Naked Yoga Sequence: Forget the Yoga Pants!
I get bored with my practice occasionally. Despite my greatest efforts in rekindling the beginner’s mind, some days I just need to bust out of the monotony of Zen-like tuning and fabricate something really juicy. It is a great practice to shed layers, but in this practice I shed more than my mental depths. The pants have to go, too!
For the intensity junky, meditation and slow movements can run counter to quieting the mind. We are faced with having to focus on combating boredom instead of working with our injury or creating enjoyment. I find that if I add in something crazy or out of the ordinary, the calming effect I desire comes more readily. Consciously creating an escalation of energy can often be what we need to equalize our nervous system. Consider this method the build up and ultimate release. It is the same cycle as riding the intense wave toward orgasm (which can be an added bonus to any yoga practice).
Honor the type-A athlete that you are and create a practice that is spicy, pleasurable, and challenging. Put some attitude into what you are doing. Turn up the volume, of the music and your breath. Let the practice unfold organically and weave your personality through the poses. Maybe this means taking off your clothes and really being one with self and sensuality, or maybe it means being at peace with your body.
Juice Up Your Breath:
- Stand in horse stance.
- Inhale - pull pelvic floor muscles up.
- Exhale - press pelvic floor muscles down.
- After 5 rounds, reverse the sequence by inhaling and pressing pelvic floor down, exhaling and pulling pelvic floor up.
Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath):
- Stand in horse stance. Maintain active glutes.
- 50-100 pumps of kapalabhati per round. These are quick exhales from the lower belly.
- Do 2 rounds, with a round of breathing with ease between the rounds.
- Stay on the horse. You are drawing strength and energy from the legs up to the rest of your body.
- Hold for 10 breaths.
- Turbo dog is a down dog variation, with elbows bent and lifted three inches off the floor. Read here for more instruction.
- Hold for 10 breaths.
- If this becomes painful to your body, put knees down or come to forearms.
Go With the Flow:
- Kick up into handstand, do down dog on the wall, or do cartwheels.
- To amp up the energy, move the pelvic floor as you did with horse stance.
- Hold as long as the body allows without causing pain. May use wall for steadiness.
- Sun salutations.
- Crow pose to one-legged crow pose.
- Handstand with leg variations (half-lotus, lotus, twisted root, baddha konasana, goddess).
- Forearm plank (gives the wrists a break and taps back into core strength).
Now let yourself move freely, listening for where your body wants to move. Yoga can be prescriptive and it can also be liberating. Find out for yourself what gets you juiced up and go with your flow.
When you finish your practice, spend a few minutes sitting and reflecting on what you have accomplished and the benefits you have gained. This strategy or reflecting will help you sustain a sense of esteem and power all day. It will motivate you to do the practice again. And remember, you rock!
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.