Starting Slow and Steady
Side Body, Back, Core, Spine
This gentle yoga sequence is the perfect way to start your practice. Begin with more gentle and restorative movement and gradually build heat.
Supported Fish (Matsyasana Variation)
You will need two blocks for this pose. To set up, place both blocks on your mat parallel to the short edge of the mat. One block should be at the lowest height and the other block can be at the middle height. You will lay back on the blocks, situating them so that your shoulder blades are supported by the mid-height block, and your head can rest on the low-height block. Arms and legs can be open wide. Stay here for at least five deep breaths.
Full Body Stretch Pose (Supta Utthita Tadasana)
Carefully roll off of your blocks and place them off to the side. Extend your arms over head and extend your legs long. Engage all your muscles as your stretch hands and feet away from each other for a full body stretch.
Shift your feet over to the bottom left corner of your mat. Keep your seat where it is in the center of the mat. Then, walk your hands and your shoulders over to the top left corner of the mat. For added intensity, cross your right ankle over your left, and grab your right wrist with your left hand. Breathe into the space on the right-side of your body. Repeat on the other side.
Banana Pose (Bananasana)
Hug your knees into your chest and roll up and down the length of your spine to make your way into table top position. From table top position start by moving into cat pose. Take an inhale breath and with your exhale, press your palms into the floor and tuck your chin into your chest as you begin to curve the spine up to the ceiling. With the press of the palms into the floor, you will create space between your shoulder blades.
With your next inhale, move into cow pose by dropping the belly towards the floor and letting your gaze come up to the ceiling. Keep your hips stacked over your knees as you continue to move through these cat / cow poses for a few breaths.
Tabletop with Knees Hovering (Bhramanasana Variation)
Comeback to your tabletop position. Your knees will be stacked under your hips and your wrists are stacked under your shoulders. Engage your core by pulling your belly into your spine. Create a nice long spine and bring your gaze in between your hands to create length in the neck. Actively push into both hands and begin to hover both knees about one inch off of the mat. See if you can hold for three breaths.
Step your feet back so that you move directly into plank position. In your plank pose, keep pressing into your palms and pressing the floor away from you, creating space between your shoulder blades. Your hips should be at the same height as your shoulders. Press actively into the balls of your feet.
Knees-Chest-Chin (Ashtanga Namaskara)
Drop your knees down to the mat. Bend your elbows and bring your chest and your chin down to the mat. Keep your seat high and keep your toes on the earth.
Slide through onto your belly, with the tops of your feet on the ground and your chin in the center of your mat. Move into cobra pose by engaging the muscles in your back and slowly peeling your chin and chest off of the mat. Keep your hands pressing only lightly into the mat and engage the inner-legs and core.
Come back to your belly. This time, bring your arms down by your sides with your palms facing down. Zip up the legs and engage the core. With an inhale breath, use your back muscles to lift your chest and your legs off of the mat. Try to keep your neck long and your breath steady.