Being slow doesn’t mean easy, especially when it comes to hatha asanas. Holding poses allows time for the fire to build.
Try holding these 7 poses for between 10 to 20 breaths to let it simmer in your body as well as mind.
1. Functional Bridge – Laying on your back. Walk your feet pretty much to the end of the mat, so that the bent knees are only about 6 inches off the mat. Flex the feet so only the heels are touching. Bend the elbows and push the back of the upper arms into the floor. Squeeze the shoulder blades under you. Hug the inner thighs. Push down into the heels and lift seat off the ground (only a couple inches). Think of dragging the heels back towards you.
2. Hamstring Stretch Curl Up – Bend the right knee in. Grab hold of the back of the leg and straighten it up towards the sky. Point the right toes. Point the left toes, and lift the left leg to hover. Walk the hands up the back of the right leg, curling head and shoulder blades off the mat. Hold here or reach the arms forward. Keep scissoring the legs away from one another, pushing low back into the mat. Pull the low belly in.
3. Downward Dog – Come to table top, walking the hands ahead of the shoulders. Tuck the toes and lift the hips up and back. Finding a version you’re able to hold. Wrap the shoulders in towards one another. As you hold, notice how this is by no means a “rest pose.”
4. Warrior 1 – Step the right foot through between the palms. Plant the left heel down, spinning the toes out to 45 degrees. Push into feet to lift up. Bending generously into the right knee. Reach the arms up. Either keeping the chest and gaze forward, or take a gentle back bend pressing hands together and gazing up to thumbs. Repeat on other side.
5. Forearm Plank – Circle the arms down. Lowering to the elbows. Step the feet back. Stack shoulders over elbows. Lengthen tailbone down. Notice if the hips are sinking or lifting up, find the mid point.
6. Side Plank – Lifting up to the palms in full plank. Drop the heels to the right. Lift the left arm up. Push in to the fingertips and knuckles on the left hand. Lift the hips high. After holding 10 breaths, switch over to the other side.
7. Bear Pose – Come to stand, and fold down in Rag doll. Widen the feet to the edges of the mat. Keep the toes pointing forward. Bend the knees to bring the thighs parallel to the ground, as well as the spine. Reach arms out to the sides, back or forward. Keep the head, chest, belly, and hips in one long line.
These 7 poses come from a longer 30 minute intermediate power yoga class on my channel and app.