Yoga Sequences

Elena Brower’s Sequence to Find Your Foundation in Your Feet

Consider this grounding sequence a reorientation to your foundation.

Want to design a viable personal practice? Don’t miss Elena’s workshop, Peace, Power, and Potency in Your Home Practice, at Yoga Journal LIVE New York on Friday, April 21. Sign up today!

Today, you’ll get acquainted with your feet, stretch and strengthen your legs, and treat your entire body to a rejuvenating rest before you sit. Consider this a reorientation to your foundation.

Massage Your Feet

Massage Your Feet Elena Brower

Caring for our feet and legs is a good way to ground, center, and remember ourselves. Sitting on your mat, fold your right leg so that you can easily use your left thumb to massage the foot, including the arch, each toe, and the spaces between the toes. Keep your eyes soft as you observe the circulation in your foot and the quiet in your mind; massage your foot for 5 breaths, and then switch to the other side.

See also A “Sat Nam” Meditation with Elena Brower

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Downward-Facing Dog Pose ELENA BROWER

Adho Mukha Svanasana

This pose opens the entire back of the body and helps recirculate energy throughout the system. From Tabletop (on your hands and knees), press down into your index-finger knuckles and lift your knees, reaching your sitting bones high and wide and keeping your knees slightly bent to stay stable and bouncy. Relax your face and breathe as you ground through your hands and stretch your seat high. Externally rotate your arms and turn your armpits toward your heart to maintain buoyancy in your arms. Take 3 to 5 long, deep breaths.

See also A Meditation for Conscious Parenting

Standing Forward Bend

Standing Forward Bend Elena Brower

Uttanasana

Walk your feet to your hands and rest your belly on your thighs. Work toward placing your armpits on your knees and relax your head down. Holding the backs of your ankles in your palms, reach your sitting bones high and wide, balancing your weight over the balls of your feet. Take 3 to 5 long, deep breaths.

See also Elena Brower’s 10-Minute Yoga Nidra to Alleviate Stress

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose Elena Brower

Viparita Karani 

Find a clear space at the wall or against a chair or sofa. Sit down near it, shimmy your seat close, and rest your legs up the wall or on the chair or sofa. Notice how you shift into a state of deep relaxation. Set your timer for 3 to 5 minutes, and smile as you breathe normally. To come out, swivel one hip toward the wall and gently lower your legs.

See also A Meditation for Releasing Unhealthy Patterns

Meditation

elena brower 5-day meditation challenge

Slowly roll up to sitting, and with your back against the wall or your furniture, close your eyes and invite in the silence. Feel how the back support holds you steady as you become more comfortable sitting for meditation. Set your timer for 5, 10, or 20 minutes. Let your breath rise and fall effortlessly as you settle in, allowing thoughts to arise—and the moments of silence to seep in, calming your body. Once your timer chimes, keep your eyes closed and feel free to move and stretch as you take several slow, deep breaths. Now sit quietly again, keeping your eyes closed for another minute or two. When you’re ready, open your eyes and let the world back in.

See also The Office Yoga Sequence to Restore and Rejuvenate

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Elena Brower is the author of Art of Attention, a renowned yoga workbook, now translated into five languages. Studying and teaching since 1998, she’s respected globally for her distinct blend of alignment and attention in her teaching of yoga and meditation. Her audio meditation coursework, Cultivating Spiritual Intelligence, is beloved for its accessibility and relevance, and her yoga teaching is influenced by several traditions including Katonah Yoga, Kundalini and ParaYoga. Elena is also the founder of Teach.yoga, a global website for teachers, and her second book, Practice You, will be published in 2018 by Sounds True. Practices with Elena can be found on YogaGlo.com.