Warming the Body
Start your practice standing in mountain pose and take 10 slow deep breaths. Flow through 5-10 slow sun salutations to warm the body.
Standing on the left leg, begin to straighten the right leg behind you and lift into warrior 3 pose. Stretch the arms and lengthen the trunk forward and the left leg back. Stay in the pose for 5-10 deep breaths. Move with the breath into the opposite side for 5-10 breaths.
Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend
From standing mountain pose, step the legs 3-4 feet apart. With a flat back gently fold forward and bring the palms to the floor under the shoulders. Bring your forehead down towards the floor and release through the spine. As you inhale lengthen through the spine, and as you exhale fold over deeper and feel a deep opening through hamstrings. Press the feet down into the floor and lengthen through the legs,holding this deep forward bend. Stay in this pose for 5-10 deep breaths. To go deeper place the hands in reverse prayer position for the forward fold.
From downward dog come down into a squat position with your feet a few inches wider than hip distance apart. If you have any issues with flexibility and can not place your heels down to the floor, then add a folded blanket under the heels. In the squat pose your knees should be wider than your hips. Stay in this squat for 10-15 breaths or challenge yourself with crow pose. From the squat, lean the torso forward and stretch your arms forward, bend your elbows and place your hands on the floor. Come up onto the balls of your feet and lean forward, putting the weight of your body onto the upper arms. Round your back and draw your belly in super tight to support your balance. Try to feel the legs squeezing against the arms as you press the hands firmly to the floor. Gaze forward or lift your head slightly finding a focus point for balance. Try to hold each pose for 3-5 breaths.
*Yogi’s Tip- grab a few pillows to place in front of your body so you have a place to crash if needed for arm balances.
Come in to a squat pose again at the top of your mat. Bring your hands flat on the floor under your feet. Bend the elbows back as you shift your weight back to rest on your upper arms. Tighten the core as you gain balance to lift the feet up off the floor, and hook one foot in front of the other. Try to hold the pose for 3-5 deep breaths.
On your back or supported with props for your level of comfort, begin to close the eyes and relax the breath. Progressively go through the body relaxing and releasing with each exhale. Stay here for at least 10 minutes or as long as you wish. To come out, roll off to your side coming to a seated position and taking a few breaths, noticing the difference in your internal state.