Awake & Evolve: Cycle 4 – Heart Opening Half Moon Flow

The fourth cycle of Awake and Evolve workouts focuses on energizing and lengthening the muscles to improve athletic performance, with a meditation component to improve concentration and mood.


Sun Salutation Warm Up
Work through a basic sun salutation, warming the body with breath for 5 or more rounds. Finish in standing Mountain Pose.
Half Moon Flow
Half Moon Pose
In standing Mountain Pose, begin to flow in the vinyasa by stepping back with the left leg and extending the right leg and foot into Half Moon Pose. Press your left finger tips or hand into the floor and left heel firmly down for support. Straighten your standing left leg, while lifting the right leg parallel to the floor. Extend actively through the right heel, being mindful not to hyperextend in the standing knee. Rotate your upper torso to the right side, drawing energy up from the floor into the standing leg, and up through the arm. Stay here for 5-10 breaths and then move into side plank.
Side Plank With Extended Leg
With the same extended right leg move into Side Plank with an extended leg. If you cannot clasp the toe with the index and middle finger, come into Tree Pose in side plank or just keep both legs together. Balance your weight between your left foot and left hand, drawing the energy up towards the ceiling with the extended arm. Aim to position the sopporting hand a bit in front of the shoulder. Hold here for 5-10 breaths.
Upward Dog
From side plank pose make your way into Upward Dog pose. Lying on your belly on the floor, begin to stretch your legs back, placing the tops of your feet on the floor. As you inhale, press your hands firmly into the floor, straighten your arms, and lift your torso. 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. Hold here for 5-10 breaths.
Spinal Opener
From Upward Dog pose come to your belly to rest. Turning your head to the right or left cheek, close the eyes and count 5 breaths, then turn your head to the opposite direction, counting 5 breaths. With your next inhale come back through the mechanics of Upward Dog, but this time try to grasp your hands together. Stay here for 5-10 breaths.

*Repeat the entire half moon flow on the left side.

*Now begin to link all of these poses together in a vinyasa flow. Try to complete at least 5 rounds on each side, this time holding each pose for only 1-3 breaths.

Pigeon Pose Flow

From Downward Dog pose, on the inhale extend your right back behind you, and on the exhale swing it through into runners lunge. Begin to heel toe the right foot over and find a single legged pigeon pose. Your back left leg should extend straight out of the hip behind you, and rotate slightly inward. Using your breath, inhale and exhale as you extend your body upwards and open through the heart center. Stay here for at least 10-15 breaths.

Find a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and begin to feel the changes in your body. Come back to listen to the breath, and stay here for at least 5 minutes, clearing the mind for a brief period of meditation.
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