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Yoga Sequences

7 Poses for Finding Courage and Leading From the Heart

This uplifting sequence from Nebraska-based yoga teacher Mary Clare Sweet will help you find your path when life feels chaotic and crazy.

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Do your hectic days sometimes leave you feeling like you’re in the thick of the jungle? Twists, turns, and an unclear path ahead can leave us feeling disconnected from our true selves. This simple yoga practice brings you back to center, reminding you that you have the power, with every breath, to connect to your heart’s truth. You, my friend, have so much courage. This jungle-inspired sequence is rooted in a steady breath. Start by slowly breathing in for six counts, and out for six counts.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)


Start with your feet hips-width distance apart. Engage your legs and lift your heart. 

See also Mountain Pose 

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Vrksasana (Tree Pose)


Place your hands on your hips. Bring your left foot to your inner ankle or inner thigh. Lift your arms overhead. 

See also The Truth of Tree Pose

Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I)


Step your left foot back. Turn your back toes forward on a diagonal. Bend your front knee toward your second toe. Stretch your arms up at a 45-degree angle and gaze at the crest of your thumbs. 

See also 5 Experts, 1 Pose: Find New Nuances to Warrior I

Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)


Place your hands on the ground. Wiggle your left foot to the left side of your mat. Firm your back leg as you broaden your chest and gaze forward. 

See also Deep Hip Openers That Can Help You in Lizard Pose 

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Anjaneyasana (Low Crescent Lunge)


From Lizard Pose, place your back knee down and bring your torso upright. Lift your pelvic floor. Draw your abdomen toward your spine, and elevate your chest. Stretch your arms up to frame your face. Widen your hands like you are holding the sun. 

See also Low Lunge 

Balasana (Child’s Pose)


Drape your abdomen over your thighs as you stretch your arms forward. Press your palms together and draw your thumbs toward the nape of your neck. Remember gratitude. 

See also A Restorative Version of Child’s Pose 

Malasana (Garland Pose)


Bend your knees and move into a squat. Turn your toes out, pointing your knees toward your second toes. If your heels lift, keep your hands on the floor or on props. If you heels ground, bring your hands to your heart. Whisper in your mind “I am loving awareness”—a mantra that Ram Dass used often. Repeat this entire sequence on the other side. 

See also Garland Pose 

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Come practice with Mary Clare Sweet at the Hanuman Yoga Festival in Boulder, Colorado—June 12-14, 2020. Get your tickets today. 

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