Reblogged from Seattle Yoga News
Our goal for this week is to set the base for our practice. The set of poses for this week aim to stabilize and strengthen our core. Repeat this sequence daily as we build strength for our core flow sequence next week.
- Start in table top position, take a moment to find yourself on your mat. Ensure that the shoulders are aligned over the wrist, hips over knees.
- As you inhale, press the mat away from you as you lift your chest and tailbone towards the sky. Let the belly sink towards the earth. Lift your head to look forward. You are now in Cow Pose.
- As you exhale, round the spine, continue pressing the mat away as you tuck the chin towards your chest and tailbone in. Keep the belly drawn in and spine curved towards the sky. You are now in Cat Pose.
- Repeat this sequence 3 – 5 times.
Cat and Cow Crunches
- As we build onto our cat/cow sequence, start again in table top. Extend your left arm forward in alignment with your shoulder. Extend the opposite right leg back in alignment with your hip. Keep your belly drawn as we hold in our balance for a few breaths.
- As you exhale, begin to curl the spin back into cat pose while simultaneously bending the elbow and drawing the knee and elbow to touch beneath your belly. Keep your belly drawn throughout.
- On the next inhale, re-extend the limbs to meet back in extended table top.
- Repeat steps 1 – 3 for 10 breaths, being sure to sync your breath to your movements.
- Repeat steps 1 – 4 on the opposing limbs.
Boat Pose (Navasana)
- Sit on your mat with your legs extended forward in a comfortable seat. Draw your belly in to protect your lower spine as you begin to lift through the top of your sternum and lean back from your seat (feel free to place your hands on your mat for support). Make sure your spine doesn’t round as you lean back. Keep the chest moving forward in Navasana.
- Begin to balance on the seat of your two sitting bones and tailbone as you lift your feet from your mat. Keep your belly drawn as you exhale and draw your feel to half-mast (knee level). Option to extend legs into full boat.
- Draw your arms to shoulders level as you hold your pose. Hold for 5 – 10 full breaths.
- Lie on your belly with your elbows directly under your wrists and your feet hips width apart.
- Brace your core and shift your weight onto your forearms and toes. Lift your hips off of your mat and hold. Image a long line extending from your shoulders to your heels as your breath through your Dolphin Plank.
- Hold the pose for 5 – 10 breaths.
- Option to hold plank on your knees as needed.
Side Dolphin Planks
- From Dolphin Plank, begin to shift to the right side of your body; shifting your weight onto your right forearm and the knife’s edge of your right foot.
- Keep your core tight and hips lifted as you extend your left arm towards the sky.
- Hold the post for 5 – 10 breaths.
Sphinx Pose (Salamba Bhujangasana)
- Lie on your belly and forearms with your elbows bent and placed directly underneath the shoulders.
- As you inhale, lift your upper torso and head away from the floor in a slight upper back backbend.
- Use the traction from the arms to lengthen through the belly and lower back. Hold the pose for 5 – 10 breaths.
This 4 week sequence is brought to you by Diana Ratana of Diana Ratana Yoga. Diana took her first yoga class at the age of 16 and from there, she quickly fell in love with the compassion, kindness, energy, and confidence she gained from yoga. What began as a means to get fit turned into a lifelong passion. Today, she instructs at Hot Feet Fitness where she regularly uses the lessons and tools learned from practice in her day to day life and vice versa. Her mission is to teach others how to learn from yoga and put their best foot forward to gain the most from their lives as well.