A strengthening Yoga At Home sequence featuring twists that’s great for posture
This Yoga At Home sequence is great for posture. It highlights the standing twists that we’ve covered in class recently and adds a strengthening element to your home yoga. I’ve used photos to remind you which limbs go where and key prompts to help you get straight to the point.
Standing twists are great for your posture. As you work through this sequence you’ll be toning your legs, mobilising your hips and spine and increasing strength in your core, back, abdominals, shoulders and neck. These poses limber, strengthen and nourish the joints and muscles you use to stand tall and sit straight.
By the way, our 10 Minute Yoga Sequence is an ideal warm up. Take the same approach to yoga at home as you do in my classes. Work at your level and with care and attention to your body.
New to Feeling Yogaful? Have a go with this sequences for a taste of how we do things in class.
Let’s get going – how to use your breath
Focus on inhales creating space and exhales generating strength. Use inhale to develop a sense of ease and space throughout your body, especially your joints. Exhales in this sequence are used engage your pelvic floor and torso (core) to create strong, long muscles. This way you’ll become stronger, improve posture and flexibility without becoming tense. If you notice you’re clenching muscles and locking joints, stop, inhale and release. Try taking a softer approach, apply a bit less grit!
Next, the poses
Wide Legged Forward Bend Pose
or Prasarita Padottanasana
1. Take a wide stance, stand square and grounded in your space, hands on hips, weight equal in both feet, softness in knees and hips, spine gently lengthening.
Progressive yogis: deepen your session with ujjayi breath
2. Inhale, lift on the inside through your core. Exhale, engage your pelvic floor, abdominals and back muscles (core), hinge from your hips using three to five breaths, engage your shoulders to keep your back and neck straight.
3. Hands to the floor, let your neck and back relax. Inhale, ground your feet, lift your sitting bones and straighten your legs, hold. Exhale, engage core, allow the back of your legs to release and the strength of your core enable a deeper fold.
4. Give yourself time here and use both inhale and exhale. In time your stance will become wider and your fold deeper. At some point the top of your head may naturally touch the floor.
5. Exit to triangle pose. Bend your knees, scissor your feet to a moderate distance, inhale and curl up through your spine, swivel on your heels to face the front for triangle pose.
1. Adjust your feet, front foot facing forward, feel balanced, comfortable in your hips. As before, weight equal in both feet, softness in knees and hips, spine gently lengthening.
2. Again, inhale, lift through your core. Exhale, engage core strongly, hinge at your hips and use three to five breaths to fold, neck and back inline. Inhales lengthen, exhales strengthen.
3. Lightly rest your forward hand on your front lower leg. Inhale, extend through your spine. Exhale engage your core strongly and revolve away from your front leg through your waist. Extend your top arm when your shoulders are vertical.
Progressive yogis: build strength, lift your bottom hand and hold the pose for up to five breaths. Extend your sequence here and pop in a Half Moon Pose.
Revolved Triangle Pose
or Parivrtta Trikonasana
1. On an inhale ground your back foot and extend through ankle, knee, hip, waist, chest, shoulder and arm sending top fingers forward and down to replace your forward hand on your front leg. Exhale and feel steady.
2. Inhale and once again extend your spine, exhale engage core strongly. This time revolve towards your front leg. Up to five breaths to revolve through your waist, chest and shoulders. when your shoulders are inline with your bottom arm lift and extend your top arm.
3. Once again, engage abdominal and back muscles to stabilise, hold the pose for up to five breaths. Inhale space and softness, exhale strength and stability.
Progressive yogis: extend your sequence with a Revolved Half Moon Pose
4. On an inhale untwist and hang over your front leg. Hold here with natural breath, let your head and arms hang heavy, neck and back relax. Try to find a comfortable, still position and let go of effort, let the weight of your body deepen the pose.
1. Bend both knees, ground feet, lightly draw in your core, curl up through your spine on an inhale. Exhale and step forward to mountain pose.
Repeat the sequence on your opposite side
Round off your session
Round off your yoga session by elevating your hard working legs for a few minutes. This can be as simple as lying on your back with your legs up the wall or for those in the know, Vipareeta Karani. Exit with care and lie on your back or side for one minute, mentally following your breath.
Yoga is a work-in
As well as being physical these poses inherently take your attention inwards to the realm of your mind and emotions. They are in-depth and provide an opportunity for you to observe and develop self awareness. That’s the extra element that yoga has to offer and why it can be so enlightening. There’s often a great sense of feeling lighter and brighter after yoga. I think yoga is wonderful, I hope you do too.
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