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The element of fire is associated with your passion, drive, determination and willpower. It is also connected to the third chakra (the area of the belly).
If this area is out of balance and not being used, you may find yourself running low in energy, or experiencing lethargy. As a result you might struggle with reaching your goals, or even making decisions.
Tap in to your inner fire and fix that right up, by working the core with these 7 poses and sequences. These will target the area around the belly with twists, side bends, and strong core poses.
1. Stretch and Strength – Laying on your back, hug your right knee in to your belly. Using your left hand, twist it over to the left. Keeping the right shoulder down, and opening the arm out to the side. Creating as much space between right shoulder and right knee. Returning to center, hold the back of the right thigh (or calf) and extend the leg up towards the sky. Curl the head and shoulders up off the mat, keeping the shoulders down and away from the ears. Draw the belly in, engaging core. Stay curled up, bending the right knee in towards the nose. Keeping your back on the floor, lift the left leg up to hover a few inches off the floor. Release the arms along the sides. Inhale to lift higher, exhale to switch the legs. Pedal the legs out a few times. Release down and repeat on the left side.
2. Curl Up – Bend the knees and bring the feet to the mat. With the palms down at the sides, press in to the heels and curl the tailbone up. Peel the spine off the mat, coming in to Bridge. Exhale, roll down. Inhale up to Bridge. Repeat a few times. Interlace the fingers and bring them up overhead. As you inhale, curl up and twist, dropping the hands to the outside of the right knee. Inhale to lift and extend the right leg (as pictured). Exhale to hold. Inhale to lower down. Repeat to the left. Do this a few times on each side.
3. Plank – Come in to downward dog. Kick the right leg up to the sky. Keeping the hips and shoulders square. Inhale shift forward in to plank, bending the right knee in towards the right shoulder. Tap the knee to right shoulder, left shoulder, left wrist, right wrist, creating a square. Do 3 times. Then step the right foot through between the hands, lifting up in to high lunge.
4. Balance – Step the left foot forward alongside the right. Bend the knees, sink the hips down, and reach the arms forward in Chair Pose. Reach the arms back at the sides, turning the palms down. Roll the shoulders back. Start to lean the weight in to the balls of the feet and lift the heels up off of the floor. Hold for a few breaths, focusing on your inner fire. Release the heels down, then press up to standing.
Take a Vinyasa flow. Then repeat 3 & 4 on the other leg.
5. Side Plank – From downward dog, shift forward into plank. Roll onto the outer edge of the left foot. Maybe stacking the right foot on top or stepping it behind. Reach the right arm up and over, bicep hugging the ear. Push in to the feet and lift the hips higher. Lower down on to the right forearm. Roll to the outer edge of the right foot. Extend the left arm up and over for a forearm plank. Lower the left forearm down, and square the hips to the mat. Walk the feet in, lifting the hips up and back in Dolphin.
Repeat through to the other side.
6. Twisted Dragon – From down dog, step your right foot through between the hands at the front of the mat. Lower the back knee down, padding it if desired. Walk your right foot towards the outer edge of the mat. Roll on to the outer edge of the right foot. Bend the back knee. Reach back with the right hand, maybe clasping hold of the left foot. Press and sink the hips down. Maybe lowering on to the left forearm. Let the head be heavy, releasing the tension from the neck. Hold for a few minutes. Ease out slowly and repeat on the other side.
7. Half Butterfly with Side Bend – Come to a seat. Extend the right leg out. Bring the left foot to the inside of the right thigh, opening the left knee out to the side. To target the waist, lean over towards the extended leg. Bring your right elbow on to the leg or a block at any level. Wrap your left hand behind you. Opening and stretching the abdominals, obliques, and waist. Ease out and set up on the other side.
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