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Yoga Sequences

Feeling a Quarter-Life Crisis Emerging? This Awareness-Building Yoga Sequence Will Help

Transform your quarter-life crisis into a calling.

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Posture 1: Baddha Konasana
Chris Fanning

This sequence, designed by Coby Kozlowski, focuses on helping 20-somethings cultivate awareness from the inside out—and face the challenge of living that practice in as many moments as possible.

Learn more about Kozlowski’s Quarter-Life Calling: Creating an Extraordinary Life in Your 20’s

See also 10 Tips & a Meditation for Riding Life’s Turbulent Waters

5-step sequence that focuses on cultivating awareness

Posture 1: Baddha Konasana

Posture 1: Baddha Konasana
Chris Fanning

1. Trust life: There is an intelligence to life itself, and part of being 20-something is daring to trust the process and the unfolding of your life. Don’t worry about seeing the end of the road. The practice is to savor as many moments as possible along the way, as you learn to skillfully engage and ride the waves. Honor where you are, rather than where you are going. Remember, there will always be parts of life that will be concealed to you—that’s part of what makes life so sweet!

Posture 1: Baddha Konasana

1. Begin in a seated position, with the soles of your feet together and knees spread wide. If your back is rounded in this position, place a cushion or blanket underneath your hips.

2. Bring both hands to your feet, or place a strap around your feet.

3. Lengthen your spine, engage your abdominals and externally rotate your shoulders and upper arms.

4. As you continue to lengthen and strengthen the torso, press your knees toward the ground or blocks, the crown of your head upward and press the soles of the feet together.

5. Breathe deeply, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Then allow the breath to enter into a three-part breath. Stay here for a few moments, and turn the attention inward as you say to yourself “I trust the unfolding of my life”. 

See also How Ashtanga Yoga Helped Teacher Erika Halweil Through a Life Crisis

Posture 2: Tadasana

Posture 2: Tadasana
Chris Fanning

2. Welcome all of yourself: You are the point that life is trying to make, so it’s time to honor all of yourself, just as you are. Yes, there will always be evolution, small shifts, and big changes along the way—but what if part of the transformation was to first be kind and welcoming to all the different parts that make you uniquely you? Allow yourself to feel a sense of steadiness and ease as you find your true alignment from the inside out. Every moment, you are invited to celebrate the gifts that you bring, and to remember that you are already complete and whole.

Posture 2: Tadasana

1. Stand at the front of your mat, feet hips width distance apart, pointing straight forward and toes spread wide.

2. Keep your feet connected to the ground as you externally rotate your thighs.

3. Engage your glutes and your abdominals to strengthen the lumbar spine. Externally rotate your shoulder and upper arm and reach out through your fingertips.

4. Draw you chin back and reach up through the crown of your head.

5. Reconnect with the three-part breath. Let you gaze soften, and as you maintain tadasana say to yourself “I welcome all of myself here, I am already whole and complete”. 

See also How to Work With Your Thoughts to Manifest a Bright Future

Posture 3: Deviasana

Posture 3: Deviasana
Chris Fanning

3. Sitting in the fire: Part of growth is learning to get comfortable being uncomfortable—the willingness to sit “in the fire” for the sake of what’s on the other side. It is the discipline to see an experiment through, whether that means saying yes to your dreams, creating boundaries, or resolving a conflict. When you walk through the flames with love and compassion, face your fears, and challenge your self-sabotaging behaviors, you gain an embodied sense of how powerful you truly are.

Posture 3: Deviasana

1. Turn to face the long side of your mat in a wide standing position, with your feet about one legs length apart and hands on your hips.

2. Externally rotate your legs, so your toes are facing outward.

3. Engage your glutes and your abdominals to strengthen the lumbar spine. Externally rotate your shoulder and upper arm.

4. Draw you chin back and reach up through the crown of your head.

5. Bend your knees, lowering your hips toward the ground. Point your knees towards your pinky toes, keeping your feet firm on the ground.

6. Allow the hands to either stay on your hips or place them on your thighs.

7. With the focus remaining inward, notice any waves of sensation and breathe, feel, observe and sustain this pose for as long as you can. Continuing to witness with compassion.

8. When you release the pose and have completed on both sides, come back to the front of your mat into tadasana and notice what you feel. 

See also How a Daily Chakra Meditation Unlocked More Time and Space in My Life

Posture 4: Ardha Chandra Chapasana

Posture 4: Ardha Chandra Chapasana
Chris Fanning

4. Life is change; be open: One thing we all know for sure, but often forget, is that life is constantly changing and evolving. Learning to flow with the different seasons of life and remaining open to the mystery is one of the greatest gifts you can learn in this lifetime. Life is a mystery: We simply don’t know everything that is going on—and maybe, just maybe, we can start to shift the course by letting go of what no longer serves us. Can you stay open and find the flow even when life is challenging and not going the way you think it should?

Posture 4: Ardha Chandra Chapasana

1. Standing at the front of your mat with feet hips width distance apart, pointing straight forward and toes spread wide.

2. Maintaining a long and strong spine, hinge at your hips and fold forward (or with a soft bend in your knees). Place your hands on the floor or a block.

3. Extend your left leg back and up, pressing out through the sole of your foot. Bring your left hand to your left hip as the right hand stays steady on the floor or block.

4. Allow the hips to open by stacking the left hip on top of the right. Allow the shoulders to open by stacking the left shoulder over the right. Keep the neck long and gaze looking down or out.

5. Bend your left knee and grab your left foot with your left hand, or use a strap. Make sure to keep the supporting leg strong, spine long and abdominals engaged.

6. Take 5 slow breaths here, and say to yourself “I am open and flow with life”.

7. Return to tadasana before you go to the opposite side and notice the difference between sides? What has shifted? What do you feel? 

See also 3 Truths About Anxiety That Will Help You Feel Better, Fast

Posture 5: Gomukhasana (modified)

Posture 5: Gomukhasana (modified)
Chris Fanning

5. Listen deeply: Nobody knows what or how you should live your life, but a lot of people will have opinions. Learn to listen to the wisdom that lives deep inside you—the teacher within. Get quiet enough to notice what is trying to get your attention. What is knocking at your heart? Dare to answer that call, and to be in the experiment and inquiry of your life!

Posture 5: Gomukhasana (modified)

1. Come on your hand and knees, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips in a table top position (If you have any knees sensitivities you can do this on your back or repeat baddha konasana.)

2. Cross your right leg over your left. Bring your thighs together and spread your feet apart.

3. Slowly lower your hips to the floor. If your back is rounded in this position, place a cushion, block, or blanket underneath your hips. Place your hands on the floor by your sides.

4. Hug your inner thighs together. Press your hip bones down into the floor or cushion. Engage your abdominals and externally rotate your shoulders. Draw your chin back and reach up through the crown of your head.

5. Soften the breath, and relax any tension in the face, shoulders, or next. With you awareness inward, go inside and listen, what is trying to get your attention?

6. Before you go to the opposite side, unravel the legs and sit for a moment and notice the difference between sides. 

Once you have completed this sequence take a few minutes and let your body move in any way that feels natural before you give yourself plenty of time for savasana.

See also This Moving Breath Practice Will Teach You to Let Go