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Reset with this 20-minute sequence by recognizing where you’re holding stress and emotions, breathing into that space, releasing the tension, then refueling with energy for your day.
Mandy Ingber has become famous for sculpting Hollywood hardbodies like Jennifer Aniston and Kate Beckinsale. But, if you ask her, the celebrity yoga teacher will be the first to tell you that a fit physique is simply a fringe benefit of a regular yoga practice.
Rather than focusing on the physical perks of doing countless Sun Salutations, Ingber delves deeper into exploring yoga’s ability to heal and overcome grief in her new book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy. And the effects of a spiritual practice are the same regardless of whether you’re a an A-list actor or a teenage girl in middle America. “The space to be who we are in the moment—in whatever state—is incredibly healing,” Ingber says. “I cannot tell you how many times people have released pent-up emotion simply by moving. We all need space to unwind and find ourselves, meet ourselves wherever we are.”
Reset with this 20-minute sequence Ingber created exclusively for YJ readers. Recognize where you’re holding stress and emotions, breathe into that space, release the tension, then refuel with energy for your day.
Enter to win one of 20 free copies of Ingber’s new book, available in stores May 10, in this week’s #TGIF giveaway!
20-Minute Sequence for Overcoming Grief
WARM UP Start with 5–10 rounds of Sun Salutations.
PRACTICE Repeat each pose in the sequence 2–3 times. For your first round, hold each pose for 30 seconds. For your second round, hold each pose for 60 seconds. Repeat this entire sequence daily for at least two weeks to see immediate results.
Twisting Lunge Pose
Stepping your left leg back about four feet with your feet hip-width apart and palms at your heart in prayer for Crescent Lunge. Bring your front knee to a 90-degree angle with your back leg straight and heel lifted. Point your tailbone slightly down so the sitting bones aim toward the earth. Inhale. On the exhale, reach your right arm up toward the ceiling and revolve your torso to the right. Extend your sternum forward on each inhale. On each exhale, twist a little more deelply. Unwind your body and step forward with your left leg. Switch sides and repeat.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Standing at the top of your mat, turn sideways and step your feet 4–5 feet apart with your toes angled slightly in. Reach your arms wide to the sides at shoulder height. Take a deep breath in then exhale. Extend your sternum and bend forward with a flat back. Clasp your hands behind your back as you allow your body to fold forward. Firm your thighs. Breathe. Bring your hands back to your hips, firm your thighs and, again with a flat back, rise back up.
Step your feet back together and face forward on your mat. Shift your body weight onto your left leg as you bend your right leg behind you. Open your right arm and reach back for the insole fo your right foot as you extend your left arm up alongside your left ear. Reach for the sky. Fix your gaze and begin to reach through your arm as you tilt forward and kick the top of your right foot back into your right hand. Firm your standing leg and breathe. Switch sides and repeat.
Kneel at the top of your mat your knees hips-width apart and the tops of your feet on the floor. With your tailbone pointed toward your heels, place your palms on your lower back for support as you firm your thighs and press your hips forward. Shrug your shoulders back and hug your elbows in as you press your thighs forward. If you feel ready to go further, reach for your right hand back for your right heel. Extend your left arm up, over and back, gazing up at your left fingertips. Reach your sternum up and over to lift and expand your chest. Breathe. Follow your left fingertips with your gaze as you reach forward to rise. Rest in Child’s Pose briefly before you repeat on the opposite side.
With your knees open and toes together, bow forward bringing your forehead and the tip of your nose to your mat with your hips resting on your heels. Allow your belly to release between your legs as you breathe deeply. Let go.