Yoga Practice at Home - Part 2Written by Mandy Haynes June 1, 2020
Last month I shared with you a floor based “movement meditation” to practice at home - the purpose was to give you some poses to put together in a gentle way to get your body moving and, when practiced for a period of time (be that 5 minutes or 20) help to quieten your mind - hence the term “movement meditation”.
This month I thought I would expand on that practice by giving you some poses to add to the sequence, so that should you be feeling a little more energetic or have more time to spend on your mat you can feed one or all of the below poses in.
Be sure to start in the same way, giving yourself a few minutes to settle and check in with yourself before going through the movement meditation at least 5 times.
Downward Facing Dog
From your last Extended Child’s Pose, move back to all fours and into Cow pose and tuck your toes under. On an exhale start to lift your knees from the mat and take your hips up and back. Keep your knees bent to begin with, pressing your belly towards your thighs, lengthening your spine, straightening your arms and widening across the backs of the shoulders. Pad the feet here, coming up onto the toes of one foot as you drop the heel of the other (“walking dog”) and then let the heels come down and start to straighten your legs without locking your knees or letting the back start to round. Hold this pose for 3-5 breaths.
Low Lunge (three versions)
From Down Dog, on an inhale raise your right leg up behind you and as you exhale step the foot between your hands (pick it up and help it along if needed and be sure that your knee doesn’t overshoot your ankle) and lower your back knee down. Raise your right arm, stretching up with your finger tips. Place the right hand down and raise the left arm. Step back to Down Dog and repeat with the left leg.
Low Crescent - Come back into Low Lunge with the right leg, this time sweep both arms forwards and up alongside the ears with palms facing each other - hold for a few breaths and then repeat on the left side.
Twisted Lunge - Come into Low Lunge for the third time with the right leg, bring your palms together in prayer position and hook your left elbow over to the outside of the right knee. Keep lengthening the spine and turn to look over your right shoulder, holding for a few breaths. Come back to the centre and then twist to the left.
Half Monkey Pose
From Down Dog, come into Low Lunge with the right leg and lower the left knee to the mat. Start to shift your hips back to stack over your left knee. Press your right heel into the mat and flex the toes toward your face so that the sole of your foot is off the mat. Straighten your front leg to a place where you feel a stretch, but not a strain. Walk your hands back under your shoulders and keep the spine long. Hold for 3-5 breaths then move back into the lunge and then into Down Dog before repeating on the left side.
From your last Down Dog, lower to your knees and sink your bottom back towards your heels for Extended Child’s Pose. You could close your practice here, taking a few minutes to rest and focus in on your breath, or after a few breaths move to Savasana (as described last month).
Depending on your pace, this practice could take you anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes and is a great way to build up to Sun Salutations (which you could add on to this sequence for an even longer yoga flow). Next month we’ll take a look at some standing poses to add to this!