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Yoga Day 65

WARM-UP

1. Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Shodhana)

Starting position: Begin 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 exhale through the right nostril.
  9. Repeat this breathing technique for 1-2 minutes.

2. 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 for 30 seconds.

 

3. Alternating Elbow Flapping

  1. Bring your hands in front of your chest with your right hand hovering above your left. Your left hand should be palm-up, and your right should be palm-down.
  2. Bend the fingers of both hands and hook them together.
  3. Alternate flapping your elbows up and down for 30 seconds.

 

4. Deltoid Stretch

  1. In Easy Pose (Sukhasana), inhale your right arm straight out in front of you, palm facing to the left.
  2. Exhale as you bring your extended right arm across your chest, keeping your shoulder blades down. Bring your left arm up with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and use it to push your right arm closer to your chest.
  3. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then release and repeat on the other side.

 

5. Wrist Flexion/Extension

  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.

 

6. 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 15-30 seconds, then outward for 15-30 seconds.

7. Seated Torso Circles (Sufi Grinds)

  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.

8. Easy Pose Side Bend (Parsva Sukhasana)

  1. Begin in Easy Pose.
  2. Inhale, raise your right arm above your head, and bring your left hand to your right knee.
  3. Exhale and lean your upper body to the left, bringing your right arm up and over.
  4. Breathe here for 30 seconds, then inhale back to center and repeat on the opposite side.

 

9. Revolved Easy Pose Salute Flow (Parivrtta Sukhasana)

  1. Still in Easy Pose (Sukhasana), inhale and raise your arms, joining palms overhead.
  2. Exhale and lower your arms, bringing your right hand to the ground next to you and your left hand to your right knee. Using that knee as leverage, slowly twist your torso toward the right, shifting your gaze out over the right shoulder.
  3. Inhale your arms back overhead, then exhale your arms back down and twist the opposite direction.
  4. Repeat for 30-60 seconds, alternating sides.

10. Seated Knee Rotation

Transition: From Easy Pose, release your legs straight in front of you to come into Staff Pose.

  1. Lift your right leg, placing both hands on the back of your right thigh to support it, and bring the knee up near your chest.
  2. Keeping the right foot off the ground, rotate your lower leg clockwise in a circular motion for 30 seconds, then counterclockwise for 30 seconds.
  3. Return your right leg to the mat, then repeat on the left.

 

11. 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 straight, or bring it inward as if you’re going to sit cross-legged.
  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.

12. Staff Pose w/ Alternating Knee & Hand Lifts (Dandasana)

  1. Beginning in Staff Pose, extend your arms directly in front of you, aligning your hands over your knees.
  2. Imagine that there’s an invisible string attaching your right knee to your right palm, and your left knee to your left palm. Inhale your right hand up a few inches, lifting the right knee with it. Keep the back of your right heel grounded.
  3. Exhale and release your right knee and hand back to starting position, then inhale and lift the left leg and hand.
  4. Continue alternating these movements 5-10 times on each side.

 

13. Boat to Half Boat Pose Flow (Navasana)

  1. Beginning in Staff Pose, extend your arms directly in front of you, aligning your hands over your knees.
  2. Imagine that there’s an invisible string attaching your right knee to your right palm, and your left knee to your left palm. Inhale your right hand up a few inches, lifting the right knee with it. Keep the back of your right heel grounded.
  3. Exhale and release your right knee and hand back to starting position, then inhale and lift the left leg and hand.
  4. Continue alternating these movements 5-10 times on each side.

 

14. Half Plow Rollover Flow (Ardha Halasana)

Transition: From Boat Pose, release your hands and legs to the ground, then lie down in a supine position.

    1. Begin in a supine position with your feet flat on the ground.
    2. Inhale and bend the knees 90 degrees, thighs raised straight up and stacking your knees above your hips. Keep your feet engaged.
    3. On your next inhale, straighten your legs into Half Plow Pose. Now your ankles, knees, and hips should be stacked.
    4. Bring your arms and palms to the floor for support, then inhale your hips and lower back away from the floor as you bring your legs above your face, parallel to the floor.
    5. Exhale your back and hips back down, keeping your legs straight up in Half Plow Pose.
    6. Repeat this flow 4-5 times.   

