This energizing 10-15 minute flowing sequence is designed to invigorate any time you might need a little pick me up. You can hold each posture for a lot breaths to build endurance and strength or, to really get your heart pumping, you can flow from one posture to the next with one breath for each movement. Play around with it and see what works best for you. As always, you are your own best teacher. Please just be sure that you continue to breathe deeply throughout the entirety of the practice. This can be as mellow or as vigorous as you need it to be.
With your hands shoulders distance apart and your feet hips distance apart, make an inverted V with your body. Press into your palms and roll your shoulders away from your ears, guiding your heels closer to the earth. Tight hamstrings? Just bend your knees. Gaze in between your feet or at your navel center.
From Down Dog, on an inhale guide your body forward so that your shoulders are over your wrists. Arms are strong and fingers spread wide. Engage your legs and core so that they are super strong, guide your tailbone toward your heels and your sternum forward.
From plank pose, on an exhale bend your elbows and lower your body down in a straight line so that you are hovering above the earth. Keep your shoulders higher than your elbows and keep hugging your elbows in towards your ribs. Support your low back by maintaining a very strong core.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Dog)
From chaturanga, on an inhale push down into your palms, roll the shoulder heads back and down and straighten your arms as you lift your heart up towards the sky. Untuck your toes so that the tops of your feet are flat on the ground and engage your thigh muscles to help create a sense of bouyancy. Lengthen back through your inner ankles, draw the arm bones back and push your heart center forward. Look up if you can. Exhale back to Down Dog or take another chaturanga to before moving to Down Dog to really create some heat.
From down dog, step your right foot forward to the top of the mat so that your right knee is directly over your right ankle or heel. Toes point straight ahead. Stay on the ball of your back foot, push down through your feet and inhale your arms up towards the sky. Draw the low belly in, guide your tailbone towards your right heel and push back through your left heel. Shoulders remain down as you enliven your arms.
Virabhadrasana B (Warrior II)
From crescent warrior, use and exhale to bring your hands to prayer and then extend your right arm forward and your left arm back. Spin your back heel down so that your back foot is at a 60 degree angle. Ensure that your front knee is still over your front ankle, not dropping in to the midline. Strengthen the back leg by lifting the inner left thigh to the outer left thigh and push down through the outer edge of that back foot. Arms are very strong, yet shoulders are back and down. Gaze over your front middle finger.
Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior)
From warrior II (Vira B), keep your legs as they are but focus on keeping the back leg very strong and on an inhale slide your back hand down the back leg. Your right arm will reach up toward the sky and then back towards the wall behind you. Lengthen both sides of the body. Keep your core engage and try to avoid any excessive swaying of the low back. Slightly guide your tailbone towards your back heel. Maintain a deep bend in your front knee.
From viparita virabhadrasana, exhale to parsvakonasana by placing your right forearm on top of your right thigh. The leg position remains exactly the same. Reach your left arm up and over your left ear, arm at a diagonal with the thumb turned slightly up and the pinky finger turned slightly down. Maintain a long line of energy from the outer edge of the back foot to the tips of the left fingers. To deep the pose, consider binding by wrapping the left arm behind the back and sliding the right shoulder under the right thigh to hold onto the left wrist with the right hand. Do not collapse the chest to achieve the bind.
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle)
From parsvakonasana, place your right hand on your shin, foot or the floor and reach your left arm to the sky. Pressing down through the outer edge of the left foot, begin to straighten your right leg. Engage both legs and consider stacking your left hip over your right. Slide your right hand as far up your right leg as you need to so that you are not collapsing anywhere. Invite length into both sides of the body, again careful not to collapse or compromise the breath. Unwind either through a vinyasa or straight to down dog.
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel)
(For intermediate to advanced practitioners): Begin lying down on your back with your feet on the floor and your knees pointing up to the sky. Your feet should be hip distance apart with toes pointing straight ahead. Touch your heels with the tips of your fingers. Place your hands down by your ears with your fingers pointing toward your heels. Inhale to the top of your head, hug your elbows closer together, push down through your hands and feet and exhale straighten your arms. Try to guide your shoulders over your wrists. Relax your neck and push down into your feet to lift your hips up. Stay here at least five breaths. Repeat as many times as you need. Finish by reclining in supta baddha konasana.
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