Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2018 Practice

Physical focus; strength building
Story; A consistent practice of yoga builds strength in body and mind. 

Begin in Savasana, hands in Prithvi Mudra. Focus on the breath, notice the rise and fall of the belly for a minute. Place a weight on the upper abdomen and notice the rise and fall of the belly for a minute. Remove the weight and notice the rise and fall of the belly. 
Warm Ups
Standing Sunbreaths; circle the arms up and down x3
Arm openings; bring both arms out in front of the body, inhale and open the right arm out to the side as far as is comfortable (gaze follows the hand), exhale and return to center, repeat on the left (gaze follows the hand), then both arms open wide (gaze stays steady forward) x3 
shrug shoulders up and down between sets
Mountain Lifts; begin in mountain pose feet hip distance apart
1.Inhale and lift the heels off the ground in 3 stages, hold the pose then exhale before lifting higher, then highest, drop the heels with gentle pressure as you return to mountain. x3
2. Inhale lifting the arms overhead, reaching tall as you rise on the toes. Hold for 3 breaths. Exhale and gently return to mountain. x3
Standing Side Stretch; inhale and lift the left arm, keep the right arm alongside the body, exhale stretching over to the right side, turn the head and look down. Repeat on the oppposite side. x3
roll the shoulders back and forward x3
Sun Salutation

Strength Building
Chair Pose; Stand in mountain feet hip distance apart.  Inhale and lift your arms forward to shoulder height. Exhale and bend the knees as though you are sitting back into a chair, shift the weight to your heels. Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat X2
Chair Twist; come into chair pose and bring the hands together in prayer, then bring the left elbow to the right knee, come back to center and switch sides.  Stand and round the arms overhead, exhale hands to heart.  X2
Chair Heel Lifts; begin in chair pose.   Bring your elbows down to shoulder height and open them up into cactus arms and lift your heels up.  Inhale, straighten your arms and lower your heels.  
Crescent Lunge to Warrior III; Forward fold, then step your right foot back into a Low Lunge.  Inhale, ground your left foot and engage the abs as you rise up to standing. Keep your heel on the back foot lifted.  With your back leg strong and active, gently draw your right hip forward as you press your left hip back, squaring your hips to the front of your mat.  Inhale as you sweep your arms overhead.  Draw your tailbone toward the floor.  Gaze is up between the hands. If you have a shoulder issue rest your hands on your hips.  Hold for up to one minute.  Move into Warrior III by shifting your weight to the front foot and leaning forward lifting the back leg as you bring your torso parallel to the ground. Come back into Mountain. Repeat on the other side. X2
Side Angle to Triangle with block: (block on outside of ankle); from mountain step back with the left foot, left foot is at 90 degrees, exhale and bend the right knee, as you bring the right hand down to the block and extend the left arm straight up over the head or the hand may rest on the hip.  Move into Triangle by straightening the bent knee.  X2

Cool Down
Cow-face Arms with strap; Holding the strap in your left arm, extend your arm up toward the ceiling with your palm facing forward.  Bend your elbow and bring your hand to your back.  Extend your right arm to the side with your palm facing down.  Internally rotate your arm so your palm faces behind you.  Bend your elbow and bring your hand up the center of your back grabbing the strap.  Bring your hands as close together as you can.  Repeat with right arm.
Seated Spinal Twist; Sit at the back of your mat and extend your legs out.  Bring your right knee up with the sole of your foot on the floor.  Inhale and extend the spine, exhale and rotate to the right placing your right hand behind you and your left arm wraps around your right Knee.  Repeat on opposite side.  X2
Reclined hamstring stretch with strap; Lie down on your back.  Loop the strap around your left foot.  Bring foot straight up to ceiling.  Pause.  Bring foot out to the side.  Pause.  Bring foot across body. Pause.  Repeat on right side.
Revolving twist pose; Lie down on your back with knees bent.  Extend the arms out shoulder height, palms down.  Lift your feet off the mat and move the knees to the right keeping the knees lifted off the ground, pause, move to the center, move to the left, pause. Repeat X5 Then lower feet to the mat and drop the knees to the right letting the knees rest on the floor, long pause before repeating on left side.
Reclining Butterfly; Bring soles of your feet together and let your knees fall out to the side.  Arms rest comfortably by your side.  Deeply restoring.