Round Out Your Practice: A Sequence for Flexibility

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

2. BREATHING EXERCISE

  • Sit in Easy Pose and slowly deepen your breathing.
  • Then touch your bottom ribs. Notice how they move when you are breathing.
  • Feel the space in between the bottom rib and the one above it.
  • Then touch the next rib up. Keep going all the way up.

Notice the solid feeling of your ribs, the texture between them, and the delicate power of your breath.

3. WARM-UP VINYASA

Repeat this sequence slowly four times.

4. SUN SALUTATION

On the third Sun Salutation, add warriors I and II to the right side after Down Dog. On the fourth add Warriors I and II to the left side.

Do the following sequences four times, twice on each side.

5. MINI STANDING VINYASA

  • Hold Eagle Pose for five breaths with the right leg wrapped around the left, hooking the toes around the calf, and the right arm under the left.
  • Then unwind the right leg and lift it directly into Tree Pose for eight breaths.
  • Slowly lift the arms overhead, then lower them and repeat to the other side.

6. FEATURED SEQUENCE

Perform the flexibility sequence twice—once leading with the right leg, then leading with the left.

7. FORWARD BEND Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

8. BACKBEND Come up into Bridge Pose and down again five times with the breath, lifting on the inhalations and lowering on the exhalations. On the fifth time, stay up and lift one leg up for three breaths, then put it down. Repeat with the other leg.

10. TWIST Repeat Windshield Wipers or do Revolved Abdomen Pose with the legs bent.

11. INVERSION Supported Shoulderstand

12. CLOSING POSE Do Savasana for ten minutes.

13. MEDITATION Sit and meditate for five to ten minutes.

14. 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.