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Ever wonder if 10 minutes is enough time to be worth getting on your mat? Give this short sequence a try, and feel the benefits. You’ll want to add it in to your regular rotation to build up your strength.
Have 1 block handy as you roll out your mat.
1. Kneeling – Sit on your heels (or start cross legged if you prefer). Place the block between the palms, and extend the arms forward at shoulder height. Spread the fingers wide as you press the palms together. From here retract and protract the shoulders. Squeeze the shoulder blades back behind you while pushing the palms into the block. Then reach the shoulder blades forward. This is a subtle small motion to strengthen and engage the shoulders. After several rounds of this, reach the hands overhead. Then bend the elbows, bringing the block back behind your head. Lift the gaze up to stretch the pectorals and triceps.
2. Forearm Plank -Bring the block down to the mat, squeezing the palms in to the block and bringing the forearms to the mat. Elbows under the shoulders, as you extend the legs back behind you. Kick back through the heels, reach the crown forward, and bring hips in line with head and heels. Draw the belly in to firm up as you hold here. Drop the hips down, untucking the toes, and place the block off to the side. With forearms flat on the mat, lift the chest forward in sphinx for a few breaths.
3. Opposition – Laying on your belly with your forehead on the mat, extend the arms and legs out long. As you inhale, lift the left hand, right foot, and chest. Push down in to the grounded hand and foot. Exhale to lower back down. Repeat on the alternate sides. Lower down and repeat through. Then slide the hands back beside the chest. Inhale lifting chin, chest and palms up in cobra. Squeeze the shoulder blades back behind you. Lower down and repeat a few times.
4. Bird Dog – Come to table top, with palms under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Reach your right arm forward, then extend the left leg back behind you with toes pointing down. Keep the left hip pointing down as well. Inhale to lengthen out. Then as you exhale, bend your knee and elbow to tap them together. Do a few rounds of this. Repeat on the alternate sides.
5. Side Plank – From table top, extend the left leg out behind you. Roll to the inner edge of the left foot. Extend the left arm up to the sky, bend the elbow and bring the hand behind the head. Push down in to the left foot and right hand, to try and lift the right knee off of the mat. Keep lifting the hips, and see if you can tap the left elbow to the right knee. Squeezing and contracting and working the obliques. Drop the right knee back down and extend the left arm up and overhead to stretch the side. Then repeat with the right leg back.
6. Bridge – Lower down on to the back. Place a block between your upper thighs, engaging the adductors. Press the feet in to the mat, roll the shoulders back, and lift your hips and back off of the mat. Reach the tailbone towards the knees. Dig and drag the heels back to lift further. Lower down as you exhale. Come back up in to bridge. Lean on to the right foot, and lift your left leg up to the sky. Drop the left foot and repeat with the right leg. Drop down and hug knees in to the belly.
7. Reverse Table Top – Rock up to a seat, with knees bent and feet flat on the mat hip width apart. Bring the hands back behind you, fingers facing towards the toes. Push in to the feet to lift up into reverse table top. Open through the chest. As you exhale, drop the hips while straightening the legs and sending the hips back in to L sit. Repeat this through a few times.
Prefer to practice along with me? Press play on 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.