Yoga Set #1 – Back to Basic Yoga
Plan for 10-20 minutes of yoga as part of entire class work or station work.
BUTTERFLY – Begin lying on back either with legs extended or soles of feet together with knees falling out to the sides of a “reclined butterfly” position. Find the breath. Hand to belly button. Hand to center of chest. Breathe fully and deeply feeling the belly rise and fall with breath. Breathe IN through the nose, OUT through the nose. Stretch and control the breath. Inhale creates length and space. Exhale releases tension. Also can reach arms overhead lengthening through the side body and reach fingers up over ears to get a full body stretch. Inhale and lengthen/stretch legs out through the feet.
ROCKING CHAIR – Hug the knees into the chest drawing the knees towards the shoulders to open the hips while keeping the low back pressing into the mat. Gently rock side to side activating the core muscles to keep balance as you gently rock the hips side to side massaging out the low back on the mat and loosening up the hips and hip flexors.
KNEE HUGS –Keep the right knee drawn in diagonally towards the right shoulder/arm pit as you extend the left leg straight and down and away from you flexing the left foot to activate muscular energy in the leg. *The hips are opening in opposite directions to create the stretch. Hold here for 3-5 breath cycles – do right leg then left leg.
LEG EXTENSIONS w/STRAPs – Extend and kick the right leg vertically towards the ceiling holding behind the hamstring to lengthen the back of the right knee. Bend the left knee and place the sole of the left foot on the mat to give you greater range of motion and length in the right leg. Point and flex the right foot then make circular motions/ankle rolls in both directions to get circulation down in the foot and toes. ** Use a strap here if you have one along the low arch of the foot towards the sole of the foot to help aid in the stretch. Use both hands to grab the strap and turn the palms facing up to activate the biceps of the arm rather than the head, neck, shoulders. Push the strap away on the inhale, soften and give some slack on the straps on the exhales. Hold here for 3-5 breaths.
SUPINE TWIST – Hook the right foot to the back of the left thigh as you make a T with your arms on the floor (palms facing up to keep the shoulder joint open) drop your knees over towards the left twisting out your core. Look over your right shoulder as you twist to stretch out the neck, shoulders, hips, and side body. Hold here for 3-5 breath cycles.
ROCK-N-ROLL — Back in towards chest to release and stretch from core work. Place soles of the feet back on the floor and gently windshield wiper the knees and hips side to side to release the low back and stretch through the hips and side body. Hold onto front of shins or back of hamstrings and start to “Rock-N-Roll” forward & back up and down the spine until you can come up and over onto hands and knees – aka “Table Top Position.”
CAT/COW – Coming onto all fours with the hands shoulder distance apart, fingers spread wide “Palm the Mat like you would a basketball”, shoulders directly over the wrists and the knees hip distance apart with the hips over the knees, begin to stretch and roll out the spine. On inhale, sink the belly, arch the back, and lift the head and the hips in opposite directions. Draw the shoulder heads back and look forward past the tip of the nose. On exhale, tuck the chin to the chest, rounding the spine and pushing the floor away with straight arms, hollowing out the belly by pulling the belly button back towards the spine. Tailbone drops. Repeat both cat/cow posture 5 times.
DOWN DOG Pose – From hands and knee (table-top position), tuck the toes and lift the knees as you draw your hips towards the ceiling and back making a V-shape with the body. Let the head hang loose and look between your legs or at your belly button. Feet are hips distance apart (A basketball should be able to fit in between your ankles) To distribute the weight out of
your shoulders, use your core by lifting your belly in and up and lift the thigh bones back. Start to pedal out the legs or “Walk The Dog” by bending one knee as you straighten the other to stretch out the calves and hamstrings and to play with weight distribution from side to side. Hold position for 3-5 breath cycles. Tap knees down to come back to a neutral table top position or childs pose.
RAG DOLL TO UPRIGHT/END OF SET – To come up to stand, from Downward Facing Dog Pose, slowly “Heel Toe” walk your feet up to your hands coming to a forward fold with the feet hip distance apart at the top of your mat. Stay in forward fold as you Grab opposite elbows crossing the forearms and framing your head in your arms. Press outward into your hands with the elbows to stretch and open up the collar bones, then sway your torso side to side getting loose in the side body and stretching the backs of the legs. **Keep the legs as bent as needed, and keep the head and neck loose and jaw soft closing the eyes or looking at the belly button to stretch the head and neck as well** Stay here for 3 breaths then switch the crossing of the forearms and again press outward into the hands with the elbows and sway side to side for 3 breaths. Release the hands and let them hang in “Rag Doll” shake the head out NO, then nod the head YES, then put a gentle bend in the knees and start to roll up to stand stacking Vertebrae by Vertebrae keeping the arms hanging by your sides and the chin tucked onto the chest so that the head is the last thing to come up.
Stand tall at the top of your Mat in Tadasana!
– Sequence by LVLYoga