I recently had the opportunity to visit Sedona, Arizona, where I was able to practice yoga every day and capture this yoga sequence geared toward grounding and exploring your inner warrior.
Sometimes, life can get overwhelming and we feel as though we have lost our ability to focus, connect, and determine what our next step should be.
So the next time you are in need of some strength and grounding, slow down and come home to yourself with this standing sequence, which will help you find stability, inner strength, and a focused awareness.
This quick and invigorating sequence strengthens the legs and core, brings calm to the body and mind, and generates new energy for the road ahead. It is even better if you can practice outside in contact with the earth. If time permits, do a few sun salutations to warm up. Take 5 to 7 breaths in each pose.
Taking several deep breaths in mountain pose is a great way to bring the body into a neutral place and begin to turn inward.
As you inhale with your feet close together, roll your shoulders open allowing your palms to face forward and your shoulder blades to move down the back. Ground through the soles of your feet, keeping your gaze forward and soft. Inhale as you broaden your chest and collarbones. Exhale and allow your awareness to move to the steady support of your legs.
Mountain Pose Variation
Inhale as you sweep the arms up overhead, lengthening through the fingertips and side body and rooting down through the feet. Take your gaze up and lift your heart.
Side-Bending Mountain Pose
Exhale and shift the hips to the right and the hands and arms to the left, lengthening and breathing into the right side body. Rise to center and exhale and shift to the other side. Inhale back to center.
Inhale back to center and exhale, hinging at the hips, reaching forward with the heart. Come into forward fold. Let the head hang heavy and relax the neck. Hold each elbow with the opposite hand. Root downward through the feet as the upper body and face relax.
Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog
Exhale as you release your hands to the ground and step both feet back into downward-facing dog. Take a few breaths, then extend the left leg up, bending at the knee and coming into three-legged downward dog. Press firmly through the hands and extend up through the left leg. Release the left leg, extending it behind you and grounding your foot at an angle to prepare for warrior I.
Draw your right knee directly over your ankle. Engage the core and sweep your arms and upper body upward, palms facing inward as you square your hips and lunge forward into warrior I. Lift your gaze upward and feel the internal rotation of your back leg as it spirals into the earth. Press into your front foot as you lift the heart, and soften the shoulder blades down the back.
On an exhale, bring the hands to the heart and then step the left foot back, finding a wider stance and a heel to arch alignment. With the front knee over the ankle, inhale the arms out at shoulder height. Ground down through your feet and expand through the fingertips. Soften your shoulders, face, and gaze.
Straighten your right leg and place your hands on your hips. Step your left foot slightly forward and square your hips forward.
Exhale and hinge forward from your hips. Keeping your spine long, take your left hand to your shin. Grounding through the soles of your feet, spiral the right rib cage open, extending your right arm upward and gazing toward your right thumb. Unwind on an inhale coming back to standing with hands on hips.
Square your hips forward into warrior I position. Straighten and ground down through your right foot as you lift your left leg and extend your arms forward, bringing your upper body and lifted leg parallel to the floor.
To come out, simply lower your left foot next to the right and come back to mountain pose. Stay here for several breaths to rebalance and realign, noticing the differences between the two sides of the body and then move to the other side, repeating poses 5 to 9.
Come to a wide stance, then inhale and lift both arms out to the sides, keeping your spine long and your tailbone down. With each exhale, imagine you are sending energy outward through all five points: feet, hands, and crown of the head.
Goddess Pose With Lion’s Breath
From five-pointed star, turn toes slightly outward, bending your knees into a comfortable squat. Bend your elbows, making a goalpost shape with your arms and expanding your palms and fingers.
Open your mouth, lift your eyebrows, and stick out your tongue as you exhale forcefully with a "HA" sound for 10 seconds. Rising up on an inhale, step your feet together coming back to mountain pose.
Standing in mountain pose, shift your weight to the right foot. Lift the left foot and place the sole against the inner right thigh. Gently draw your arms up overhead interlacing your fingers with the index fingers toward the sky. Soften the shoulder blades, shoulders, and your gaze. Hold for 5 to 7 breaths and then gently exit and move to the other side.