Welcome! Here are the toolbox descriptions with photos, a short practice, a yoga nidra, and a special 15th Anniversary Yoga Playlist that I am sure students who have shared mat time with me will love!
Stand with feet hip distance apart. Lift your toes. Notice how that connects the four corners of your feet to the floor while lifting the arches of the feet. Maintain that lift as you spread the toes before lightly returning to the floor. Soften the knees. Inhale and reach the arms out to the sides and up to the ceiling. Bring the palms to touch. As you lower the hands to the heart, bow forward, lengthening the spine as you reach the hands down to a block or the ground. Keep the weight on the balls of the feet. The goal is to maintain as straight a spine as possible. Keep the softness in the knees or bend deeper if your hamstrings are tight and the spine curves.
With each inhalation, bring the awareness to your low back. Imagine you can send your breath there to create expansion as you lengthen the spine ever so slightly. As you exhale, move the inner thighs back and up slightly, drawing the belly in and upwards (toward the ribs). Hold for five slow breaths before bringing palms to the tops of thighs, lengthening the spine, pressing feet down to return to a standing position.
Sitting on the floor, one leg extended in front of you, the other bent with the foot on the inner thigh of the extended leg. (You can place a blanket or block under the bent knee to support it) Place your hands on the floor behind your hips, stretch upward. Use a strap around the ball of the foot or place hands on shin or around bottom of foot. Reach heart towards the foot of the extended leg. Inhale and back out of the pose by 10% to lengthen spine more, exhale, drawing the belly slightly in and up to go slightly deeper into the pose. Try to open the space in the chest by drawing the shoulders back and slightly together. Hold for five slow breaths before returning to the starting position and switching sides.
With the palms facing up, touch the tip of the thumb to the ring finger with light pressure. This mudra helps to increase strength and groundedness, restores equilibrium and trust.
With the feet together, take a large enough step back that your front knee when bent, is over the ankle, and not so large that the back heel can’t come close to the ground. The back foot will angle out 45 degrees (or more depending on flexibility). Your front knee bends. Both hips and shoulder are optimally facing forward. Reach your arms up overhead, palms facing one another. Hold for five breaths.
Courage warrior version
Hold each arm position for 3-5 breaths and notice how you feel.
Connected/disarmed Warrior: Arms down by sides of body, palms facing forward.
Giving warrior: Arms extended to the front, slightly below shoulder height, palms up.
Receiving warrior: Arms out to the side, shoulder height, palms up.
Humble warrior: Hands clasped behind the back, bow forward taking shoulder to inside of front knee, lift hands toward ceiling/sky.
Bend the four fingers touching the tips lightly to the palm. Rest the thumb over the ring finger. This mudra promotes digestion and reduces aggressiveness and anger.
Stand with feet parallel and a few inches apart. Bring palms to touch in front of heart. Connect to the four corners of the bottom of each foot by lifting and spreading the toes before lightly returning to floor. Shift weight onto one leg. Lift the other foot and place
ball of foot on floor, heel resting above ankle on supporting leg
inner calf of supporting leg
inner thigh of supporting leg.
Lift arms overhead and separate hands shoulder distance apart. Hold for 3-5 breaths. Return hands in front of heart center before lowering foot.
Turn to face the side of your mat and step the feet apart, approximately three feet or under the wrists if you extend arms straight out to the side from the shoulders. Turn one foot to face the front of the mat. This is now the “front” foot. The heel should be in a line with the ball or the arch of the back foot. Bend the front knee, aiming to bring the knee over the ankle, but not beyond the ankle. Extend the arms to the sides, straight out from the shoulder. Hips are even (the front hip will often try to drop), ribs over the hips, shoulder over the ribs. Allow the shoulders to soften and look out over your front hand.
Bring palms to touch in front of heart center. Keep the outer edges from pinky fingers to base of palms and thumbs together while pulling the center of the palm, ring, middle and index fingers apart. It makes a lotus flower. Excellent for balancing the heart, opening to compassion. It reminds me a bit of blossoming trees in spring when used during Virkasana. (see Virkasana above)
These are songs from some of my favorite playlists… in other words, each of these have been used A LOT in my classes. Deeply grateful for the artists who have inspired much transformation. Their art has expedited transformation.