The days have been cold, rainy, and sometimes snowy here in New England this April. All of the grey days seem to be zapping our energy, creating brain fog, and making our systems feel heavy.
I came up with this sequence today as I was trying to clear some of the heavy, lethargic, and unmotivated qualities from my system. It worked wonders and I wanted to share with all of you.
I am a fan of short, no-nonsense, sequences in my home practice that get quick and noticeable results so this takes about 20-30 minutes. It will clear your brain and your thinking process and also gently energize your body.
I have given a variation for beginners and for intermediate/advanced practitioners.
(Now, the obvious statements, if you don't know how to do any of these techniques check them out with a qualified yoga teacher BEFORE doing them to make sure you're doing them safely and correctly. Stop doing any yoga technique if it hurts or doesn't feel right. Your yoga teachers are here for you!)
1. Seated Ujayii Breathing or Simple Deep Belly Breath 2-3 minutes
2. Standing Side Bend 20-30 seconds each side
3. Standing Forward Fold or Down Dog (Down Dog is good if your hamstrings are really tight) 1-2 minutes
4. Wide Leg Forward Fold with Blocks Under the Head 1-2 minutes
5. Crescent Lunge Twist 20-30 seconds each side
6. Pigeon or Reclined Pigeon 1-2 minutes each side
7. Kneeling Lunge 20-30 seconds each side
8. Locust Pose 3x 20-30 seconds each time
7. Supported Bridge 3 minutes
8. Legs up the Wall (for Savasana) 3-5 minutes
(Your hips should have a good level of baseline flexibility for this variation. If you're still pretty tight in the hips, add in 2-3 Sun Salutation A's or B's after the Standing Forward Fold and before Triangle Pose)
1. Kapalabhati Breathing 3 rounds of 100-200 reps, inhalation retention with Mula and Jalandhara Bandha for about 20 heartbeats in between each set
2. A gentle seated twist in Sukhasana (Cross Leg) or Baddha Konasana (Clap the Feet Open the Knees) about 20 seconds each side
3. Seated Side Bend 20-30 Seconds each side
4. Standing Forward Fold 1-2 minutes
5. Triangle Pose 20-30 seconds each side
6. Wide Leg Forward Fold with Head Resting on Block 1-2 minutes
7. Twisting Triangle 20ish seconds each side (If Twisting Triangle is too much on your hips and SI's modify with Crescent Lunge Twist)
8. Pigeon or Double Pigeon 1-2 minutes each side
9. Boat Pose (either Paripoorna or Ardha) squeezing a block in the inner thighs, 3x, 20-30 second holds
10. Reclined Twist to even out your back
11. Locust Pose, 3x, 20-30 second holds
12. 2 Handstands as long as you can safely hold them
13. 2 Forearm Stands as long as you can safely hold them
14. Supported Bridge 5 minutes
15. Reclined Twist/Hug the Knees in to even the back
16. Legs Up the Wall (for Savasana) 3-5 minutes