Hamstrings, Glutes, Legs, Quads
This mini flow is designed to open the muscles needed to support your fullest expression of Dancer's Pose (Natarajasana). Luxuriate-in and stretch the hamstrings, quads and hip flexors in this flow!
Three Legged Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana Variation)
Start in a downward facing dog. Press through both hands evenly and on an inhale breath, lift your right leg into the air. Keep your hips even with one another. Engage through your right leg to straighten it as much as you can.
Low Lunge Variation (Anjaneyasana Variation)
Hug your right knee in towards your chest and then step your right foot to the top of your mat, coming into a low lunge. Drop your left knee down to the yoga mat and untuck your toes. Keep your left hand planted on the inside of the right foot and extend your right arm straight out in front of you.
Bend your left knee, kicking your left heel in towards your seat. Sweep your right hand back and grab hold of the top of the left foot or the left ankle. Continue to press through the left hand, as you roll your right shoulder open. Kick your left foot into your right hand to create more sensation in the stretch.
Revolved Low Lunge with Quad Stretch (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana Variation)
Half Splits (Ardha Haunumanasana)
Gently release the left foot and bring your right hand back around. Tuck the left toes and begin to straighten the right leg, as you move your hips back. Your hips will stack over your left knee. Ground your right heel into the mat and flex your toes. On an inhale breath, lengthen the spine, and on an exhale breath, fold the chest over the right leg.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Bend into the right knee as you shift your hips forward, coming back into a low lunge. Walk your hands onto your right thigh to lift your chest. Keep the right hip hugging back and the left hip pressing forward. You can lift your hands to the sky to go deeper.
Full Splits (Hanumanasana)
Ease out of the bend in your right knee. Tuck your left toes and begin to scootch your left leg backwards. Straighten your right leg as you lower your groin down to the yoga mat. Move as deeply as you can into your full splits and then pause there. You might use a block under your hips to support you. Or, tent your fingertips on either side of your front leg and stay lifted in the chest. Keep the legs and core engaged. Breathe deeply.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Coming out of full splits, activate your inner thighs to pull the legs back towards one another. Re-bend into the right knee and tuck the back toes, coming back into a low lunge. Tent the fingertips outside of the right foot and pull the chest through the shoulders. Gaze forward.
Standing Splits (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)
Step into your right foot and lift your left leg straight up into the air. Fold your chest over your right standing leg. Point the left toes and engage the glutes to lift your leg higher into the air. Attempt to keep your hips square with each other.
One-Legged Mountain Pose (Eka Pada Tadasana)
Keep your gaze steady as you pull your left knee into your chest and begin to lift to standing. Your right foot is your base, so keep your right leg engaged and active. As your shoulders stack over your hips, bend your left knee at a 90 degree angle, so your knee is directly in front of your left hip crease. Flex your left toes. Bring your hands to heart-center.
Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana)
Extend your right hand up to the sky. Begin to sweep your left leg back behind you, keeping the knee bent. Reach your left hand back to grab for the inside of the left foot. Kick your left foot into your hand as you shift your chest forward, reaching forward with your right fingertips. Keep your hips square with the earth and gaze forward. All the preparatory poses have led you to this shape. Find your fullest expression and enjoy!