In Yoga Journal’s online course, Yoga for Inner Peace, Colleen Saidman Yee—acclaimed yoga teacher, former fashion model, and the wife of yogi Rodney Yee—offers 3 yogic practices a week for 12 weeks to transform your body, mind, and heart and support YOU in your personal journey toward inner peace.
Happy National Yoga Month! We’re celebrating by recommitting to a daily practice and challenging you to join us. As school, life, and work priorities pick back up after the summer hiatus, there’s no better time to return to a regular yoga ritual for balance. Making home practice a habit is one of the most powerful and empowering ways we can use yoga to enhance the rest of our lives.
To kick us off, Colleen Saidman Yee has devised a plan to help you recharge your batteries and prioritize your practice through this last-hurrah-of-summer weekend into back-to-school week.
Week 1 Daily Practice Plan
Practice the sequence as instructed—no variations or additions to worry about.
Add 3 Sun Salutations to the beginning of the sequence. Sun Salutations are great if the thoughts circulating in your head are creating more stress. Stress can also make you feel frozen and stiff. Sun Salutations loosen you up and by following the breath, you are no longer spinning stressful stories around in your brain.
Practice the sequence as instructed, adding a Supported Shoulderstand before Plow Pose and a Reclining Bound Angle Pose before Savasana. After Savasana, sit in meditation for 5 minutes, elongating the pause after the exhale by 2 counts. This is the ultimate cooling practice, reversing the heat of stress and leaving you calm.
Practice the sequence as instructed, adding a restorative Seated Forward Bend after Plow Pose. Spread the legs enough to put a block between them and rest your head on the block. This increases the exhalation, depressurizes the head, and releases the hamstrings. Stay for 10 breaths. Then, sit for 5 minutes and watch the breath while elongating the exhalation. This creates more quietness.
Practice the sequence as instructed, adding a 3-minute meditation to Savasana, watching and lengthening the exhalation. This creates more grounding and support, leading to more release and more stress relief. Putting weights on your thighs increases the grounding and relaxation by releasing the thighs, which are the biggest muscles that fire when we feel threatened. You can also put your calves on a chair with weights on the shins. This is a great release for those of us who hold stress in our lower back, and it also creates relaxation in the calves, which can get stuck in go mode. You can use sandbags or barbell weights, or anything that you have lying around. I recommend using about 10 lbs. of weight.
After the sequence, sit in meditation for 7 minutes merely watching the breath with no manipulation. Focusing on your breath is a great way to train the monkey mind and work out the agitation in the body. Once we train the mind and release the body, we are ready for deep restoration.
More from Colleen Saidman Yee!
Enrollment extended! Register now for Colleen Saidman Yee’s Yoga for Inner Peace online course and save $25 using the code INNERPEACE25. Plus, you’ll automatically be entered to win a class pass to attend Colleen’s in-person event at YJ LIVE! Colorado Saturday, September 24th. Hurry! Course enrollment ends September 5th.