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Yoga Sequences by Level

A Yoga Sequence to Help You Commit to Daily Practice

Discover how a single sequence, when practiced consistently, can provide grounding, openness, and a greater sense of stability in all aspects of your life with this routine from Sonima.

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Sometimes relying on a solid structure can help bring a little more ease and happiness into our lives. The trick is to use the benefits of structure as a gateway toward feeling safe in the unknown.

As the poet Rumi writes, “This being human is a Guest House, every day a new arrival.” One never knows what emotions may arise—we cannot control the natural fluctuation of our vibrant heart, the ongoing flow of feelings and thoughts. What we can do, however, is work with our mind by accepting its nature and with our body by strengthening and opening it so that it is both powerful and spacious enough to welcome all sorts of interesting thoughts and sensations. A diligent yoga practice can help cultivate a sense of stability, trust, and ease in dealing with the unexpected.

How does one lay the foundation for a steady practice? A new year is not our only cue: Each new breath is an opportunity for refreshing.

Beginnings can be exciting because they help us find that childlike sense of wonder. Initially one might feel a deep sense of motivation and energy that helps take that first step, but eventually routine might become boring if not properly addressed. Two elements are essential in order to fully achieve your goal: diligence and the energy to stick with it.

With daily practice the physical work will become second nature and the mind will gain the ability to focus, trust, and let go. The repetition of a single routine will also bring changes to the body’s strength and flexibility. The trick is to work with no expectations of what you may achieve, but just with consistency. Humbly acknowledge and invite every emotion in without discrimination—simply observe and accept.

I invite you to practice the sequence below every day for 28 days. Set a start date and write it down, look up an end date, and circle it on your calendar, then every day after practicing, circle the day you are on and notice. Let your fingers touch a pen and paper. Make that little effort to reconnect to the basics. Notice each feeling, the change in your body depending on the circumstances, the day of the week; never judging, just listening. Lastly, try not to talk about it too much. Let this be your personal discovery, a secret you share with you and your body. Let the benefits of it reflect in the way you interact with yourself and others. And then if, and only if, the secret must be shared, you will know and trust who too can benefit.

See also Give Your Meditation Practice Staying Power: Set an Intention

A Yoga Sequence for Building a Daily Practice

The following sequence will wake up the body and activate essential muscles to infuse your day with stability and openness. Pay special attention to the use of the block and the floor when gliding in and through each pose. How is the block helping you create more length and strength? The block acts like a second pair of eyes. Because there is nobody there to check your alignment, you can use the block as a way to realign your posture. Make a mental and physical note of the sensations. If certain feelings arise, just let them in through your inhale and out through your exhale.

Also from our partner The Surprising Things I Learned by Starting a Daily Yoga Practice

Child’s Pose

childs pose

Balasana

Bring toes to touch, knees mat-width apart, hands reaching forward.

See also Create Space for a Dedicated Home Practice

Hero Pose

seated pose

Virasana

Sit up on a block (or two) with the toes turned in and the knees touching.

See also Give Yourself Props in Hero Pose

Cat Pose

cat cow pose

Marjaryasana

Squeeze a block between the thighs. Curl the spine, sucking the belly in. Slide the shoulders back.

See also Vinyasa 101: 3 Crucial Things To Know About the Spine

Downward Dog

downward facing dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Keep the block in between the thighs to help you activate them as you transition into Downward Dog.

Also from our partner Your Body in Downward Dog

Downward Dog with Bent Knees

downward facing dog, knees bent

Lift your hips and heels up, slide your ribs toward your thighs and feel your arms lengthening. Use your legs to lengthen your torso.

See also 3 Ways to Make Downward-Facing Dog Feel Better

Plank Pose

plank pose

Keep the block between the thighs and reach your heels back. Press down into the space of the index finger and thumb and press your shoulders back.

See also Yoga For Beginners: Build a Strong Core with Plank Pose

Child’s Pose

child's pose with block

Balasana

Keep the block between the thighs to help open up the back of the heart. Be comfortable into the discomfort.

See also 6 Yoga Props to Boost Your Practice

Low Lunge with Block

modify low lunge

Anjaneyasana, variation

Place the block underneath your quad close to your knee but not under the knee. Tent your fingertips. If possible, push your front knee into the armpit. Point your back toes toward the ceiling.

