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Are you sitting at a desk right now? Are you hunching over your phone screen? This practice is for you!
These 7 poses can be done in about 10 minutes, so give yourself a quick work break today and counteract all of that rounding forward in your spine, shoulders and neck.
No props are needed, so without wasting any more time let’s get to it!
1. Seated Cat/Cow – Find a comfortable seat, on heels if possible. Interlace your fingers. As you exhale, reach your knuckles out in front of you. Drawing the belly in and rounding the spine. As you inhale, flip the palms and raise hands up overhead. Reaching the heart forward, gazing upwards and bending the back. Move through this transition for a few rounds of breath. Take a side bend, bringing the left fingers down and reaching the right arm up and over as you exhale. Repeat to the other side.
2. Puppy Pose – Come to table top, keeping the hips over the knees. Walk your hands forward and melt the forehead to the ground. Pull the shoulders away from the ears. Send the breath in to the upper back. Slide forward on to the belly, bending at the elbows. Point your toes back behind you. Lift the chest up. Keep pelvis grounded and reach the tailbone towards the feet. Shoulders draw back, as you continue to shine the heart forward.
3. Cobra/Down Dog – Widen hands to the edges of your mat, coming to the fingertips. As you inhale, push in to the fingers to lift the upper body. Exhale to lower down. Ripple through a few times. Bring hands in at the sides of the chest. Tuck the toes under, and push the hips up and back. Take a deep bend in the knees, instead straightening the arms and spine. Melt the chest down towards the thighs for a few breaths.
4. Low Lunge – From down dog, kick the right foot up to the sky, then step it through to front. Drop the back knee down, and melt the pelvis down and forward. Inhale, lifting the hands up. Exhale, bend the elbows into cactus arms. Squeeze the shoulder blades back behind you. Set the palms down, and step your right foot back. Lift to down dog, and repeat with the left leg.
5. Wide-Legged Forward Fold – Step the feet wide, turn the toes out at 45 degrees. Bend the knees, dropping hips down. Rest hands on the thighs. Drop the right shoulder forward and pull the left one back. Switch sides. Straighten the legs and turn your toes in to parallel. Interlace the fingers behind the back. Keep a gentle bend in the elbows, squeezing the shoulder blades behind you and press thumbs into the tailbone. Inhale, lift and lengthen. Exhale, to hinge at the hips. As you fold, lift the knuckles up and away from you. Relax your jaw and neck here. Release the hands down, bringing them to the hips. Push in to the feet and slowly lift back up.
6. Neck Stretch – Return to kneeling, sitting back on the heels. Interlace your fingers behind you, bringing them towards the right hip as much as possible. Turn the gaze towards the right shoulder. Take a few deep breaths here. Then switch sides. Release the hands and bend elbows in front of you. Crossing the right elbow under, binding once or twice. Push shoulders down, and lift elbows up. Tuck the chin towards the chest, resting the head on the arms. Inhale the arms wide, then flip the cross.
7. Chest Opener – Bring your fingertips behind you. Lift the chest up to the sky. Bend in to the elbows, squeezing them towards one another. Come to a comfortable seat to close, resting hands on the legs. Close your eyes, and while taking slow steady breaths feel the effects of these stretches.
Prefer to be guided by visual and auditory cuing? Click through to the video below.
Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.