Monday-to-Monday Yoga

This week’s routine is a little different: instead of holding several poses for several breaths each, each of these poses is held for only a half-breath and the set is repeated 10 times.

Mountain—breathe in
Back bend—breathe out
Mountain—breathe in
Forward bend—breathe out
Slide forward on hands into plank—breathe in
Low plank—breathe out
Cobra—breathe in
Downward dog—breathe out
Forward bend—breathe in
Mountain—breathe out

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Monday-to-Monday Yoga

Why “Monday-to-Monday” yoga?  Read more here: http://wp.me/p3PPzA-2.

Or, just get your yoga on! I like to do ten breaths per pose. Sometimes I hold a pose longer, but at least 10 breaths ensures I’m not rushing. (Confession: sometimes I do five. But never fewer than five.)

Here’s this week’s routine! Feel free to join me. This week has us doing a lot of leg work; if your legs get tired, straighten them for a minute to rest, and then ease back into the pose.

Mountain pose
Forward lunge (aka warrior one) – left foot
Warrior two – left foot
Reverse warrior – left foot
Wide-legged forward bend
Forward lunge (aka warrior one) – right foot
Warrior two – right foot
Reverse warrior – right foot
Wide-legged forward bend
Low plank
Cobra
Child’s pose

Mountain pose: Stand straight, distribute weight evenly across feet to root your body to the ground. Spend your time in this pose to align the body.
Forward lunge (aka warrior one) – left foot: Lunge left leg forward until thigh is parallel with the ground, front foot flat on the ground and knee at a 90-degree angle (knee should not extend past ankle!). Back leg straight, up on toes. Arms straight up overhead, palms pressed together.
Warrior two – left foot: Allow back foot to slide gentle sideways until the full length of the foot is on the ground and the foot is at an angle. Left arm stretches straight in front of you, the right arm straight behind (both parallel with the floor).
Reverse warrior – left foot: Bring right arm down so that it rests (not leans, RESTS) on your back (in this case, right) leg. Arch your left arm overhead, leaning backwards, but maintaining leg and hip position.
Wide-legged forward bend: Straighten legs, standing up, keeping legs wide. Relax into a deep forward bend, relieving the work your legs have just accomplished.
Forward lunge (aka warrior one) – right foot: Repeat in reverse.
Warrior two – right foot: Repeat in reverse.
Reverse warrior – right foot: Repeat in reverse.
Wide-legged forward bend: Repeat.
Low plank: Draw feet together and face forward (if using a mat). Do a forward bend and then slide into a plank (upper position of a push-up). Lower yourself onto your forearms, maintaining a straight line along your back and legs.
Cobra: Lower body onto floor and arch your back, facing the ceiling.
Child’s pose: Draw yourself backwards so that your knees are under your body, and put your hands behind you on the floor, resting easily at your sides, forehead to the floor. You can also leave your arms straight out in front of you for a little shoulder stretch.

Tuesday-to-Monday Yoga (for real this time)

Yesterday I spent the afternoon on the beach with my face in the sand. That’s a good kind of yoga, let me tell you.

Here’s my routine for the rest of the week. Join me!

Tree pose – left foot up
Tree pose – right foot up
Back bend
Bridge
Wheel
Corpse
Plow
Boat
Forward stretch
Spread-legged forward stretch
Frog
Child’s pose

Tree pose – left foot up: Plant your feet firmly about shoulder-width apart. Draw your left foot up your right leg, until it is pressed against the inside of your right thigh (or as high as you can get it). Simultaneously, press your hands together like the pictures of people praying and lift them upward toward the ceiling. Look up. Hold.

Tree pose – right foot up: Same thing, but switch feet. Slowly come out of and into each pose.

Back bend: Re-ground your feet. Bend backwards as far as you comfortably can, feeling the stretch, and letting your arms hang freely.

Bridge: If you can, drop from here into bridge (just go further back, drop your hands to the floor, and hold with your back arched). If you cannot, lay down on your back first and come up into bridge.

Wheel:  From here, if you can, raise one leg straight into the air. Hold and switch. If you cannot, move into the next pose.

Corpse: Lay down flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Enjoy the stretch you just gave your back.

Plow:  Lift legs slowly backwards until they reach the floor behind your head (or as far as they’ll go), keep them straight, and hold.

Boat: Roll forward until you are sitting at a 45-degree angle from the floor with your legs extended also at a 45-degree angle from the floor, arms straight forward. Tighten abs the whole time.

Forward stretch: Lower legs and lean forward, arms reaching, as far as you can.

Spread-legged forward stretch: Holding torso in place, spread legs as wide as you can and hold again. If your neck gets tired, prop it on fists or block, if not the floor.

Frog: Roll forward so that your legs are now behind you, bend your knees frog-like, out to the sides of your body, and put your forehead on the floor.

Child’s pose: Draw your knees under your body and put your hands behind you on the floor, resting easily at your sides, forehead still down.

Monday-to-Monday Yoga

Why “Monday-to-Monday” yoga? Read more here: http://wp.me/p3PPzA-2.

Or, just get your yoga on! I like to do ten breaths per pose. Sometimes I hold a pose longer, but at least 10 breaths ensures I’m not rushing.

