Day 5:

9 Tips for Smart Sequencing 

9 Tips for Smart Sequencing of your Yoga practice

“The ultimate language of yoga is expressed in doing yoga, a practice that transcends words as we open our lives to living more consciously through the infinite wisdom of the heart.”- Mark Stephens

 

I like to just “play” Yoga on my mat by really listening to what my body needs in that moment. If that’s what you are going to do, make sure your practice is balanced!

 

1) Warm up Come into the Ujjayi breath if you know it.

Find a comfortable seat and start by connecting to the breath. If you know the Ujayi breath, come into that for a few minutes.  After a few minutes of Pranayama & Meditation, you can chant Aum 3x to harmonise with all the elements present in the moment, to purify the mind, and to create a container for your practice space.

Warm up the spine and backs of the legs slowly with some nice gentle stretches – cat/cows, rag doll forward fold, gentle lunges are all good options.

 

2) Sun Salutations 

This can be used as a full practice in and of itself.  Sun salutations stretch the spine in all directions.  Both Surya Namaskar A and B are great to use as a foundation for flow, and a template to add on any other standing poses. Really follow the breath.

 

3) Standing and Balancing poses

Personally I like working with the Virabhadrasa or Warrior poses – Virabhadrasa I, II, III, Exalted Warrior – (you can type in these names to Google images to cue you memory. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and Parsvokonasna (Extended Side Angle Pose) are also great as are the twisted variations of each of these poses. Give your hip flexors some attention with runner’s lunge/lizard or a low lunge with the arms arching up overhead for a nice heart opening sensation.

 

Here’s a short standing sequencing you may like to try:

 

 

 

 

4) Seated poses 

 

Include forward folds, twists and hip-openers. Always practice equally on the left and right sides. Include focus on building core-strength with strong, long Chaturangas and poses like Navasana (boat pose), forearm plank and side plank.

 

5) Backbends

 

When you’re properly warmed up, practice backbends – maybe just start with a Bridge pose. Locust, Bow and Camel are all great poses to build strength around the spine and to really open the chest. It is important to stay really engaged with your bandhas in all your backbends. Engage your belly to the spine to help make space in your lower back for deeper and safer back bending. Always practice a gentle forward fold to neutralise the spine after back bending.

 

6) End with inversions and other quieting poses.

 

Go upside down every day! Shoulder-stand, headstand and viparita karani are all fantastic practices. There are so many wonderful health benefits from inverting. Plus, it’s a great way to clear your head and get a new perspective on things. I always feel happier and better about life after a few minutes of hanging out upside down.

 

7) Savassana

 

One of the most important poses of the practice to help create muscle memory for all the openings you’ve just done.Let your mind and body relax and be receptive as you give your body the time to integrate all your beautiful work!

 

8) Sit & Meditate

 

Always include time in your practice just to BE – to breathe and to be present with yourself. Perhaps picking a gentle breath practice will help you, or meditation. Finding stillness in your practice will make you feel very nourished and peaceful, and this will then make you want to practice with more consistency and devotion! Just three minutes of conscious and deep breath an work wonders! Practicing meditation will benefit your asana practice, because it will help you build your powers of concentration. The inverse is true as well; practicing asana, especially with an intense focus on controlling prana through drishti, bandhas and breath, will make you a better meditator.

 

9) Give thanks!

An attitude of gratitude opens doors and hearts.  Gratitude is the #1 strategy for finding contentment – an easeful joy – a loving of what is. 

 

We have so much to be grateful for:  We can be grateful to ourselves for showing up to the practice.  We can be grateful for this sacred and ancient practice of Yoga that gives us a map to Freedom.  We can be grateful for the orange juice at breakfast, or for that little bit of sunshine on a snowy day.  The list is endless, and as part of this challenge we invite you two write 3 new gratitudes each day.

 

I am grateful that you’re here with me, helping to hold me accountable for this journey, and helping me to evolve into the productive, supported, loving, open person that I continually aspire to.

 

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

Daily Practice:

 

Step 1 – Path of  Practice

Do your “Big” or “Small” practice

Celebrate &  Mark your “Yay!”

 

Step 2 – Foundations of Flow

Journal the Journey – 5 minutes / 3 Gratitudes

What are you grateful for today? Keep adding 3 things to your list EVERYDAY

Step 3 – Reflect & Connect:

Comment Below & Share on the  FB Group,

 

 

With Infinite Love & Endless Gratitude,

XOXO

Francie

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