Awake & Evolve: Cycle 3 – Strong Shoulder Vinyasa

The third cycle of Awake & Evolve workouts builds strength and endurance in the lower body, with brief meditations to calm the mind and relieve stress.


Downward Dog/Upward Dog Flow
Find your downward dog pose by bringing the hands shoulder width apart and feet hip with apart. As you inhale, press the hands and feet down into your mat. As you exhale, lengthen through your spine and release the shoulders down the back. With your next natural exhale, stretch your heels down further toward the floor. Try to firm your outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. Move from downward dog into upward dog with your breath. When you find your upward dog, press your hands firmly into the floor and straighten your arms and lift your torso up. Try to press the tailbone toward the pubis and and gently firm the buttocks. As you take in each inhale lift through the top of the sternum and feel the heart open. Alternate between downward dog and upward dog to warm the body for 3-5 minutes.
Warrior 3 Vinyasa

Standing in mountain pose, begin to work your way into a standing warrior 3 pose on your right leg. Work towards straightening the front leg or leaving a small micro-bend in the knee if needed for support. Lift the left leg back behind you with your next inhale. Energize the left leg behind you as you lengthen through the spine. Keep your head up and look forward. Be sure not to crank the back of your neck and create any tension. Extend the arms by your sides or right in front of your body along the sides of your head. Stay in this pose for 5 breaths. Try to repeat this cycle on both legs for 3-5 rounds.
Wheel Pose Vinyasa

Lying on your spine, begin to bend your knees and set your feet on the floor, placing your heels close to your bottom. Bend your elbows and spread your palms flat on the floor beside your head with your fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Take an inhale and press down with your feet actively into the floor. As you exhale push your spine up toward the ceiling, firming bottom as you lift. Keep your thighs, knees, and feet in a parallel position. Take 3-5 long slow deep breaths and slowly come down on the exhale to rest. As you inhale, lift your body away from the floor again. Begin to press your shoulder blades down your back and feel your chest and heart center open. Remain in this lifted position for 5 long breaths. Try to release as your body down on the top of the exhale and rest quietly for 5 long breaths. Inhale and exhale moving through this wheel pose vinyasa for 5 rounds.
Shoulder Release #1

In a seated pose begin to bring the palms together behind the back with the fingertips pointing up in a reverse prayer pose. If this pose is to difficult simply grab a strap or belt behind your back. Adjust the strap as needed to feel the shoulder release. Stay in this pose for 15-20 deep breaths.
Shoulder Release #2

Raise your right arm up and reach down to grab the left hand behind the back, reaching up between the shoulder blades. Try to interlock the fingers or clasp the hands in the pose. If this pose is too difficult, grab your strap or belt between the hands to adjust the pose. As you move deeper in the pose broaden through the collarbone and settle the shoulder blade against the back ribs. Stay in the pose for 15-20 breaths. Release and repeat on the second side.