If you’re struggling with your willpower lately, you are not alone. While this year has brought some of us more free time, many of us may have found ourselves feeling burned out, overwhelmed, and stuck in our heads. Our collective environment and the challenging, constantly shifting reality of the time we’re living in can greatly affect our motivation, even when projects or endeavors are exciting on paper or in theory.
Fortunately, through yoga, you can cultivate the power of the manipura, or solar plexus, chakra to fire up your energy, set focused intentions, and take action to reach your goals. Try this empowering, grounding sequence, created by yoga teacher Charnette Batey to help you reconnect to your strength and creative spirit, and recharge your ability to see things through.
Cultivating Will Power
Start building strength and heat in your body with a Plank Pose. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and your ankles over your toes. Engage your lower abs more than your glutes. Gaze about 4 inches ahead and down. Try to sense the lightness in this foundational, but challenging, pose. The freedom in this pose comes from the correct alignment. Enjoy any feelings of an inner fire beginning to simmer. When a sensation arises, check your alignment and come back to your breath. Take 5 slow breaths in this pose.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
From Plank Pose, press into the earth with all 10 fingers. Send your tail bone high as you lift your hips up and back to find an inverted V shape with your body. You can bend your knees to protect and lengthen your lower spine and ease tight hamstrings. This stress-relieving pose allows your spine to lengthen and stretches the backs of your legs. Encourage your heart space to move closer to your thighs and relax your neck. Breathe into your belly. Stay here for 5 breaths.
For a thicker yoga mat for your practice, try Retrospec Solana Yoga Mat.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
Peel your shoulders back and lift through your heart space in this back-bending pose. Breathe into this stretch for your abdominals. Press your hands into the earth to encourage your upper body to lift higher. This pose stimulates your abdominal organs and your solar plexus. It can also help relieve fatigue. Make sure to inhale completely. Stay for 3 full rounds of breath. Engage your abs to press back to Downward Facing Dog.
Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I)
From Downward-Facing Dog, step your left foot forward near your hands. Spin your back heel down and lift your torso. Reach your arms up to frame your face. Grounding the outer edge of your back foot helps you stay connected to your core. Rooting your back foot can help you feel your glutes fire up, too. Keep drawing your back hip forward and your front hip back. Warrior Pose I is a foundational pose that promotes focus and stability, and can ground you for inner growth and productivity. Take 5 intentional deep breaths in this pose. Then take a vinyasa and switch sides.
For help with gripping your pose, try SHANDALI GoSweat Non-Slip Hot Yoga Towel.
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior Pose III)
From Warrior Pose I, shift your body weight forward onto your front foot as you straighten your front leg. Lift your back leg up as you fly forward into Warrior III, which symbolizes a warrior following through on their mission. If possible, bring your back leg and arms parallel to the earth. Or you can ground your hands under your shoulders on blocks or the floor. Your standing leg may bend as you anchor your grounded foot in this pose. Use your inner strength to hug your midline to engage your legs and core to keep your upper body lifting and aerial leg shooting back. This pose stimulates your crown chakra as well as your core (solar plexus), increases concentration, and reduces anxious feelings. Keep your gaze down and slightly forward. Take 3 rounds of breath here. To exit, bend your front knee and step back into Warrior Pose I or step your back foot forward to meet your front foot to find Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Take a vinyasa between sides, then switch sides.
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
From Downward-Facing Dog, step your right foot forward near your hands. Keep your left foot grounded at a 45-degree angle, allowing space for your hips to be more square. You can place your left hand on a block or the floor inside your front foot. Begin turning your torso toward your front leg by twisting from your navel. Engage your core, and keep reaching toward the sky with your right hand. Lengthen out of your waist as you breathe in. Twist more as you exhale. This posture encourages your upper body to open and improves your strength, balance, and coordination. This pose builds confidence. Stay for 5 rounds of deep, slow breath. Repeat on the opposite side.
For some supported balance in your practice, try Gaiam Essentials Yoga Block (Set of 2).
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Lie down on your abdomen. Bend your knees, sweep your hands back, and hold onto the outsides of your ankles. Press your belly into the earth, and kick back into your hands to lift your heart. Gaze at your nose or a little higher without compressing your neck. Keep your arms straight. Take a round of breath in this intense heart-opening pose, which also stimulates your abdominal organs. Really tap into the power inside of you to keep your heart shining forward and your feet kicking up and back. This pose increases full-body circulation, it invigorates the mind, and it helps to rid the body of fatigue. Repeat 3 times, relaxing between each cycle.
Paripurna Navasana (Boat Pose)
Move into a seated position. Bend your knees and ground your feet. Shift your body weight back into your hips and lift your feet up off the floor, creating a V shape with your body. This core strengthening pose can also be done with your knees bent and closer to your chest. Reach your arms long beside your body, palms up. Keep your heart lifted and engage your abdominals. Let your buttocks support your entire body. This challenging pose increases focus and stamina. See it through! Start with 5 breaths or challenge yourself to hold Navasana for up to 1 minute. Keep breathing and lifting your gaze.
For additional cushion on your mat, try a Mexican Blanket like Falsa Blanket | Authentic Hand Woven Blanket
Marichyasana (Seated Spinal Twist)
From a seated position, press both of your sitting bones into the earth. Extend your left leg long and flex your left foot. Bend your right knee, and root your right foot outside of your left knee. Sit tall as you inhale, and imagine the twist coming more from your navel than your shoulders. As you exhale, twist to your right, hooking your left elbow outside of your right thigh. Use your back hand as a kickstand behind your hips and sit taller. Breathe into the space you create and be intentional with your energy. This pose can energize your spine and help with digestive problems. It also massages and tones your abdominals. Fire up your willpower and stay for 5 breaths. Return to the starting position and gently counter twist to the left. Return to center again, reposition your legs, and repeat on the other side.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Release onto your back. Stretch your legs long about as wide as the mat. Allow your arms to fall to the sides of your body with your palms facing up, or rest one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Let your hips melt and feel rooted and heavy. Allow your heart to open and feel light. Allow your skin, muscles, and bones of your body to rest and be heavy. This pose allows your body to rejuvenate and restore. You can close your eyes. There’s no need to control or manipulate your breath. Stay as long as needed, reminding yourself that you are supported, you are safe, and you are enough.
For a dose of lavender in your Savasana, try ASUTRA Natural & Organic Yoga Mat Cleaner (Peaceful Lavender Aroma).
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