Kick off National Yoga Month with 7 tips for starting and maintaining an at home yoga practice.Read more
Summer, summer, summertime!
Take your practice outside. If you live or are vacationing in a city like mine with triple digits, find some shade and flow. One of the best things about summer, to me, is shaking up my practice with outdoor play.
This is one of my favorite sun sequences. Incorporating big muscle groups and a strong series for legs, hips, core, chest and arms. You'll start each posture in a hold and transition into the next. After you can flow one breath, one movement to boost your energy.
Roll out your mat or hit the grass.
Step your left foot forward at the top of your mat. Space out your base so your feet are hip-width distance. Your right heel stays lifted, active in the hamstring and firm in the right glute. This engagement in the back leg helps support the bent knee in the front leg. Tuck your pelvis slightly forward, encouraging a girdle action in your front ribs. Arms reach up to the sky. Take 5-10 breaths in this hold and on your final exhale you will open the arms to the left coming into:
Open arm twist, lightening bolt lean
Strong in your foundation and steady in your legs, lean your chest and crown forward stretching your right arm long and left arm back. Breathe here for 5 breaths.
Exalted crescent warrior
Inhale your right palm to the sky, placing your left palm behind the lower back or on the back of your right thigh. The left quad may be talking back to you at this point, let it build-up, a release is soon to come. Commit to your breath here. Hold here for 5 breaths.
Exhale your right palm to the earth. Inhale the left palm to the sky. Begin to lean the nape of your neck slightly back encouraging the heart-opening.
Slowly drop your right knee to the earth, landing on top of the right thigh, forward and off from the kneecap. Bend your right knee and reach back to the outside of your foot with your left palm. If it feels like a-go, you can send your left knee wide, rolling onto the knife-edge of your left foot. Your right palm can stay planted on the earth or you can drop to your forearm. Let your heart open wide toward the sun on this one. Take 5-10 breaths here.
Slowly release your bind from twisted monkey, coming into a low lunge. Begin to straighten your left leg, keep your right heel lift, as you would in crescent lunge. Slowly, begin to bow forward of your leg. You can frame your left foot with your palms or take a v-shape to play. Let go of squaring the hips on this one. You just came from quite the hippie pose, so it may feel quite good to wiggle your hips side to side in this fold. Stay here for 5-10 breaths.
Transition back to downward-facing dog and take to the second side. After holding the second side in this sequence, begin to take the postures, one-breath, one movement.
Here are some breath cues to flow:
Inhale, crescent lunge
Exhale, open arm twist
Inhale, exalted crescent
Exhale, low lunge
Inhale dragon fly twist
Exhale, knee down bend and reach
Inhale, twisted monkey
Exhale, release bind
Inhale, low lunge
This is one of my favorite sequences. You can practice this anywhere. If you're like me, I'll be taking advantage of the summer sun and hitting the rays in my flows. Happy practicing!