       

      15. Spinal Rock Pose (Jhulana Lurhakanasana)

      Transition: From Half Plow Pose, hug your knees toward your chest.

      1. Round your back, tucking your head between your knees.
      2. Spend 60 seconds here, rocking front to back and side to side.

       

      16. Wind Release to Mountain Pose Flow

      1. On an exhale, rock your body back and forth until you can roll forward enough to plant your feet underneath you.
      2. Inhale and rise to a standing position. 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).
      3. 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.
      4. Lift your sternum up, creating a strong, open upper chest without drawing the lower ribs forward.
      5. 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.

      PEAK FLOW

      1. High Lunge Arm Extension Flow (Ashta Chandrasana)

      Starting position: From Mountain Pose, step your right leg forward.

      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. Lean forward just enough that your body creates a straight line from the back of your left heel all the way to your head. Raise and extend your arms, sticking to the same straight line.
      2. Remain here with your arms overhead for a breath or two, then exhale and lean forward, bending your elbows and bringing your arms down, next to your upper body.
      3. Repeat 1-2 more times.

      2. Downward Dog to Crescent Low Lunge Flow

      Transition: Release from High Lunge Pose, bringing your hands to the floor and stepping your right leg back. Tuck your toes and inhale your sit bones up and back into Downward-Facing Dog Pose.

      1. In Downward-Facing Dog Pose, inhale your right leg up behind you.
      2. Exhale and plant your right foot on the mat just right of center between your hands. Lower your left knee to the mat.
      3. Inhale your torso up, sweeping your arms overhead. You can either bring your palms together or keep them parallel.
      4. Exhale your torso into a slight backbend.
      5. Take another breath or two here before moving on.

      3. Crescent Low Lunge to Half Split Pose Flow

      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.

       

      4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

      1. Begin in a wide-legged stance.
      2. 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.
      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.

       

      5. Dancer Pose (Natarajasana)

      Transition: Inhale your torso up from Triangle Pose and slowly step your left foot closer to your right.

      1. Bend your right knee slightly and begin to shift your weight onto your right leg. Float your right arm forward.
      2. When you’ve gathered your balance, begin to lift the left leg up behind you and reach back to grab the top of your foot with your left hand. Keep your neck neutral by gazing forward.
      3. Breathe here for 30 seconds, trying to deepen the pose with each exhale.

       

      6. Downward Dog to Upward Dog Pose Flow

      Transition: From Dancer Pose, release your leg and bring your palms to the floor, stepping both feet back behind you.

      1. Inhale, tuck your toes, and float your sit bones up and back, pushing the floor away with your hands to come into Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Take a breath or two here.
      2. From Downward-Facing Dog Pose, lean your body forward and lower your pelvis, coming back into Plank Pose.
      3. Exhale and very slowly lower your body to the ground, keeping your movements controlled and mindful. Untuck the toes, bringing the tops of the feet to the floor. Keep your palms planted under your shoulders.
      4. Inhale and straighten your arms, pressing down into the tops of the feet to lift your legs and pelvis away from the ground. Pinch the shoulder blades toward each other to open the chest, taking a gentle skyward gaze without overdoing the curve in the back of the neck.
      5. Remain here for 1-2 breaths.

      7. Wide Child's Pose (Prasarita Balasana)

      1. Come onto your hands and knees and separate your legs slightly wider than hip distance apart while bringing the big 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 30-60 seconds.

      8. Forearm Plank Flow (Phalakasana II)

      Transition: Inhale yourself forward onto your hands from Wide Child’s Pose and extend both legs behind you in Plank Pose.

      1. Begin in Plank Pose.
      2. On an exhale, bring your forearms to the ground, palms facing down and planted firmly for support. Take 1-2 breaths here.

