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Day 1: Beginner

Morning Sequence with Kate Holcombe

Congratulations, you've arrived at the first day of what will be a life-changing three weeks. Each day you'll be given a yoga sequence that will build your skills, help you develop an understanding of how the breath and body move together, and to show you how a dedicated yoga practice can affect your life beyond the mat. Today's practice is a great way to start. The key is to "go at your own pace," says Kate Holcombe, who designed the sequence. That means synchronizing your breath and movements: the longer your breath, the slower your movements. Be sure to breathe at a comfortable pace, without straining, and savor the slight pause at the end of each inhale and exhale.

Holcombe, founder of the Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco and a longtime student of the Indian master T.K.V. Desikachar, emphasizes that postures should be adapted to meet a person's specific needs. As you practice this sequence, listen to your body, backing off if you feel shaky, uncomfortable, or short of breath. Don't be shy about using a chair for support in the forward bend. After all, one of the great things about a home practice is that you get to call the shots.

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Challenge Tip

On this first day of the Yoga Challenge, make a commitment to honor your breath. One way to do that is to begin and end each practice with a few moments of breath observation. Kate Holcombe recommends placing one hand on your belly, feeling it expand with each inhale and gently contract with each exhale.

Today's Recipe: Arugula-Ricotta

Here's an easy post-yoga breakfast (or lunch or dinner!) that can be made with ingredients straight from the fridge.

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