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Need a quick tune-up? Try this short sequence to find comfort and stability in your body, whenever you feel ungrounded or uncertain.
Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Start in High Plank pose. Bring your right ankle to your left wrist and right knee to your right wrist and lower the front leg down to the mat with the foot flexed. You can tuck the left toes behind you to adjust the back leg and hips and then rest the top of the back foot down and come up onto your fingertips beside your hips to square the hips forward and open the chest. Inhale. As you exhale, slowly begin to bow forward, walking down onto the forearms—eventually rest your forehead on the ground, if that’s available to you. The more parallel to the top of the mat the front shin is, the more intense the stretch will be in the hips. To ease the intensity of the stretch, place your front leg at more of an angle with the right foot closer to the left hip. Repeat on the opposite side.
Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
On your stomach with the feet hips width distance apart, press the tops of the feet down and the hands down underneath the shoulders or beside the ribcage with the fingers spread wide. Begin to lift the chest forward and up and open the heart, taking a deep breath in as you lift the thighs and roll the shoulders back. Elbows straighten or remain bent as you use the strength of your back body and navel to lift up.
From our Live Be Yoga Partner
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Standing Half Bound Lotus Pose (Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana)
Place your flexed right foot in your left hip crease in half lotus, lifting the heel towards your navel. Reach your right arm around your back to bind the right big toe or the inside of the left elbow, slowly walking your right hand down towards the left wrist as the shoulders and chest open. Let the right knee melt down as the hip opens, slowly without force. If you want to practice balance, stay here or begin to forward fold on an exhale, slowly placing your left hand outside of your left foot or both hands down. Use the grounded hand for leverage here to deepen into the fold with stability. Feel free to take a gentle bend in the standing leg or use blocks underneath the hand/hands in the forward fold. To come back up to standing from the fold, take a full breath in to lengthen your spine and look forward, exhale to slightly bend the standing leg and find steadiness and focus to rise up to standing on an inhale. Gently release the leg from half lotus. Repeat on the opposite side.
Plow Pose (Halasana)
Lying on your back, lift your legs up to 90 degrees, magnetizing the inner thighs together and extending energy up through the toes. Wiggle your shoulder blades closer together on the back body and begin to lift your hips into a shoulder stand supporting your back with your hands. Inhale, feeling upward extension through the body. As you exhale, slowly lower the legs back overhead into plow pose, with toes touching the ground. Keep the navel engaged and the hips lifted. Once you find stability, you can release your hands from your back and interlace your fingers pulling the bound hands forward and down to the earth to release tension in the back and shoulders. To come out of this pose, bring your hands back to your low back to lift the legs back up to the sky and exhale as you roll down one vertebrae at a time.
Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
Come into kneeling pose (the toes can be tucked or tops of the feet can be flat on the earth). Place your hands on the lower back framing the sacrum with the fingers pointed downward. Take a deep breath and use the hands to gently press the hips forward, opening the front body and staying grounded in the shins and feet. Open your chest and lift the heart up and back, beginning to open the throat and lower the head back while still pressing the hips forward. If you want to go deeper, you can take your hands back to your heels keeping the navel center strong and the chest lifted. Stay connected to your long deep breath and bring your hands back to your low back to slowly lift back up when you are ready to come out. Let the head be the last to lift back to neutral on an inhale and then exhale and lower your hips to your heels. Sitting in stillness with the spine lengthened, the chin slightly pulled in towards the throat, and the hands at heart center use your breath to circulate the energy of this heart opener and observe the sensations in your body. Stay here or come into Easy Pose for a few minutes of refreshing pranayama or meditation.
Take a Class with Us!
The Live Be Yoga Tour presented by NOW is going virtual—and you can experience classes from our studio partners from across the country! Starting in July, join us weekly for live events, or at your convenience in our on-demand archive. LBY Ambassadors Monica Cadena will introduce these incredible instructors in exclusive pre-class interviews. Most studios have been closed due to COVID, or many recently have opened under restrictive guidelines. They have helped their communities maintain a yoga practice—more crucial than ever for our collective health and well-being—through live and on-demand classes. Please support their efforts with a donation if you are able.
Visit LiveBeYoga.com for more information on live event dates and our LBY partners.
Cameron Allen is one of Yoga Journal’s Live Be Yoga Tour Ambassadors. This year, the Live Be Yoga Tour—our annual roadtrip—is going virtual. We are calling it The Decompression. Recently, we’ve all been asked to journey inward, to take moments of pause and stillness, and to slow down, rest, and prioritize the things we value. Follow the Live Be Yoga 2020 series here, stay connected with us at @livebeyoga on social, and join the movement to find beauty in stillness.