January Sequence -Immune Boost!
We will be posting free sequences bimonthly! These sequences are meant for all audiences* to practice safely at home. These sequences are meant to aid or inspire your home practice. Feel free to add on to this sequence to make it yours! A solid warm up and at least 5-10 minute Savasana is encouraged.
This Week: With the cold and flu buzzing around us I figured a sequence for Immune Boosting was in need! Before researching these poses I instinctively thought of standing & balance poses, and I found that these types of poses are exactly what we need! As you practice add in any pose or movement or sounds that you feel will aid you. Try to breath through your nose the whole time to assist keeping sinuses at bay 🙂
Upward Salute Variation (Urdhva Hastasana)
After a gentle warm-up come to standing on your feet. Spread your toes nice and wide on the mat. Lift them off of the mat and one at a time connect them back to the mat. Inhale and shift your body weight to balance on the balls of your feet. Keep the spine long and extend through the crown f the head. Keep pressing down through the balls of your feet and toes to keep grounded in this pose. Bring your hands to heart center and take 5 breaths.
Add On: For an extra balance inhale to come up and exhale and lower back down without touching. repeat this as many times as you like. Play around and bend the knees, come back to standing. Take this to chair pose for even more of a challenge. Let your arms grow or take a Mudra.
Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
From a seated position, inhale and draw the knees into the chest. Keeping a long spine, slowly tilt back so that your feet come of the ground and you are balancing on your sit-bones. You an slowly being to take the calves away from the thighs, keeping the strength of you spine coming towards your belly engagin the muscles in your lower back. Extend your legs so that your calves are parallel to the ground or keep extending the legs straight, as pictured.
Add On: Play with the leg positions; alternating one straight and one bent, legs wide, or hang on to your toes. Just be sure to maintain a strong spine. Change the arm position too; bring them overhead, interlace them behind you, or use them to hold onto your legs. Try to get into this position from laying on your back and rocking into Boat!
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
Come lying on your belly; warm up a few times with just reaching your arms and toes o the back of the room. On an inhale reach back to grab your ankles. Be sure to keep your knee aligned with the hips and together. If your knees come too far apart you could tweak your knees. Open the heart and relax the shoulders as you breath in this pose. Exhale and release back down. Repeat this 2 or 3 more times.
Add On: If your feet/ankles are just too far today use a belt or strap to help you! You can practice Locuts pose to focus on building strength and spinal flexibility. Alternate between pointing and flexing the feet for a calf and shin stretch.
Comfortable Moonbird Pose (Chakorasana)
Come to Staff Pose inhaling the the spine nice and long. Inhale and draw your right leg into your chest. Use your hands to bring your leg up and over your shoulder or as high up on your bicep as possible. Squeeze the right knee into your arm. Place your palms down on the mat and inhale, exhale and press up through the arms and out of the balls of your extended left leg to lift off the ground. Maintain relaxed shoulders and a long spine.
Add On: You don’t have to “lift off” for this pose to feel the strength. Stay grounded on the floor and focus on squeezing the knee into the bicep, reaching out through the extended leg, and sending energy down to your hands. You can sit on a block or bolster to keep the “flying” sensation. With an appropriate hip &spine opening warm-up you can take the leg behind the neck and rock back into a more boat pose extended position.
Warrior 3 with Arm Variation (Virabhadrasana)
Come to mountain pose. Inhale the arms and right leg up like a “marching stance”, exhale and lean forward and send your right heel to the back of the room. Ideally you’d want your floating leg to be parallel to the floor. With the breath move your arms from along side your ears to reaching back to your feet like Super Man. Interlace your fingers behind your back and keep the index and thumbs extended as if you were making a pistol. Raise the arms overhead and continue to breath. Keep a micro-bend in the knee of the standing leg to cushion any natural movements, such as breathing.
Add On: Try different arm variations such as cactus, “T”, or Super Man. From warrior 3 you can easily go into standing split, Half-Moon or Revolved Half-Moon.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Come to standing on your knees. inhale and put your hands “in your back pocket”, relax the shoulders down the spine and open your heart forward. Exhale and glide your hands down your thighs. You can stay here to keep traveling down and over to your heels. You can place a block between your heels or tuck your toes for a little assistance. Remember to breath, and keep your heart open. Focus on getting your heart and pelvis forward.
Add On: Try this pose with your thighs and pelvis pressing against a wall. It really makes you feel how this pose is a heart opener, and not just a back bend. If this is intense keep practicing Bow Pose with a strap.
*We hope everyone will try these sequences, but keep in mind your body. Prevent injury by listening to how your body feels today, and by the sound of your breath. Do what feels right for you! Be safe and have a blast!