Happy Wellness Wednesday!
Today I wanted to offer a small flow that isn’t too complicated for those looking for a straightforward practice, but also could be added to, expanded upon and molded into a twisty, balanc-y, juicy self practice!
I’m wearing Vegan Athlete Wear, which is a sustainably aware company making comfortable athletic wear with a conscious statement. All of the clothing is made in the USA from 100% certified recycled polyester and Nylon.
I’m showing this flow in pictures only, to give you the freedom to move in a way that feels good in your body, using these poses as guidelines as you discover what your body needs today.
This flow focuses on twisting and balancing, lengthening the sides (laterals) of the body. Twists are very beneficial for detoxing, bringing fresh oxygen into the body and creating more space to breathe more fully through the lungs. Creating balance is vital to a healthy body and mind. Working on our physical balance can help focus and relax the mind, bringing more peace and comfort to oneself. I love working in the lateral plane of the body; creating space in the sides of the body. Through your own practice, I invite you to think about inhaling in between your ribs to encourage the lungs to expand, the body to grow taller, the spine to be supported and for you to feel grounded in your space.
We begin with a simple half surya namaskar that can be repeated as many times as feels good, connecting body and breath.
When you’re ready step back one foot and rise into Virabhadrasana 2 (warrior 2). On an inhale take it back to Viparita Virabhadrasana (reverse warrior) and breathe there. Before you come back down to the ground, pop up onto your back toes and find a twist in your upper body, challenging yourself by maybe gazing to the back hand.
Repeat on the other side and as many times as you like.
Balance series: you are welcome to do this whole series on one leg or switch legs with every new pose. Also, welcome to switch up the order as well as adding anything extra in, of course.
Beginning in Garudasana (eagle). Knees stack and either kickstand the top toes or wrap around the bottom leg. Arms can cactus or wrap in garudasana arms as well (whichever leg is on TOP, the same arm wraps UNDERNEATH).
Pressing into the bottom foot, bring the top knee into the chest, opposite hand comes to the outside of the foot and extend the leg out straight in front of you, finding your twist. Gaze goes back if possible (also welcome to do this series with the knee bent and the hand holding the outside of the knee).
That top leg comes back through center and moves slowly behind you into Ardha Chandrasana (half moon). Keep the standing leg soft and flex the top foot hard, pulling the toes up towards your face.
Stay right here or take the Ardha Chandra Chapasana variation (bringign the knee to the front of the body might make it easier to take hold of the outside of the foot).
Gently release and doing the other side (if you did all one side at once), improvising however you like!
Coming down to a seat we’ll move through just two stretches together. Hold these poses for at least 3 minutes each and let your body release.
Beginning in Gomukhasana (cow-face) just with the legs. Knees stack and your feet should be as even as they can be out to the sides. If your knees are really distant from each other, place a blanket in between them. Hands out to the side, lengthen your spine and root your sitting bones into the earth. Stay here or start to lengthen the spine forward.
Upavista Konasana (wide legged forward fold). Flex your toes back towards your face, pressing through the bottom of your feet. Sitting bones root down and spine is long. Start to explore this space, forward, to the sides, holding each position for a while to let your body really let go.
Close your time in savasana or a seated meditation. Let your body fully integrate. Thank yourself for giving YOU the gift of fully being in your body, of moving your muscles, of stretching your connective tissue, of challenging yourself. Honor your highest self, your greatest teacher, your intuition.