Mountain pose
Forward bend
Plank
Cobra
Downward dog
Runner’s Pose – Left Foot Forward
Triangle Pose – Left Foot Forward
Twisted Triangle Pose – Left Foot Forward
Plank
Cobra
Downward dog
Runner’s Pose – Right Foot Forward
Triangle Pose – Right Foot Forward
Twisted Triangle Pose – Right Foot Forward
Full Squat
Backward Bend

Mountain pose: Stand straight, distribute weight evenly across feet to root your body to the ground. Spend your time in this pose to align the body.
Forward bend: Either roll the spine forward, stretching your back as you go, or do a swan dive forward, keeping your back straight. At the bottom (wherever that is for you!), let your arms, head, and shoulders relax, sinking toward the floor. Maintain the feeling of groundedness developed during mountain pose.
Plank: Slide your hands forward or your feet backward to come into plank. Straight back, tight abs, strong arms, feet pressed backward. Take the weight off your wrists by bending your fingers slightly and pressing your fingertips into the floor.
Cobra: Slowly do a push up into low plank, then straighten the arms again, leaving the body low so that the back is bent and the head stretches toward the ceiling.
Downward dog: In a fluid motion, pull the midsection upward to come into downward dog, using your body to create a triangle with the floor.
Runner’s Pose – Left Foot Forward: Lift your left foot high into the air and swing it through to land between your hands. Lower into runner’s pose, front knee bent, back leg straight. Hands beside feet, either on the floor or hovering over the floor.
Triangle Pose – Left Foot Forward: Straighten your knee, place your left hand on the floor or on your left shin, and reach your right hand toward the ceiling.
Twisted Triangle Pose – Left Foot Forward: Put your right hand down on the floor or on your shin and twist in the other direction, reaching the left hand toward the ceiling. Keep feet grounded.
Plank: Come back center and slide into plank.
Cobra: Repeat cobra pose.
Downward dog: Repeat downward dog.
Runner’s Pose – Right Foot Forward: Repeat sequence with right leg forward.
Triangle Pose – Right Foot Forward: Repeat sequence with right leg forward.
Twisted Triangle Pose – Right Foot Forward: Repeat sequence with right leg forward.
Full Squat: Come back center and bring feet together. Straighten up into mountain pose briefly, palms together this time and hands extended upward. Bend your knees into a full squat, driving heels into the floor and gently pressing elbows into the inner part of your knees. Optionally, move into crane: put hands on floor and lift feet off ground, balancing knees on elbows. (This is a more advanced pose, so please research it if you are not familiar with it.)
Backward Bend: Straighten legs to come out of squat and, from mountain pose, bend backward gently, keeping your legs straight and your hips aligned. Finish in mountain pose.

Monday-to-Monday Yoga

“I should do more yoga.”

…I should have a dollar for every time I’ve uttered that phrase. Then I would be crazy rich and I could retire and do yoga all the time.

I’m guessing everyone has their excuses for not doing more yoga, and maybe yours sound something like mine: I want to, but without a set routine, I do it for, like, five minutes and then quit. And if I find a set routine, I get sick of it. And if I decide to “Google” a new routine every time I want to get my yoga on, it’ll never happen. And so it never happens.

Well, this very day I have decided to start a new tradition. It’s called Monday-to-Monday yoga. Every Monday, I will write down a short sequence of yoga poses, incorporating any new ones I want to try, and I will do that sequence every day until the next Monday, holding each pose for 10 breaths.

So, without further ado, may I present this week’s yoga sequence:

Sphinx
Child’s pose
Cat/Cow
Downward dog
One-legged d. dog on each side
High lunge twist
Forward fold with twist
Roll back into plow
Roll up to boat pose
Roll down, half-bridge pose
Supine twist
Corpse pose

Sphinx: Lay on your stomach, propped up on your forearms. Push your chest upward and lean your head back.
Child’s pose: From sphinx, push yourself up on your hands and slide back until you are sitting on your heels, but your face and arms should still be on the ground, arms stretched out before you.
Cat/Cow: Lift yourself up so that you are on your hands and knees. Tilt your head down and arch your back like a cat. Then arch your back in the opposite direction, pressing your stomach and chest toward the floor, and look up at the ceiling.
Downward dog: Come straight up from cat/cow, unbending your knees and using your body to create a triangle with the floor.
One-legged d. dog on each side: Lift one leg, keeping it straight, as high as you can. Then switch.
High lunge twist: Swing the currently lifted leg forward so that your foot lands between your hands. Come up into a lunge. Put your arms out straight, like airplane wings. Twist one direction and hold. Twist the other direction and hold.
Forward fold with twist: Come out of the lunge and stand with your feet should-width apart. Fold forward until your hands touch the ground (or as close as you can get ’em). Twist so that you are lifting one straight arm and your face toward the ceiling. Hold and then switch.
Roll back into plow: Stand up. Roll all the way back like you are going to do a backwards somersault, but stop when your feet hit the floor behind your head (or as far as you can get ’em). Straighten your legs and hold.
Roll up to boat pose: Roll forward and sit halfway up, so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor, and your (straight) legs are as well. Put your arms straight out in front of you and hold.
Roll down, half-bridge pose: Roll back down to your back, more slowly this time. Place your arms flat at your sides. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor, and lift your hips and legs as high as you comfortably can. Now hoooold it…
Supine twist: Lower your hips and straighten your legs. Lift one leg straight into the air and, keeping it straight, reach it as far across the other leg as you can. Hold, and then switch.
Corpse pose: Straighten both of your legs and rest them on the ground. Have your arms at your sides. Relax every little muscle you’ve got.