Downward dog, planks, and table top can be taxing on the wrists! If your hands, wrists, and arms could use a break, these 7 poses are a great way to practice yoga without any weight bearing.
This sequence uses no props, just roll out a mat and get started.
1. Reclined Butterfly – Lay down on your back. Bring the soles of the feet together to touch, and let the knees fall open. Relax the muscles in your thighs. Maybe bringing the arms up overhead. Broadening the collar and dropping the shoulders down. Let gravity pull you closer to the floor. Tune into the breath, feeling the belly rise and fall.
2. Figure Four – Bend your knees, bringing the feet towards the sit bones. Cross the right ankle over the left knee. Rest your arms down at the sides. Flex your right foot. Use the glutes to press the thigh and knee open. Inhale, to draw the right knee towards the chest (without using your arms). Exhale, lower the left foot down, press into the heel, and lift the hips up. Move in and out of these two poses a few times. Uncross the feet, and repeat on the other side.
3. Sphinx – Flip over on to the belly. Bring the forearms to the ground. Broaden the collar. Press the toes down. Press into the pubic bone. Lengthen the tailbone down. Shining the heart forward. Release back down.
4. Yogi Squat – Press into the palms, lift the hips up, tuck the toes under. Turn the heels in and toes out. Bend the knees as you sink the hips down. Bring elbows inside, pressing the palms together and opening the knees further. Roll the shoulders down away from the ears. Find length in the spine, lifting the chest up.
5. High Lunge – Come to stand at the top of your mat. Bring the feet hip width apart. Step the left foot back, keeping the toes tucked and heel lifted. Bend into the right knee. Draw the belly in and engage the core. Reach the tailbone down to find length in the spine. As you exhale, sweep the hands back at the sides and tilt forward to find one long line. Roll the shoulders back as if in cobra. Bend deeper into the front knee, strengthening the quads and glutes.
6. Standing Pigeon – Step the left foot forward, lifting the knee up. Cross the left ankle over the right knee. Bend your right knee and start to sit back. Think of pressing the left thigh down and away. Bringing the hands together at the heart, pressing elbows out.
Switch sides and repeat 5 and 6 on the other side.
7. Seated Twist – Lower down to a seat, extending the legs out in front of you. Bend your right knee. Cross the right foot over the left thigh. Option to bend the left knee to bring the foot just outside of the right hip. Hug the right knee with the left arm. Eliminate any rounding, staying lifted and tall. Sweep the right hand back behind you. Inhale to find more length, exhale to open the chest to the right side.
Prefer to practice alongside me for a full 20 minute Vinyasa flow? Press play on the video below.