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Are you wanting to start a home practice, but maybe getting hung up on needing all of the things before beginning? This sequence is easy to do wherever you are, without any props.
Whether you are new to the practice of yoga, or have been doing it for a while – these 7 poses will help you to build strength and increase your flexibility from the comfort of your living room.
Let the focus for this practice be on your breath. As you hold or move through each pose, take deep breaths in and out through the nose while sending the breath into your belly.
1. Cat/Cow – Start in a table top pose, with wrists under the shoulders and knees under the hips. As you inhale, drop the belly while lifting the gaze and tailbone. As you exhale, round and contract the spine. Do this a few rounds through to warm up the spine.
2. Calf Stretch – Return to a neutral table top. Extend the right leg back behind you. Push in to the right heel, stretching in to the calf and the ankle. After a few breaths here, cross the right foot as far to the left. Set the toes down, then push in to the right hip while looking over the left shoulder. Return to center, then repeat on the other side.
3. Downward Dog– Step the feet back, tucking the toes and lifting the hips up and back. Keep the hands shoulder width apart and spread the fingers. Bend deep in to the knees, not worrying about getting the heels down. Push in to the arms and reach the chest towards the thighs. Relax your head and neck. You might want to paddle the feet and legs out for a bit here. Bend one knee and press the opposite heel down. Then switch.
4. Tree Pose – Walk up to standing at the top of the mat, with the feet about hip width apart. Lean on to the left leg. Bring your right foot somewhere along the left leg (the ankle, shin, or thigh). Squeeze the right knee open and hug in to the midline. Once you have got some strength and stability in the legs, bring the hands together at the heart or extend the arms up overhead. Don’t worry about wobbles, use them to make you stronger. Repeat on the other leg.
5. High Lunge – Lean on to the left foot, step the right foot back towards end of mat. Bend generously in to the front knee. You can also bend in to the back knee if you want. Keep the shoulders over the hips. To work this one a bit harder, you can move with the breath. Inhale hands up overhead, exhale to sweep the hands back at the sides and hinge forward. Repeat on the other side.
6. Puppy Pose – Come down to table top once again. Keep the hips over the knees. Then walk your hands forward lowering down to the forehead. Stretch in to the upper back and the shoulders. Feel your ribs expanding front to back and side to side.
7. Bridge – Flip over on to the back, bending the knees and bringing the soles of the feet flat to the floor. Align the sit bones with the knees and the ankles. Roll the shoulders down and turn the palms up. Push the feet in to the floor, then start to curl the tailbone up. Peel the spine off the mat, pressing the hips up. Keep the knees hugging in, pushing in to the big toes. After holding for several breaths, lower back down inch by inch.
Want a full 30 minute class? Practice the video that these 7 poses come from by clicking play below.
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