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Get back to your true nature. Fight frenzied Fall energy with this grounding sequence designed to be done outdoors.
If the frenzied transition into fall has you feeling out of whack, cultivate a sense of calm by incorporating the healing energy of nature into your practice. There’s no better time than now to get outside, indulge in a deep breath of fresh air, and hit the reset button. Try this no-mat-required grounding sequence (shot in Canada’s pristine Maritime provinces) with Mother Nature on your next camping trip, afternoon hike, or stop in a neighborhood park. Don’t be afraid to get your feet dirty and really feel the earth between your toes.
See also Ayurvedic Detox Techniques for Fall
Grounding Fall Flow
To start, warm up your spine with a few rounds of Cat and Cow. Hold each of the following poses for 3–5 deep breaths. Complete the sequence on the right side of your body before switching to the left.
Step into yourself first. Plant feet outer hip-width apart and root tailbone down. Rock the soles of your feet forward and back and side to side to really feel the earth beneath your soles as you spread your toes. Broaden the collarbones by rotating the palms outward and extending through the fingertips to reach toward the earth’s energy. Close your eyes and feel the sun on your face. Gaze deep into your Third Eye Chakra and invite your intuition to guide you.
(Warrior I Pose)
Invite in a full, deep breath as you sweep your arms overhead and step your left foot long behind you. Straighten your elbows and let your fingertips touch to activate the triceps. Press into the outer edge of the back foot to distribute weight evenly through both legs. Stack the front knee over your ankle and root down through both feet to rise up through the torso.
Optional: Close your eyes and drop your head back slightly.
(Warrior II Pose)
Open arms wide to either side to create one long line of energy from the tips of the front fingers, all the way to the back. Cultivate a sense of grounded, powerful warrior energy as you continue pressing down through both soles of your feet. Soften your shoulders down the back and relax the muscles in your face.
(Reverse Warrior Pose)
Release the left arm behind you to catch the back leg as you extend the right arm overhead. Be mindful that your weight doesn’t shift to the back leg but stays even through both feet. Surrender to the beauty of nature by embodying the elegance of this shape as you release the head back gently.
See also Back to Nature: Taking Yoga Outdoors
(Extended Side Angle Pose)
Reach your right fingertips forward and let them guide you through the transition into Side Angle Pose. Release your right hand to the floor, inside or outside of the front foot. Extend the left arm overhead. Keep your front knee behind the ankle. Wrap your right glute underneath of you and rotate the left hip point upward.
Optional: Turn your gaze to the sky while still rooting through your right fingertips, fusing a connection to the earth below and the heavens above.
(Bound Side Angle Pose)
Reach your right hand under your right thigh and release your left hand behind you, clasping hands together. If your hands don’t quite meet, reach for the top of the right thigh with the left hand and keep the right hand to the floor. Root through the feet to find lift and opening through the chest. Release shoulders down the back to keep the heart open. Let the sounds around you heighten your internal awareness of how this shape feels in your body rather than letting the mind race with intensity. Breathe deeply to create more space in the right side of the body.
See also Grounding Tips for Vata Imbalance
Transition: Svarga Dvijasana Prep
(Bird of Paradise Pose Prep)
Step your back foot forward to meet your right, maintaining the bind. Take a moment to explore the sensations here. Then begin to shift your weight into the left foot. Use the rooting action of the left sole to begin lifting the right foot off the ground and rise through the torso.
See also 4 Prep Poses for Bird of Paradise
(Bird of Paradise Pose)
Continue pressing down through the left foot and extend through the right heel to help straighten the right leg. Spread your right toes to find greater extension and help with balance. Turn your gaze over your right shoulder and fuse your energy with your surroundings. Don’t forget to breathe—and smile!
See also 5 Steps To Master Bird of Paradise
Step the right foot back down to the earth to unravel the arms. Fold forward in Uttanasana for a moment to come back to your breath. Shifting your weight back into the sole of your left foot, slowly begin to roll yourself up to stand, taking the right foot with you. Find Tree Pose by placing the sole of the right foot either above or below the knee. Root the standing foot down to grow tall out of the waist. Any variation with your hands here will do, but I’ve chosen Gyan Mudra to cultivate inner peace and wisdom to seal this practice.
About Andrea Rice
Andrea Rice is a writer and yoga teacher based in Brooklyn. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, mindbodygreen and a variety of music magazines. Her teaching style is a blend of her love for music and intuitive movement, with emphasis on core strength. You can find her regular classes at Shambhala Yoga in Brooklyn and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.