I was lucky enough recently to get to visit the Sweet Sanctuary animal rescue. I have been a monthly donor to their mission for a few years now. In recent times they have had to rethink how they fund raise – and I was delighted to get to collaborate with them and film a yoga class on site!!!
The 7 poses below come from the simple sequence I did among the pigs there.
- Eagle Arms – Sit comfortably. Bring the arms out in front of you, bending the elbows at 90 degrees. Wrap the right arm under the left, binding once or twice. Push into the forearms. Tuck the chin to the chest. Hold for several deep breaths. Inhale open the arms out to the sides, expanding the heart and shifting the gaze up. Exhale to round and contract bringing the elbows together. Taking a few rounds of this seated cat/cow variation. Then take eagle arms with the opposite cross.
2. Balancing Table Pose – Come to table top, with the hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Draw your belly in. Kick and extend the right leg back behind you. Roll the right hip down. Extend the left arm forward, with bicep along the ear. Lengthen from fingertip to heel. Hold for a few breaths. Bend into the right knee, and see if you can reach the left hand back to grab the ankle in a bind. Drop the belly and lift the gaze. Repeat on the other side.
3. Low Lunge with Twist – Step the right foot between the hands at the top of the mat. Sink the hips down and forward. Keeping the left knee grounded. Toes tucked or not. Push in to the feet and lift up. Reach the left hand forward and right hand back, twisting the chest to the right.
4. Easy Twist – Staying in the twist, lower the left hand down to the mat. Reach right arm up to the sky. Tuck the left toes, and lift the knee off the mat. Looking wherever helps you to balance.
Repeat 3 and 4 on the other side.
5. Tree Pose – Stand up at the top of your mat. Bring your left foot to anywhere along the inside of the right standing leg. Reach the tailbone down and crown up. Bring the hands together at the heart or reach up overhead. Focus on something that’s not moving ahead of you to help with balance. Repeat other leg.
6. Chair Pose with Prayer Twist – Bring both feet together on the mat. Bend the knees and sink the hips. Have the hands together at the heart. Cross the right elbow over top of the left thigh. Push the elbow into the leg to rotate the chest open to the side. Take to the other side.
7. Pigeon Pose – From hands and knees, bring the left knee back behind the left wrist. Extending the right leg back behind you. Square the hips and pelvis, not leaning one way or the other. Open your chest, stretch out of your low back and then fold down.
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Check out the full length 20 minute practice and see the animals in action below.