       

      9. Forearm Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

      1. Beginning in Forearm Plank Pose, inhale your left arm up, rolling your whole body to the right and shifting onto the outer edge of your right foot in a side plank.
      2. Breathe here for 30 seconds.

      10. Dolphin Pose (Catur Svanasana)

      Transition: Release from Forearm Side Plank into a Forearm Plank.

      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 30 seconds.

       

      11. Dolphin Plank w/ Leg Raise (Catur Svanasana)

      1. Beginning in Dolphin Pose, inhale up onto the balls of your feet and shift your weight forward into a forearm plank.
      2. On your next inhale, raise your right leg, bringing it as high as you comfortably can.
      3. Remain here for a breath or two, then lower your right leg back down and release back into Dolphin Pose.

      12. Dolphin to Downward Dog Push-Up

      1. In Dolphin Pose, clasp your hands together or place your palms on the floor for support.
      2. Inhale and lift your sit bones up and back just as you would for Downward-Facing Dog Pose.
      3. 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
      4. Exhale yourself back down onto your forearms.
      5. Alternate between Dolphin Pose and Downward-Facing Dog Pose for 30 seconds, remaining in sync with your breath.

       

      13. Downward Dog to Low Lunge Flow

      1. Begin in Downward-Facing Dog Pose.
      2. Inhale your right leg straight up.
      3. On your next inhale, shift your gaze toward the floor just beyond your fingertips.
      4. Exhale and step or jump your left foot forward to your hands, planting your foot and extending your left leg straight.
      5. On your next exhale, bring your right knee down to the mat behind you, coming into a low lunge over your left leg.

       

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

      COOL DOWN

      1. Thunderbolt Pose w/ Cat-Cow (Vajrasana)

      Transition: From Low Lunge Pose, release yourself to the ground 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. Inhale and arch your spine forward, pushing your tailbone out and back. 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.

      2. Revolved Thunderbolt Pose (Parivrtta Vajrasana)

      1. Begin in Thunderbolt Pose with both hands on the floor next to you.
      2. Inhale deeply, then exhale, shift your weight onto your right hand a bit, take a gentle spinal twist to the right, and bring your left hand to the outside of your right knee/leg. Shift your gaze out over your right shoulder for a gentle stretch through the side of the neck.
      3. Breathe here for 30 seconds, making sure that your shoulders stay rooted away from your ears.
      4. Inhale and release from the twist, coming back to the starting position.
      5. On your next exhale, repeat this stretch on the left side.

      3. Thunderbolt Pose Salute (Vajrasana)

      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.

      4. Puppy Dog Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

      Transition: Release from Thunderbolt pose, coming forward 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.
       

      5. Resting Half Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana)

      Transition: From Puppy Dog Pose, relax your upper body all the way to the floor, resting your head on your forearms.

      1. Slowly begin moving your right knee out toward the right side of your mat with the inner sides, and ankle aligned with your knee. As you do so, straighten your left leg behind you, resting it on the floor.
      2. Exhale the rest of your body to rest flat on the floor/mat. Slowly push your hips backward, deepening the stretch in your right leg.
      3. Remain here for 30 seconds, then repeat on the opposite side.

      6. Seated Wind Release Pose (Upavistha Pavanmuktasana)

      Transition: Rise up from Resting Half Frog Pose and swing your legs forward to come into a seated position.

      1. Begin in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you.
      2. Take a deep breath, then exhale and bend both knees, bringing your thighs in toward your chest. Keep your spine nice and tall.
      3. Inhale and wrap your arms around your legs, hugging them tightly.
      4. Remain here for 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply.
       

      7. Staff Pose (Dandasana)

      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.
       

      8. 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.
       

      9. Sitting Swan Pose

      Transition: Inhale your torso up to release from Seated Forward Fold.

      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.

       

      10. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

      Transition: Release your legs straight in front of you and lower yourself back onto the ground 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 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!

      11. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

      Transition: Release your arms and legs back to the mat.

      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. Remain here for 30-60 seconds.

      12. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

      Transition: Release your legs from Reclining Bound Angle Pose for a relaxing 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!