Let the Firefly Fly
Hamstrings, Shoulders, Wrists, Core
This flow prepares the body to safely access Firefly (Titibasana). Work the hips, hamstrings, shoulders and wrists. Move through a progressive series of arm balances and then fly into your Firefly!
Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
Begin this mini-flow in happy baby pose. Lay on your back and reach through bent knees for the outer-edges of your feet. Use your hands to pull your feet downwards, pulling your knees down towards your armpits. Rest your head and shoulder on the mat. Engage your core and tuck your tailbone to keep your lower back rooted firmly on the mat. Breathe deeply here, enjoying the gentle stretch in the hamstrings, inner thighs, and groin.
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe (Supta Hasta Padangusthasana)
From happy baby, release your right foot to the mat, with your right knee pointing up to the sky. Release your foot from your left hand, and wrap your left peace fingers around your left big toe. Keep your head, shoulders and low back on the mat. Gently straighten your left leg, so that the sole of your foot faces the ceiling. You can keep the left leg slightly bent if that feels more accessible. Make this an active stretch by engaging the muscles in the back of your leg as you encourage your leg closer to your chest. Repeat on the other side.
Bringing both feet onto the mat, bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees open wide. Your legs will form a diamond shape. Continue to lay back on the mat. You can place one hand on the heart and one hand on the belly. Close your eyes and focus on relaxing the hip flexors, allowing them to soften and open.
Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Frog w/ Wrist Stretch (Malasana Variation)
Hug your knees into your chest and rock-and-roll your way up to a frog squat. For frog, you will plant your feet on the mat, about hips-width distance, with your heels in and toes slightly out. Sink your hips low and keep your chest lifted. Start by bringing your palms together at heart-center, with elbows pressing into your inner-knees. If you want to add in the wrist stretch, flip your hands so that the back of your hands press into one another with your fingers pointed down.
Plant your palms on the ground in front of your, shoulder-width distance apart. Toe-heel your feet closer together, keeping your heels lifted. Tuck your knees into the back of your arms or armpits. Lean your weight forward and find a 90-degree bend in your elbows. Lift your toes off of the mat. Keep a dome-shape in your back, engaging your core. Gaze is forward. Pressing firmly down into both hands.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend w/ Shoulder Opening (Prasarita Padottanasana Variation)
From frog, plant your feet at the outer-edges of your yoga mat, straighten your legs and fold forward. With an inhale, lift your spine up halfway and clasp your hands at your low-back. With an exhale, fold forward, letting your hands fall forward, opening the shoulders. Rock your weight into your toes and try to keep your arms straight and wrists together.
Firefly Prep (Titibasana Prep)
Release your clasped hands down to the mat. In your fold, begin to walk your chest backwards, through your legs. Plant your hands behind your heels on the mat. Tuck your shoulders behind your knees. Let your head hang heavy.
Shoulder Pressing Pose (Bhujapidasana)
Engage your biceps. Allow your hips to drop back onto your arms, supporting your weight. As you do this, engage the core and lift the toes off of the mat, balancing on your hands. Cross your feet at your ankles and hug your inner-thighs together. Continue to push through the hands and engage the shoulders.
From bhujapidasana, continue to press down through the hands and uncross at the ankles. See if you can straighten your legs, so that each leg is parallel to the ground, or the toes point up at a 45 degree angle. Keep the core engaged and inner-thighs working. Hold for three breaths.
Ragdoll (Baddha Hasta Uttanasana)
Release from firefly and settle into a ragdoll fold. With your feet hips-width distance on the mat, let your chest drape over your thighs and your head hang heavy. Your arms can dangle, or you can grab onto opposite elbows with your hands. You can sway the torso from side to side if that feels good. Allow your upper-body to release.