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Day 19: Beginner

Gentle Flow with Kathryn Budig

Today's practice was designed by Kathryn Budig, a Los Angeles-based teacher known for awe-inspiring arm balances. But don't let that scare you. This sequence is suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike. Though only 20 minutes long, it's a well-rounded practice that includes back- and forward bends, hip openers, a balance pose, and what Budig likes to call "Flashdance asana." Leg warmers won't be necessary, but have two blocks and a strap on hand.

In flow yoga, or vinyasa yoga, we spend almost as much time moving between postures as holding them. This dance-like approach is great for building strength and stamina, and it's ideal for people who are easily bored or distracted. What makes it more than a workout is the emphasis on linking breath and movement. You'll notice that expansive movements are supported by inhalations while contractive ones are supported by exhalations. Done right, a flow practice becomes a moving meditation.

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Challenge Tip

If you've been to a lot of yoga classes, you've probably heard a teacher suggest that you set an intention for your practice. But how to go about it? The first step is to take stock: How do you feel? What's going through your mind? Is there something you could use more of (such as energy, motivation, compassion) or wish you could shed (tension, anxiety, resentment)? Use that information to create a simple intention, such as "Today I want to feel inspired" or "Today I want to forgive." Approaching your practice with intention amplifies its benefits.

Today's Recipe: Pear Crisp with
Dried Cherries

You've been working hard—you deserve a treat. This easy-to-prepare, delicious dessert will be just as tasty in the morning alongside a cup of green tea with almond milk.

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