These feel-good yoga poses are perfect for yogis of all experience levels.
Every yogi wants to get good enough to practice the more challenging poses like inversions and arm balances, working up a sweat and really pushing your body hard. However, we should also take a step back and realize it is equally important to practice the simple, softer postures. Because the whole purpose of yoga is to feel good, right?
The feel-good yoga sequence below is for yogis of all experience levels. It’s a sequence for people who just want to feel amazing physically, mentally, and emotionally, which is exactly what yoga was designed to do. So, take a deep, cleansing breath and allow the practice of yoga to do it’s job.
By Allie Flavio
Easy Seated Pose
Find a comfortable seated position – it can be cross-legged, heels stacked in front of one another, half lotus, or full lotus. Allow your body to connect with the ground beneath you while also lifting through the crown of your head. Bring your hands to the tops of the knees. Close your eyes. Take 10 breaths – count the inhalations and exhalations. Allow yourself to settle into this moment and let the exterior wash away.
Softly allow your chin drop to your chest, take a big breath into the backside of your neck. On an inhale breath, roll your right ear to right shoulder, take left fingertips to the ground, and relax both shoulders down. Stay for 3-5 breaths. On an exhale breath, roll the head back to center. On an inhale breath, roll left ear to left shoulder, take right fingers to the ground, and relax both shoulders down. Stay for 3-5 breaths. On an exhale, roll the head back to center. On an inhale, lift the head and find a neutral position.
Interlace your hands behind the head, positioned at the base of your skull. On an inhale breath, lengthen up towards the sky, send your elbows out wide, let the head drop back into your hands, and open across your front side body. On an exhale breath, round the back, let elbows come in towards one another, relax head and neck, and bring belly button towards the spine. Repeat this opening and closing sequence 5x.
Start in Downward Facing Dog pose. On an inhale breath, extend the right leg high behind you. On an exhale breath, bend at the knee and open the hip to the right side of the mat. Draw some circles with the right shin – do whatever feels good in the pose. Continue sending the lifted knee straight up to the sky as the hips open and soften. Stay for 5 breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.
From your Three Legged Dog, sweep the right foot through and plant it between both hands. On an inhale, lift your chest and come into a Low Lunge position. Hands can rest on the mat, interlaced on top of your thigh, or reaching up towards the sky. Allow the hips to REALLY soften here – let it get deep! Maintain a safe position for the low back by engaging the lower abdominals and drawing the pubic bone up towards the belly button. Stay for 5 breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.
From your Low Lunge position, exhale the hips back as you straighten the front leg. Take a moment to readjust here – heel/toe the foot forward, flex the front foot, square your hips, and lengthen through the crown of your head. Take 5 deep breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.
From Half Splits, inhale to come forward into Low Lunge. Curl your back toes under and lift the back leg into a straightened position. Keep the fingertips connected to the ground and find a heart opening here – roll the shoulders back and expand across your chest. Stay for 5 breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.
From Runner’s Lunge, exhale into a wide-legged Pyramid Pose. The front leg will straighten as you send the hips back. Allow the chest to melt over the front leg, release your head and neck, and work towards squaring the hips. The front knee can have a microbend to prevent hyperextension or being locked out. Stay for 5 breaths, and repeat on the opposite side.
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All images courtesy of Allie Flavio/YogiApproved.com.