, exhale and take a slight bend in your left leg.
  3. Inhale and lengthen your spine, twisting your upper body to the right. Your left hand or fingertips should be on the floor, while your left arm extends straight upward. Rotate your head to shift your gaze up toward your left hand.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then return to the center and repeat on the opposite side.

8. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Transition: Inhale and straighten your torso and legs for Mountain Pose.

  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. Remain here for 30 seconds, gathering your thoughts and tuning into your breath.

9. Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

  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. Challenge yourself to 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.
 

10. Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Transition: Release from Tree Pose back to Mountain Pose.

  1. Begin in a standing position with both of your legs straight.
  2. Extend your arms straight in front of you, then bend your elbows ~90 degrees. Cross your arms with your upper left arm crossed above your upper right arm.
  3. With your left palm facing to the right, try to hook the fingers of your right hand on your left wrist or the lower palm of your left hand.
  4. Inhale and cross your right leg over your left. Shift your weight onto your left foot and hook the top of your right foot on the back of your left calf. Take a moment to find stability.
  5. On an exhale, bend your knees and slowly lower your tailbone as if you’re about to sit in an invisible chair, leaning the upper body forward slightly.
  6. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

11. Eagle Pose Crunch (Garudasana)

  1. Beginning in Eagle Pose, exhale, engage your core, and lean forward into a crunch.
  2. Inhale back up into Eagle Pose.
  3. Repeat 2-3 more times, syncing your breath and maintaining your balance.

12. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Transition: Release from Eagle Pose back to Mountain Pose, then step your left foot back and rotate it slightly outward, aligning the arch of your left foot with the heel of your right foot.

  1. With your right foot forward and your left foot rotated outward a bit, pivot your body to face the left.
  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.

13. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

  1. Begin in a wide-legged stance.
  2. Make sure your left foot is angled 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Inhale and extend your reach to the right, bringing your upper body over the right leg. Shift your hips back slightly.
  5. 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.
  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.
  7. Release by pressing your feet firmly into the floor, leading your torso back up with your left hand.

14. Vinyasa II

Transition: From Triangle Pose, plant both palms on the mat and work your way down into Plank Pose.

  1. Exhale and lower yourself to the ground through the 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.

Repeat each pose in this segment, switching to the opposite side as necessary for asymmetrical poses.

 

COOL DOWN

1. Thunderbolt Pose Salute (Vajrasana)

Transition: Come to a seated position on top of your legs in Thunderbolt pose.

  1. Bring your palms together in front of your chest, taking a moment to breathe and center yourself.
  2. On and inhale, keep your palms together, but extend your arms up toward the ceiling.
  3. Exhale and hinge your torso forward in a forward fold, bringing your forehead and the outer edge of your hands to the floor.
  4. Inhale and return to the starting position with your hands in front of your chest.
  5. Repeat this series of movements 4-5 times.

2. Puppy Dog Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

Transition: Release your hands from the salute and bring them to the mat.

  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.

3. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

Transition: Release from Puppy Dog Pose, sink your sit bones back toward your heels, and shift your legs to one side to move 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.

4. 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.
 

5. Sitting Swan Pose

Transition: Inhale and lift your torso, releasing from Seated Forward Fold Pose 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.

6. Upward-Facing Seated Straddle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Upavistha Konasana)

Transition: Release from Sitting Swan Pose back to Staff Pose.

  1. Starting from Staff Pose, 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. Inhale and shift your weight slightly back onto your hands, 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.
 

7. Seated Straddle Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana)

Transition: Straighten your spine and lean forward, coming to Seated Straddle Pose with your palms on the floor between your legs.

  1. From Seated Straddle Pose, make sure your sit bones are grounded and your spine stays long.
  2. Take a deep inhale, then exhale as you bring your forearms to the ground in front of you and hinge forward to rest your forehead on them.
  3. Breathe here for 30-60 seconds, then raise back up to Seated Straddle Pose.
 

8. Cosmic Egg Pose (Brahmandasana)

Transition: Release from Seated Straddle Forward Fold Pose and bring your legs together straight in front of you.

  1. Inhale deeply, then exhale and bring your knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around them as if you’re giving yourself a hug.
  2. Slowly lift your feet away from the ground and point your toes.
  3. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
 

9. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Transition: From Cosmic Egg Pose, release your arms and bring your legs back to the floor. Lower your upper body slowly to come into a supine position.

  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!

 

10. Reclining Bound Angle Pose w/ Elbow Grab (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Transition: Return your legs to the floor and remain supine.

  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. Bring your upper arms next to your ears and grab your elbows with the opposite hand. Stay in the pose for 30-60 seconds, maintaining slow, rhythmic breaths.

11. Constructive Rest Pose

Transition: Remain lying supine, but release your legs from Reclining Bound Angle Pose.

  1. Bend your knees and plant the bottoms of your feet on the ground ~12-16 inches away from your buttocks.
  2. Spend 30-60 seconds here, collecting your thoughts and tuning into your breath.

12. Supine Spinal Twist Pose (Supta Matsyendrasana I)

Transition: Release your legs straight and remain supine.

  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 and keeping them together.
  4. Exhale and bring your knees to the ground on your right side. Shift your gaze to your left fingertips.
  5. Stay here for 30 seconds. Close your eyes and really relax into this posture.
  6. Inhale and raise your knees back up, bringing them back to the center with your hips grounded. Exhale and release your legs back to the floor
  7. Repeat on your left side.

13. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Transition: Return to center and relax 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!