For a traveling yogi, the biggest challenge can be finding time to squeeze in your practice. So we asked our June cover model and Florida yoga teacher Paige Held(who is always on the go) to give us #10PerfectPoses for yogis on a time crunch.
“If you want to max the benefits of your practice and only have 20 minutes, flow through this after flying or driving,” says Held. "This sequence will systematically pump blood and oxygen through your system waking up your sleepy parts.” Work through the series on one side, and repeat on the other.
1. High Lunge, variation
From Mountain Pose step your left foot back, staying high on the ball of the left foot. Keep your front knee aligned directly over the right knee, and your back leg strong and straight. Keep your tailbone neutral and lower abdomen pulled in. Reach your arms to the sky firmly. Stay for a few breaths. Come back to Tadasana.
From High Lunge, bring your hands to meet at your heart, move your right elbow to outside of left knee, keep your hips neutral and back leg firm. Roll your shoulders down away from your ears and twist from your middle thoracic spine. (Think about lengthening the spine here.) Stay for a few breaths, and untwist back to center.
Get your heart rate up and your blood flowing with Pumping Warrior. From Warrior II, straighten out your bent leg, reach your arms overhead and press your palms together. Squeeze and release your muscles to your bones with the inhale and exhale, and come back to Warrior II. Repeat the pumping motion 3 times.
5. Exalted Warrior
From Warrior II, flip your front arm up and reach it up and back, while your bottom arm reaches back to res along your hamstrings. You'll feel the stretch in the side reaching up, but strive for length in both sides of the body. as well. Keep your front knee bent directly over the ankle, and your back leg firm. Stay for 2 breaths, and come back up to Warrior II.
6. Extended Side Angle with a Bind
From Warrior II, reach your body forward toward bringing the shoulder to the forward bending knee and the hand to the floor on the inside of the foot. Reach the arm under the bent leg, and rotating your torso and chest upward, clasp the bottom hand to your top hand behind you. Energetically squeeze the heels together for stability. Keep the heart open and breathe smoothly here for a few breaths.
From Extended Side Angle keep your bind, take eye gaze to your front of foot, and heel/toe your back leg in until you feel you can lift it steadily off the ground. Lean forward, slowly straightening your legs, allowing the pose to unfold. You must create a space for trust here. Remember falling is part of the process. It's not how many times we fall, it’s how we pick ourselves up and try again.
Lower down from Standing Split and come back to Warrior II. Straighten your legs, take your feet parallel, inhale your arms overhead, and exhale down into a wide forward fold. Grab your big toes with your Peace fingers, rotate your elbows out to the sides, and stretch the crown of your head down to the floor.
From Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend, place your forearms on the ground, keep your elbows shoulder-width apart. Lean forward putting your weight into the forearms. Press your shoulder blades down your back. Reach your legs out and slightly forward, engage your core, keep pelvis rotating over your shoulders, and begin stacking your joints. Lift your legs to the sky while moving your eye gaze forward. Proper alignment is essential in this pose to avoid injury in upper body.
From Forearm Stand, cross your shins, pushing down into yours arms while puling up into the pelvic floor. Float down into a comfortable seated pose. Take your hands to heart center in prayer position, close your eyes, and bow down to yourself. See this pose