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Starting a practice at home is a creative endeavor that requires curiosity, spaciousness, and a willingness to make mistakes. In vinyasa, we practice physical shapes and intentional breath. We create tension in order to release it. We sweat, cry, struggle, and expand. It’s vulnerable, it’s courageous, and it’s rife with possibility for transformation.
This practice is designed to challenge the parts of you that buy into rigidity (It’s always been done this way!) and perfectionism (I’m not worthy unless I get it right!) so you can be open to possibility. The shapes aren’t meant to be perfected; they’re meant to be explored. Add your own transitions, such as stepping from Low Lunge back to Downward-Facing Dog or walking Down Dog up to a Standing Forward Bend, then lifting to Mountain Pose. Throw out what doesn’t support you, and improvise the rest!
If we can show up to our practice with inquisitiveness, yoga offers us clarity; it aligns our actions with our intentions and empowers us to stand in our authentic truth—no matter how challenging. In my work as an activist for body liberation, and in my yoga practice, I confront the need for outside approval. This sequence was designed to help you open up fully to your own experience, trust the process, and find joy in being in your body.
1. MARJARYASANA AND BITILASANA (Cat and Cow Poses)
Align your wrists below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Inhale, and
arch your spine, gazing upward while lifting your tailbone and sternum. Exhale, round
your spine, and draw your chin into your chest. Repeat 4–8 times.
See also Cow Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions
2. ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
Press into your hands. Align your ears with your biceps. Reach your hips up, pressing
your thighs back and extending your heels down. Hold for 5 breaths.
3. ANJANEYASANA VARIATION (Low Lunge with a Twist)
A Bend through your front (left) knee as you lift your hip bones toward the sky. Hold
for 5 breaths. B Lower your right hand to the inside of your left foot and extend your
left arm up. Engage your pelvis by pulling your left hip backward and right hip up.
Hold for 5 breaths.
See also Low Lunge: Step-by-Step Instructions
4. VIRABHADRASANA I (Warrior Pose I)
Ground the outside edge of your back foot, lifting your arch. Center your rib cage and
elevate your arms and back ribs. Hold for 5 breaths.
5. PARSVOTTANASANA (Intense Side Stretch)
Press into the ball of your front foot and draw your front hip backward, straightening
through your leg. Internally rotate your left inner thigh. Press your back foot down
firmly. Extend your sternum away from your navel as you elongate your side waist,
reaching the crown of your head forward away from your tailbone. Hold for 5 breaths.
6. PARIVRTTA TRIKONASANA (Revolved Triangle Pose)
Use your (straight) back leg to anchor your pelvis in a neutral position. Keep drawing
your left hip back as you reach your right hand to the floor and lift your left arm. Draw
your shoulder blades toward your chest and lengthen your torso. Hold for 5 breaths.
7. TADASANA (Mountain Pose)
Root your feet down, press your thighs back, and descend your tailbone. Broaden
your collarbones. Extend through the crown of your head. Hold for 5 breaths.
8A. UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA VARIATION
Hold your left foot in your left hand (or use a strap). Lift and extend your left leg
forward. Keep your spine long. Hold for 5 breaths.
8B. UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA VARIATION
With your right hand, hold the
outside of your aerial foot. Turn your rib cage, chest, and left arm open to the left. Let
your gaze follow. Keep length in your spine as you twist. Hold for 5 breaths. Return to
Tadasana. Repeat poses 1–8 on the other side.
9. PASCHIMOTTANASANA (Seated Forward Bend)
Lengthen your side waists. Reach your sternum toward your toes. Hold for 5 breaths.
10. SETU BANDHA SARVANGASANA (Supported Bridge Pose)
Walk your shoulder blades underneath you to open your chest and keep length in
your neck. Place a block beneath your sacrum, bending through your knees with your
feet hip-width apart. Hold for 5 breaths.
See also 3 Ways to Modify Bridge Pose
11. SUPINE SPINAL TWIST
Draw your left knee into your chest. Use your right hand to guide your thigh across
your body. Reach your left hip toward your right foot; open your chest. Hold for 5–10
breaths. Repeat on the other side.
12. VIPARITA KARANI (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)
Release tension from your legs, chest, shoulders, and face. Hold for up to 5 minutes.
Allow your breath to soften, your mind to clear, and your heart to open. Listen. End in
Savasana (not shown) for 5–10 minutes.
Watch also Try This Sequence to Tap Into Your Creative Side, from Melody Moore.