You don't have to have completed a yoga teacher training in order to structure a delightfully juicy home yoga practice. In fact, a little bit of self-confidence, drive and guidelines can be enough to get you started today…so get out your mat!
To begin, find a space where you are comfortable to practice, and set a timer as desired (I’ve used 45 minutes for this template). Sit on your mat, and begin your ujaii breathing – in and out through the nose. Take a few moments to commit yourself to your practice.
Now, stretch your arms – first up, then out to the sides, then behind you. Then bend at the waist to each side. Now twist at the waist to each side. Move into Child pose, then to Down Dog, in each case for five breaths. Stretch your legs back one at a time, (first straight back and then with your knees bent and your hips open). Then walk feet to hands, coming to relax in a forward bend. Now stand up slowly.
2. Minutes 10-20:
Perform 10 minutes worth of whatever version(s) of Sun Salutations you like – building heat and synching breath.
3. Minutes 20-35:
For each pose in each sequence, hold for five breaths):
(A) Warrior Sequence: From Down Dog, step right foot forward and inhale into Warrior I. Exhale into Warrior II. Straighten legs and exhale into triangle. Bend right leg and exhale into Extended Side Angle. Repeat on left.
(B) Twisting Sequence:
From Mountain pose (standing with attention), bend knees and bring hands into prayer. Now, hook left elbow over right knee (for Twisted Chair pose). Repeat on the left.
Transition to Down Dog. Step right foot forward and place left hand on mat. Reach up with the right arm, look up and exhale into Revolved Triangle. Bend right knee and exhale into Revolved Side Angle. Repeat on left.
(C) Balancing Sequence: From Down Dog, step forward and inhale into Warrior I but immediately transfer weight onto right leg and exhale as you balance in Warrior III – left leg extending straight back into the air. Pivot up to Tadasana, bringing left foot to rest on right thigh (Tree). Repeat on left.
4. Minutes 35-40
Lie on belly and press chest up into Sphinx. Bend knees, reach for ankles and take Bow pose. Remember to breathe! Transition onto back for Full Wheel (or bridge or both).
5. Minutes 40-45
Sit down with legs extended in front. Bend forward at hips for Paschimottanasana. Roll back into Plow. Lower knees around ears (Karnapidasana). Take Child pose, then sit cross legged (or in Lotus).
Note about music: time it such that there is relaxing music for Steps 1 and 5 and upbeat music in Steps 2 through 4.
Hope you feel great! Let us know in the comments!
Image: Robert Bejil Photography