Round Out Your Practice: Balance


By Cyndi Lee  |  

1. OM: Begin your practice with the chant om.

2. BALANCING BREATH: Inhale for six counts and exhale for six counts.

3. WARM-UP VINYASA:

  • Exhale into Cat Pose, inhale into Cow Pose.
  • Exhale Downward-Facing Dog
  • Inhale Plank Pose
  • Exhale Down Dog
  • Inhale knees down
  • Exhale Child’s Pose
  • Repeat four times.

    4. SUN SALUTATION:

  • Mountain Pose
  • Upward Salute
  • Standing Forward Bend
  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose
  • Upward-Facing Dog
  • Downward Dog
  • Standing Forward Bend
  • Upward Salute
  • When you return to Downward Dog after the first round, add Warrior Poses I and II.
  • Come back to Four-Limbed Staff, and continue the rest of the sequence.
  • End with Mountain Pose
  • Repeat the entire series three to five times.

    5. FEATURED SEQUENCE: Now move through this balancing sequence.

  • Eagle Pose
  • Warrior Pose I
  • Warrior Pose II
  • Standing Splits
  • Boat Pose
  • Scale Pose
  • Four-Limbed Staff Pose
  • Upward-Facing Dog Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Side Plank Pose
  • Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
  • Mountain Pose
  • Perform the sequence twice–once leading with the right leg, then leading with the left.

    6. INVERSION:

  • Practice Handstand by kicking up one leg at a time from Down Dog
  • Alternating legs, kick each leg up five times
  • Rest in Child’s Pose
  • For safety’s sake, practice with your hands three to six inches away from a wall.

    7. BACKBENDS:

  • Do Locust Pose and Bow Pose three times each.
  • Upward Dog
  • Downward Dog
  • Jump forward, landing between your hands in a cross-legged position
  • Stretch your legs forward and roll down onto your back
  • Push up into Bridge Pose for five breaths
  • 8. BACKBEND NEUTRALIZERS:

  • Come into either Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, keeping the legs at 90 degrees, or
  • Revolved Abdomen Pose with bent knees
  • 9. FORWARD BENDS:

  • Practice Bound Angle Pose, Head-to-Knee Pose, and Seated Forward Bend
  • In between, lift into Scale Pose and step back into Four-Limbed Staff Pose
  • Move through Up Dog to Down Dog
  • Jump into a cross-legged position between your hands
  • Rearrange your legs for a Supported Shoulderstand
  • 10. CLOSING POSES:

  • Supported Shoulderstand
  • Plow Pose
  • 10-minute Corpse Pose
  • 11. MEDITATION: Perform a closing meditation to round out your practice.

    12. OM: End your practice with the chant om.

    Cyndi Lee is the founder of OM yoga center in New York City. She is a longtime practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and has been teaching yoga for over 20 years. Cyndi is the author of OM Yoga: A Guide to Daily Practice and Yoga Body, Buddha Mind.