Yoga invites you to connect with the breath while strengthening and stretching through different postures. This internal connection calms your mind, relaxes your body, improves your mood, increases flexibility, increases strength, and reduces stress. When you practice yoga, relax the muscles in your face and smile on the outside and inside.
Begin your practice sitting in easy pose, with your legs crossed comfortably and a long back. Gently close your eyes and become aware of your inspirations and exhalations. Observe the areas of tension in your body and focus on full, relaxing breaths. Chant the “Om” three times. Hold this pose for about five minutes.
To mobilize your spine, rest your hands and knees on the floor, on all fours and practice the cat pose. Breathe out as you curve your back up and look towards your navel, and breathe in as you curve your spine toward the floor and look forward. Observe the movement with your breath. You can add some variations of the cat / cow pose, such as twists – with one arm raised up – and balances – by lifting the opposite arm and leg.
Exhale and rise to the inverted V or Downward Facing Dog pose , focusing on stability and support for your hands and feet to stretch your arms, legs, and back. Hold this position for several breaths. Breathe in and bring your shoulders forward, directly over your hands, moving into a plank or incline pose. Hold this position for three breaths. Exhale to return to downward facing dog. Repeat about four times.
After the incline pose, exhale and descend onto the mat. Make sure your legs and feet are parallel. Clasp your hands behind your back and raise your arms back and up, lengthen your spine and lift your chest and head off the ground. Hold the posture for a couple of breaths, undo and rest a few safe. Placing your hands on the mat, on both sides of your chest and below your shoulders, breathe in, lift your chest and head, and stretch your spine forward in cobra pose. Hold the asana for a couple of breaths, and then breathe out again moving into downward facing dog.
From downward facing dog, walk your feet to your hands and, as you breathe in, lengthen your spine forward and vertically forming the foot or mountain pose. Hold for a few breaths, lengthening and growing with each breath. Improve your balance with tree pose. Feet hip-width apart, strong and firm on the ground. Raise one leg and turn the knee to the side. Place the foot on the calf or the inner thigh of the other leg, put the palms of the hands together and lift the arms up. Hold the tree pose for a few breaths and repeat with the other side of the body.
You should always end a yoga practice with the corpse pose, savassana. Lying on your back with your arms open and your palms facing up, with your legs slightly apart and your feet dangling to the sides. Gently close your eyes, breathe deeply, feel total relaxation. After about five minutes in this position, bend your legs, drop to the side, place your hands on the floor and sit up in an easy position just as you had started the sequence of postures.