See also 3 Steps to a Balanced Home Practice

Pyramid Pose

modify triangle pose

Parsvottanasana

Ground your back heel. Work equally to extend both your back body and front body. Draw the back hip forward as you pull the front foot back. Slide your shoulders toward your hips and press into the hands.

See also Explore Your Hamstrings: Yoga Poses for All Three Muscles

Warrior I Pose

warrior 1 with block

Virabhadrasana I

Bring the block between the palms and use it to help lengthen the arms. Drop the shoulder blades down toward the hips.

Also from our partner Yoga Tutorial: Warrior Pose

Warrior I with Bent Arms

warrior 1, hands behind head

Virabhadrasana I, variation

Bend your elbows. Wrap your biceps in to touch your temples. Push your palms into the black. Press into your back foot, using it as your anchor.

See also Baptiste Yoga: 10 Poses for Strong Arms

Mountain Pose with Arms Extended

Standing with block

Urdhva Hastasana

Reach the arms overhead with the block between the hands. Press down into your feet. Press the big toe mounds out toward the pinky toes.

See also 3 Ways to Modify Tadasana + Stay Present

Mountain Pose with Serratus and Rhomboid Activation

rhomboid

Tadasana, variation

Stand up with your elbows bent. Push your hands into the block and wrap your shoulder blades down toward each other.

See also A Yogi’s Guide to the Shoulder Girdle + Its Actions

Chair Pose, variation

chair pose

Utkatasana, variation

Reach your hips back, breathe into your heels, and extend the arms forward, holding the block between your hands. Create as much opposition between your hands and your hips as possible.

See also 3 Yoga Mudras for Love, Focus, and Freedom

Extended Side Angle Pose

revolved lunge

Utthita Parsvakonasana

Put the block outside your front foot, step one leg back and press into the back foot. Use the block to slide your bottom shoulder blade back. Push the arm into the knee and extend the crown of the head away from the hips.

See also Lengthen Your Side Body in Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana)

Standing Forward Bend with Crossed Ankles

standing forward fold

Uttanasana, variation

Cross your ankles. Press the inside edges of the feet into the floor as much as possible and patiently let your body fall into your legs.

See also Back to Basics: Advance Your Standing Forward Bend

Shoulder Opener Stretch

savasana, face down

Move through Downward-Facing Dog into a downward-facing shoulder stretch using your blocks under your elbows.

See also Why Do We Practice Advanced Asana?

Child’s Pose

childs pose

Balasana

Now repeat the sequence without the block, keeping the sensation of the block in mind. You may notice that what felt like a restriction actually helped you create spaciousness and strength. Try to be as mindful in your transitions and holds as you were when using the block.

See also Find Comfort in Child’s Pose

Cow Pose

cat cow pose

Bitilasana

See also Add Cat Pose and Cow Pose to a Gentle Vinyasa Flow

Upward-Facing Dog Pose

up-dog

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Also from our partner Your Body in Upward-Facing Dog

Three-Legged Dog Pose

3 legged dog

Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana

See also Back to Basics: Three-Legged Down Dog Dissected

Low Lunge

low lunge

Anjaneyasana

See also Yoga for Moms: Healing Your Pelvic Floor

 

Warrior I Pose

warrior 1 pose

Virabhadrasana I

See also Kathryn Budig’s Dancing Warrior Moving Meditation

Forward Fold

standing forward fold

Uttanasana

See also Fold Forward, Turn In

Squatting Chair Pose

modify chair pose

Utkatasana

Bend the knees a lot so that the chest and thighs stay connected. Look forward and lengthen the back and the side bodies.

See also Yoga for Beginners: Strengthen Core + Thigh Muscles in Chair Pose

Extended Side Angle Pose

revolved low lunge

Utthita Parsvakonasana

See also Watch + Learn: Extended Side Angle Pose

Warrior III Pose

standing half moon

Virabhadrasana III

Plant the palms underneath the shoulders, and level the hips.

See also Shiva Rea’s Warrior III Bow Body Mudra

Handstand

handstand

Adho Mukha Vrksasana

See also A Sequence to Learn How to Do Handstand

Child’s Pose

child's pose, hand behind head

Balasana

Rest the elbows on blocks and bring the palms to touch at the back of the neck and breathe.

See also The Office Yoga Sequence to Restore and Rejuvenate

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