This sequence is simple, sweet, and delicious. Nothing overwhelming, but challenging enough to make you stop, think, and even break a sweat. Remember there’s no rush and that yoga will always be here for you. You have nothing to prove. Just show up, set your intention, be patient, and have fun!
SUKHASANA (EASY POSE)
1 TO 3 MINUTES
Take a seat on a block. Bend your knees and cross your shinbones at the center, feet landing roughly under your knees. Keep your feet flexed. Sit tall rooting into your tailbone as you lift your sternum and relax your shoulders back. Begin to breathe in and out through your nostrils with the mouth relaxed.
PARIVRTTA SUKHASANA (GENTLE UPRIGHT TWIST)
8 BREATHS PER SIDE
Inhale as you lift tall into your spine. Exhale as you reach your left hand to the outside of your right knee. Place your right fingertips behind your tailbone onto the ground. Focus on lengthening as you inhale and on twisting as you exhale. Keep the hips heavy and revolve from your rib cage. Switch sides and repeat.
EASY POSE WITH FORWARD FOLD
8 BREATHS PER SIDE
Inhale as you lengthen your spine and exhale as you walk your hands forward into a fold. Avoid any rounding in the upper back. Relax your shoulders back. Keep the hips rooted as you extend forward. Take 8 breaths, switch the crossing of your legs, and repeat.
MARJARYASANA-BITILASANA (CAT-COW POSE)
Come onto all fours. Stack your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Inhale as you drop your navel, lift your gaze, and roll your shoulders back. Exhale as you round your upper back, push the ground away, and drop your tailbone.
ANAHATASANA (HEART CHAKRA POSE)
Return to all fours. Stack your hips directly above your knees as you walk your arms out in front of you. Melt your heart and belly toward the ground, keeping your gaze forward. Arms stay straight and shoulder width apart. Breathe, and then walk yourself back onto all fours.
ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA (DOWNWARD-FACING DOG)
Take your hands a few inches forward of your shoulders, curl your toes under, lift your hips and press into your hands to draw your body back into an inverted V shape. Root into your hands to draw energy up the sides of your body as you gently pull your ribs in.
UTTANASANA (STANDING FORWARD BEND)
Walk your hands back to meet your feet keeping them hip width apart. If there is any strain in your lower back, bend your knees slightly and place your palms on your shins. Otherwise, place your palms on the ground in front of or next to your feet. Lengthen your torso over your thighs, avoiding any rounding in the upper back. Breathe and then walk yourself forward into a pre-push-up position.
PLANK ON KNEES
Lower onto your knees and cross your ankles. Keep your arms straight with your shoulders stacking over your wrists, gaze forward. Gently corset your ribs together and lengthen your tailbone. Hold and breathe.
CHATURANGA (FOUR-LIMBED STAFF POSE) ON KNEES
Keep your gaze forward and bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle. Keep the ribs and sternum extending. Lower to your belly once you complete your breath.
BHUJANGASANA (COBRA POSE)
Slide your palms back next to your rib cage and release the tops of your feet onto the ground hip width apart. Inhale as you press the ground away and curl your chest and belly button off the mat. Draw your shoulders back and relax through the base of your neck. Gaze forward.
BALASANA (CHILD’S POSE)
8 BREATHS OR MORE
Drop onto your knees, keeping your legs together. Fold your torso over your thighs and let your forehead rest on the ground with your arms tucked next to your sides like wings. Breathe here for as long as you need.
Choose a comfortable way of sitting (cross-legged, propped up on a block, or even in a chair). Rest your hands on your knees, palms facing up for energy or down for focus, or simply cup your palms in your lap. Sit tall with your shoulders relaxed. Close your eyes and slow down your breath. Pick your favorite meditation (pages 243–248) or mantra (page 246) or just enjoy a few moments of quiet.
SAVASANA (CORPSE POSE)
Lie on your back. Gently shake out your arms and legs to release any leftover tension. Snuggle your shoulder blades down the back and let your palms spin up. Rest here for a few minutes or for as long as you desire.
This post is excerpted from Kathryn’s new book, Aim True: Love Your Body, Eat Without Fear, Nourish Your Spirit, Discover True Balance!
Kathryn Budig is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and author known for her accessibility, humor, and ability to empower her students through her message, “aim true.” She is a warrior for self-acceptance, honesty, and helping her students and readers find true balance. The Kansas native graduated from the University of Virginia with a double degree in English and Drama before moving to Los Angeles, where she trained under the tutelage of Maty Ezraty and Chuck Miller. With over a decade of experience in her field, she served as the yoga contributor to Women’s Health magazine for 5 years, writes weekly for Yoga Journal, and served on the Yahoo! Health advisory board as well as contributing regular recipes. She’s a sponsored athlete in Under Armour’s “I WILL WHAT I WANT” campaign, and the founder of her animal project, Poses for Paws. She is the creator of the Aim True Yoga DVD and author of The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga. Her second book, Aim True, was recently published through William Morrow, an imprint of Harper Collins.
Feeling inspired? Practice with Kathryn on YogaGlo today.