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Okay, for today’s sequence I wanted to share a group of poses I like to teach when everyone seems a little sleepy at class. It’s just an ohhh aahhh feel good sequence and I’m excited to share it with you.
Easy Seated Pose (3 min) – Begin seated at the long edge of the mat. Elevate your hips so you can lengthen the spine a bit more than usual and allow the knees to drop below the hips so blood can flow more freely. Close your eyes and take a few minutes to listen to your breath, heartbeat and find some gratitude about this moment right now. Your heart is beating, your breath is flowing, you have everything you need.
Wide Leg Fold (5 min) – Open the legs wide and begin to find a forward bend. Take your time! Pause in moments you feel the pose settling in and through you. Do your best to keep the legs neutral, toes pointing somewhat upward to protect the knees and ankles. For sensitive knees, keep a microbend in the joint and consider rolling a towel under either knee for support.
Do one side of the next 3 poses before circling back around to do the other side.
Half Butterfly (3 min) – Begin bending your right knee and draw your heel in toward the groin. Turn your torso toward the left leg and begin to find a fold to the inner leg or more square on top of the leg. Again, take your time as you find your sweet spot in the pose.
Stomach Revolving Twist (3 min) – Gently rise up from your fold and begin to slide the left knee in toward the right heel. Turn your torso toward the skinny edge of the mat with your outer right hip grounded and square toward the direction you’re facing. You’ll begin to feel a gentle twist in the spine. Stay upright for a few breaths to allow the body to adjust and maybe add a neck stretch if that would feel good. When ready, Begin to fold down toward the earth to the forearms or onto a bolster. Complete the twist (if your neck feels ready) by turning your gaze over to the right. Breathe deeply here for optimal release.
Deer / Sleeping Swan (5 min) – Slowly come up from the twist and begin to slide the right knee over to the right wrist. Square the hips off a bit and either come into deer pose by sliding the left knee to the right heel or extend the left leg back behind you for swan (or pigeon) pose. Fold, this time, over the right shin. Support yourself with props as needed so you can let go of effort as best you can.
go back and repeat half butterfly – stomach revolving twist – deer on the other side before moving on.
Half Melted Heart (3 min each arm) – Make your way to a table top position. Move through several rounds of cat and cow or any other dynamic movement that would feel good in your body. Eventually, come back to neutral and walk the left hand to the top left corner of the mat, elevating the palm to a block for more intensity. Bring your right hand over toward the left arm and rest your head on the forearm of that arm. Keep your hips high if possible, otherwise you can drop your hips to your heels for a childs pose variation. Once 3 minutes is up, repeat this posture on the other arm.
Sphinx (5 min) – Come to your belly and prop yourself up onto your forearms. Elbows align somewhat beneath or slightly in forward of the shoulders. The head can stay lifted or you can relax it to a prop or to hang in front of you. If you would like more intensity after a couple of minutes, elevate your forearms to a blanket or bolster to deepen the posture. Be gentle and take your time!
Criss Cross Arms (3 min each way) – Begin to cross one arm underneath the chest and either take the other arm forward or in front toward the other side (creating an X shape). After 3 minutes, switch arms.
Childs Pose with Bolster (3 min) – Make your way back through table top and into childs pose with a bolster (or similar) under the torso and chest. Bring your gaze to one side for about half the time before switching to the other side. Let the arms drape down your sides letting the shoulders hang heavily toward the floor (or support them with blocks).
Supported Bridge (5 min) – Come onto your back, lowering one vertebrae at a time. Draw the knees into the chest and gently roll side to side massaging across the sacrum. Set the feet down and gently lift the hips to place a block at the desired level under the sacrum. The higher the block, the more intense the pose becomes. Once you find stability here, relax all of your body weight into the floor, letting gravity do all the work here. You can extend the legs forward if you would like to or even take the arms overhead.
Savasana (7-10 min) – Remove the block and lower back down to corpse pose. Stay here for savasana or find your way to a comfortable resting position that works for you. Let go of all effort and let your natural breath flow through you. Take rest and absorb this feeling you’ve generated with your practice today.