Use a stopwatch or timer to aid you in the long holds for this practice.
Warming the Body
This practice is most most beneficial after a workout when the body is still warm and supple. It is recommended that you complete 5-10 rounds of sun salutations to warm the body and prepare to go deeper.
Wide Legged Forward Bend with Shoulder Opener
From standing mountain pose, step the legs 3-4 feet apart. With a flat back exhale forward and bring the palms to the floor under the shoulders. Bring your forehead down towards the floor and release through the spine. To take the pose deeper and add a shoulder opener, clasp the hands behind your back. As you inhale lengthen through the spine, and as you exhale fold over deeper and feel a deep opening through the shoulders. Press the feet down into the floor and, lengthen through the legs holding this deep forward bend. Stay in this pose for 1-3 minutes.
Come into downward dog pose by bringing the hands shoulder width apart, and feet hip with apart. As you inhale lengthen through your spine and release the shoulders down the back. With your next exhale stretch your heels down toward the floor. Try to firm your outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. Let the head release between the arms, be careful not to hold tension or tightness in the neck and shoulders. Stay in the pose for 1-3 minutes. Come down and rest in child’s pose.
Seated Forward Bend
Extend the legs on your mat sitting upright. Take a deep inhale and gently begin to drape the body over the legs on the exhale. Use the breath as you inhale extended upward, and as you exhale extend forward towards the floor. Experiment with holding this forward bend for 3-5 minutes.