Balance, Strength, Core
This hatha yoga sequence melds together balance, movement and strength. Begin by moving through poses up on your tiptoes, then find strength-based standing & balancing postures.
Mountain on Tiptoes (Tadasana Variation)
Start in Mountain pose by standing tall on your mat, with both feet firmly rooted and your arms down by your sides. Lift up through your kneecaps, engage your inner thighs and find a slight tuck of the tailbone. Your shoulders are relaxed and your fingertips are engaged. On an inhale breath, sweep your arms up overhead. As you reach your arms up, begin to lift up onto your tip toes. Extend from your toes all the way to your fingertips. Gaze can be up at the sky.
Forward Fold on Tiptoes (Uttanasana Variation)
Remaining on your tiptoes, carefully begin to hinge at the hips to fold forward. Keep your arms straight and your core engaged. Keep your gaze steady as you shift your gaze from the sky down toward your toes. Imagine as if you’re diving into water! Stay on your tiptoes until your finger touch the ground, then drop your heels.
Move into chair pose by sinking your hips and lifting your chest and arms. Find a tuck of your tailbone to create a nice flat lower back. Engage your core by knitting your lower ribs together. Keep your chest lifted to a 45 degree angle and sink your hips even lower. (Option to lift your heels and come onto your tiptoes for extra challenge!)
One Legged Mountain (Eka Pada Tadasana)
Root firmly into your right foot and stand tall, lifting your left foot off of the mat. Bring your left knee in line with your left hip. Bend the left leg at a 90 degree angle and flex your toes. Arms are reaching up and core is engaged.
Figure Four (Ardha Utkatasana)
Bend into your right knee and begin to sink your hips. Bring your left ankle on top of your right thing. Peel the left knee open to find a figure four shape in your left leg. Bring your hands to heart-center and keep your chest slightly lifted.
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Stand into the right leg again, and kick your left leg back behind you. As you do this, shift the torso forward and reach your arms long, so that your body is creating a “T” shape. Firm-up through your right thigh and keep the left toes flexed to maintain strength in the legs. Engage your core to keep the torso light.
High Crescent (Anjaneyasana)
From warrior III, drop your left toes to the far back end of your mat. Bend into your right knee to come into a lunge position. Your left leg is straight and strong. Your arms reach up to the sky. Check to ensure your shoulders are stacked directly over your hips.
Crescent with knee dips (Anjaneyasana Variation)
Keeping the shape in your right knee and upper body, slowly begin to bend your left knee and dip it down so that it is hovering directly over the mat. Option to stay with the knee hovering for a few moments, or create a dynamic movement by straightening and bending the knee 5-10 times.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
Return to your crescent pose before opening the hips and the arms into warrior II. You might need to elongate your stance. Ground the knife-edge side of your left foot into the mat, and maintain the deep bend in the front knee. Keep your arms straight and strong, extending straight out from your shoulders. Gaze is over the right middle-finger.
Power Triangle (Trikonasana Variation)
From warrior II, shorten your stance slightly and straighten your right leg. Pull your left hips back and you reach your right fingers tips forward, as if you were coming into triangle posture. However, instead of dropping your right fingertips down, keep your right bicep parallel with your right ear. From there, extend your left arm so that it is parallel with the right. Engage the core to keep your torso and arms parallel with the mat. Hold for at least 3 breaths.