If you want to build a consistent home practice, start by choosing four or five poses that feel great, so you’ll feel compelled (rather than obligated) to roll out your mat. After these 10 minutes, your practice can gain a momentum of its own and go in any direction—whether it’s quiet and restorative or physically vigorous.

Start with this sequence:

Supta padangusthasana I (reclining big toe pose I)Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.58.44 PM

Lie on your back. Hook a belt around your right foot and raise your foot up toward the ceiling, drawing the shoulder blades onto your back. Hold for 5 breaths and switch legs.

 

 

Supta padangusthasana II (reclining big toe pose II)

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Repeat reclining big toe pose on the right leg. This time, as you exhale, open the leg out to the side. Hold for 5 breaths, and then switch to the left leg.

 

 

 

Adho mukha sukhasana (seated forward fold pose)

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From a seated position, fold at the hips and walk your fingertips forward until your arms are fully extended. After 5 breaths, sit up, change the cross of the legs, and repeat.

 

Adho mukha shvanasana (downward-facing dog pose)

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Press up into downward dog. Keep your knees bent—and your heels lifted. As you exhale, lift your sitting bones, press your thighs back, and stretch your heels toward the floor. You can also walk your dog by bringing one heel at the time on the floor. Synchronise the breath with the movement.

 

 

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Anjaneyasana (low lunge pose)

From downward dog, step your right foot forward between your hands, drop your left knee to the ground, and bring both hands to your right knee. After 3 to 5 breaths, switch legs.
Raise your arms up if your lower back allows it.

 

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Adho mukha shvanasana (downward-facing dog pose)

Press up into downward dog once again. Bend your knees slightly and lift your sitting bones up toward the ceiling. Exhale, press your thighs back, and stretch your heels toward the floor. Lift one leg up, first hips square foot flexed then open your hip pointing the toes. Do the other side

Eka pada rajakapotasana (pigeon prep pose)

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Bring your right leg forward into pigeon pose, keeping your left leg extended behind you. Hinging at the hips, rest your forehead on your arms. Hold for a minute, and then switch legs.

Balasana (child’s pose)

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.59.26 PM Kneel on the floor. With big toes touching, open your knees wide and fold forward at the hips. Rest your forehead on the floor and stretch your arms out in front of you.

And now… have fun and add few more postures!

Tips for smart sequencing:

Start by getting in touch with your breath. Ujjayi Pranayama in child’s pose or a seated position works well.

Warm up the spine and backs of the legs slowly with some nice gentle stretches – cat/cows, rag doll forward fold, gentle lunges are all good options. Sun Salutations – ESSENTIAL! Really follow the breath. Be precise through the vinyasa positions – don’t skimp on your Chaturangas…4th postures if you don’t remember :-)  (knees bent and on the floor if you have any lower back pain)!surya namaskar A

Standing and Balancing poses – Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Virabhadrasana ,2 3 (Warrior 1,2,and 3), Vriksasana (Tree pose) just to name few. The twisted variations of each of these poses are wonderful as well. Give your hip flexors some attention with runner’s lunge/lizard (elbows on the floor) or a low lunge with the arms arching up overhead for a nice heart opening sensation.

Seated poses – Include forward folds, twists and hip-openers. Always practice equally on the left and right sides. Include focus on building core-strength with strong, long Chaturangas and poses like Navasana (boat pose), forearm plank and side plank.

When you are properly warmed up, practice backbends – maybe just start with a Bridge pose. Locust, Bow and Camel are all great poses to build strength around the spine and to really open the chest. These poses will help you in Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana). It is important to stay really engaged with your bandhas in all your backbends. Having a strong lift at the navel will help make space in your lower back for deeper and safer back bending. Always practice a gentle forward fold to neutralize the spine after back bending. I also like adding a twist lying on the floor.

End with inversions (shoulder stand or if you are comfortable headstand) and other quieting poses (maybe some passive forward folding or restoratives).

Savasana – Give your body the time to integrate all of the energetic movement that you facilitated through asana. Let your mind and body relax and be receptive.

Sit and Meditate for 5 to 10 mn. Listen to your breath and stay present by observing the quality & the length of each inhalation and exhalation.

Express Gratitude ! Give thanks! You are blessed to be practicing yoga – don’t forget that! An attitude of gratitude opens doors and hearts.
Keep your practice interesting and fun. It’s a great time to explore and really listen to your body.

Enjoy!