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Be honest, when I say slow yoga do you think it’s going to be easier? Not the case! Instead, slowing movements down on the mat can make the practice more challenging.
Slowing the motions down, rather than just getting from point A to point B, will increase overall strength and flexibility. Slow and steady allows you to tap in to muscles and muscle groups you don’t normally rely on in vinyasa flow classes.
These 7 mini flows will also allow you to speak with that little voice in your head (your intuition), while still finding stillness and silence.
Though I don’t instruct them in these flows, I recommend having two blocks handy beside your mat if you like to add props to your practice.
1. Seated Meditation – Find a seat on your mat, however is comfortable for you to start. Lengthen your spine, drop your shoulders down away from your ears, and close your eyes. Take a few cleansing breaths. Start to think of a question that you would like to find an answer to. One you have had circling in the mind, one you’re unsure of. Keep this question in your mind as you move through these flows, seeing what comes up.
2. Bend and Twist – Staying in your seat, bring your right arm out to the side. Reach your left arm up and over, moving in to a side bend. Slow and steady, flow to the other side. Repeat this twice more. Returning to a neutral cross legged seat, bring your left hand over your right knee for a twist. Switch, flowing the right hand over the left knee. Repeat this twice more. Return back to the side bends, then twists, as you repeat through again.
3. Baby Wild Thing and Seated Forward Folds – Keep your left knee bent with the foot drawing in to the groin. Extend your right leg out to the side. As you inhale, bring the left palm back behind you and reach the right arm up and over. Push in to the left hand as you lift the hips up for a baby wild thing. Lower the hips back down. Move in to a forward fold, bringing the nose towards the right knee. Repeat this 3 times through, moving as if through honey. Bend the right knee, bringing the right shin in front of the left one. Walk your hands forward, folding over your lap. Take 3 breaths here as you reflect on your question. Roll up slowly, then extend the left leg out to repeat this flow on the other side.
4. Slow and Smooth Dragon – Coming to hands and knees make your way in to your first downward dog. Hold for a few breaths, noticing how much you tend to fidget in poses. Work on replacing it with stillness. As if someone is pushing against your right leg, slowly and mindfully lift it up for three-legged dog. When you get to the top, bend your right knee and open the hip up to the side. With the same super slow and steady motion, move your right foot forward to the front of the mat. See if you can count to 10 for this transition, letting the right foot come down to the outside of the right hand. Crawl your fingertips forward in front of you as you fold down.
5. Skandasana and Malasana – From your dragon pose, walk the hands in as you pivot the left heel down and lift the left toes up. Bend your right knee, keeping the left leg extended out to the side. Start to slowly walk the hands over to the left foot, straightening the right leg, bend in to the left knee, coming on to the heel of the right foot. Feel every motion as you slowly transition back to the right side. Turn your right toes forward, bring hands down in front of right foot, start to straighten the right leg as you extend the left leg up to the sky, folding over the standing leg, coming in to standing split. Gently lower the left leg back down. Bring feet to hip width, turn heels in and toes out. Carefully lower the hips down to come in to your yogi squat. Bring your hands together at your heart and lift your chest up. When you think of your question, with all distractions removed, what does your heart tell you? Lower the left hand down to the side and extend the right arm up to the sky. Opening the chest to the right side. Bring your right hand down, lifting the left arm up, and opening the chest to the left side.
Take a vinyasa flow, and then repeat 4 and 5 on the other side.
6. Goddess Pose – Turn to face the long edge of your mat, and take the feet nice and wide. Turn the heels in and the toes out. Take a big deep breath, lift the arms up over head, binging the palms together to touch at the top. As you exhale, ground down, bend the knees, drop the tail and sweep the arms down, bringing hands to the heart. Repeat this with your breath 3 times. Then bring the hands to the thighs, drop your right shoulder down and draw the left shoulder back. Twist to the other side. Return to center, bring the hands behind the back and interlace the fingers. Straighten the legs and fold forward, lifting the knuckles up and over. Stay here in this wide-legged forward fold for a few breaths. Or if headstand is a part of your practice this is a good chance to add it in. From wide-legged forward fold, bring your hands to your hips and slowly make your way up to standing.
7. Dancing Warriors – From your wide-legged stance, turn your right toes to point towards the top of the mat. Bend in to your right knee and float your arms out front to back, coming in to Warrior 2. Reverse your warrior, drawing the left fingers down and forward as the right hand reaches up and back. Flow forward to extended side angle, flipping the arms. Dance nice and slowly between these two a few times. Return to Warrior 2, then straighten your right leg to set up for Triangle pose. Bring the right hand down to your right shin or the ground. Reach the left hand up. Lift back up, turn the right toes to the side, left toes point to the back of the mat, taking Warrior 2 on the other side. Dance through your Warrior on this side.
Want more in a full 35 minute practice? Follow along below.
Happy Slow Flowing,
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