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September is National Yoga Month, which is a great time to celebrate the many benefits of yoga. Not only does the practice reduce stress, clear the mind, improve flexibility and balance, and build muscle, it can can also be an excellent heart-pumping activity. In honor of this special month for yogis, Two Fit Moms is offering you this eight-pose flow that will help you reap the cardiovascular benefits of yoga. Time to get sweaty!
1. Mountain Pose to Upward Salute
Tadasana to Urdhva Hastasana
Start by standing at the top of your mat with your big toes touching and heels slightly apart. Spread your toes and root down evenly through the feet. Bring your hands to heart center and focus on your breath moving in and out of your body. Keep this awareness throughout the entire flow. On an inhale, sweep your arms up toward the sky for Upward Salute.
2. Standing Forward Bend to Half Forward Bend
Uttanasana to Ardha Uttanasana
On the exhale, swan dive down, bringing your hands to your mat or a block. Avoid rounding your back. On the inhale, come up onto fingertips or bring your hands onto your shins. Focus on lengthening the spine.
3. High Lunge to Revolved High Lunge
On the exhale, step your left foot all the way back, coming into High Lunge. Make sure your feet are hip-width apart, with the right knee stacked over the right ankle and hips square to the top of your mat. On the inhale, sweep your right arm up toward the sky. Lean back slightly and enjoy the twist.
4. Plank to Chaturanga
On the exhale, right hand comes down and the right foot steps back into Plank Pose. Hands are shoulder-width apart, wrists are directly under the shoulders. Lift the navel up toward the spine and press the ground away allowing the upper back to round. On the inhale, shift the shoulders slightly forward past the wrists. On the exhale, lower halfway into Chaturanga Dandasana. Hug the elbows in and do not drop the torso below the arms. On the inhale, push back up to plank. On the exhale, lower to Chaturanga Dandasana. Repeat this 3–5 times.
5. Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana to Adho Mukha Svanasana
On the inhale, roll over the toes, press into the hands, and lift the heart coming into Upward-Facing Dog. Shoulders move away from the ears and back. On the exhale, press into the hands, lift the hips and come into Downward-Facing Dog. Take an extra breath here.
6. Three-Point Dog to Tiger Curl
On the inhale, lift the right leg up. On the exhale, bring your knee to your nose. Push the ground away, round through the upper back and pull the navel up toward the spine. Repeat 3–5 times.
7. Low Lunge with Shoulder Opener
From Three Point Dog, on an exhale step your right foot in between your hands and drop your left knee onto your mat. On the inhale, sweep your arms up toward the sky. Sink the hips down and relax the shoulders away from your ears. On the exhale, bend your elbows and sweep your hands down toward your mat. Pretend that you are dragging the backs of your hands down a wall behind you. Repeat this 3–5 times.
8. Half Forward Bend to Forward Bend to Upward Salute to Mountain
From Low Lunge, on the exhale, bring your hands back down to the mat and step your left foot to meet the right at the top of your mat. On the inhale, lengthen your spine and look up (Half Standing Forward Bend). On the exhale, bow (Forward Bend). On the inhale, sweep the arms up toward the sky (Upward Salute). On the exhale, hands return to heart center (Mountain Pose). Repeat this 8-pose sequence on the other side, and perform the entire flow on both sides, for a total of three times.
See also Two Fit Moms’ Good Morning Flow