Standing Yoga Poses: Home Practice from Yoga Journal

stay grounded this holiday season by tapping the source of your power and strength in this sequence created by Nicky Costello sit in a comfortable cross-legged position lengthen your spine from the base to the crown of your head fold your palms together in front of your heart and begin to observe your breath lengthen your breath and feel energy flow down through your pelvis and legs continue to smooth your breath creating both grounding and ease for your practice release your hands and come to stand in Tadasana standing Mountain Pose at the center of your mat join the inner edges of your feet lift and spread your toes to attain equal pressure through the ball mounds and heels of your feet release your toes and draw your thighs back inhale broaden your chest and collarbones exhale rest your attention in the firm steady support of your legs as you ground into your legs feel your attention move even more deeply inside to the source of your power and ease bend your right knee and take hold of the ankle with your right hand for rickshaw sana tree pose turn your knee to the right and place the sole of your foot high on the inside of your left thigh press your heel firmly into your thigh reach your arms up and lengthen both sides of your torso slow down your breath find steadiness inside bring your hands toward your heart and lower your right foot to the ground come back to Tadasana feel the stability in both legs then bend your left knee and rest your left foot inside your right inner thigh lift your arms up lengthen your torso and let your breath be open and spacious press through both heels and lift the thighs lower both hands to the heart and release your left foot to the floor turn to face the short end of your mat and stand with your feet hip-width apart inhale raise your arms overhead or Deva host asana upward salute exhale fold forward to uttanasana standing forward bend place both hands on the floor and step your feet back to Otto mukha svanasana downward facing dog pose step your right foot between your hands and come up for ott trikonasana extended triangle pose turn your left heel in toward the midline of your mat inhale lift both arms out to the sides exhale and extend your torso to the right placing your right hand on your shin bone place your left hand on your waist lift and spread your toes lift the arches of your feet then your ankles knees and thighs and let weight drop through your heels releasing each toe to the floor on an exhalation turn your chest toward the ceiling extend your left arm up stack it directly over the right shoulder feel the support of your legs and lengthen the sides of your torso bend your right knee bring your left hand to the floor press through both palms and step back to down dog step your left foot forward inhale and come up for the second side take your right heel back reach both arms out as you exhale lengthen your torso to the left rest your left hand on your shin and your right hand on your hip re-establish stability in your legs and widen the backs of your thighs inhale turn your chest up bring your right arm above your left shoulder slow down your breath continue to turn on the power in your legs and move your attention into this power bend your left knee release your right hand to the floor and step both feet back to downward dog take a few breaths to integrate both sides of your body place your right foot between your hands and bend your knee spin your left heel in toward the midline of the mat and lift your torso up for virabhadrasana ii warrior pose to place your hands on your waist and keep your chest lifted and open lift your arches and spread your toes to distribute the weight evenly throughout both feet inhale extend your arms to shoulder height exhale turn your head to look beyond your right hand stay steady in the legs with smooth even breath lengthen down through your left leg press your thigh back and sink your pelvis a little deeper release both hands to either side of your right foot step back to down dog step your left foot between your hands right heel in inhale come up to standing for warrior two rest both hands on your hips and lift the sides of your torso filling your whole body with breath inhale float the arms up and turn your head to the left engage equal effort through the inner and outer edges of your feet take your hands to the mat to release and step back to down dog press your thighs back lift your hip creases and extend down through your heels you’ll take warrior pose – again to transition into utthita parsvakonasana extended side angle pose step your right foot between your hands lower your left heel to the floor and inhale come up to warrior two create length through both sides of your waist exhale extend your torso to the right and lower your right hand to the floor place your left hand on your waist on your next exhalation turn your chest up and extend your left arm straight up so that it’s directly over your right shoulder press strongly through your left heel then externally rotate your left arm and bring it alongside your left ear feel the complete stretch from your left heel to your fingertips lower your left hand of the floor and step back to down dog step your left foot forward and turn your right heel in bend your left knee inhale and come up to warrior two exhale lean to the left and lower your left hand to the floor rest your right hand on your waist keep your left knee stacked above your ankle and spiral your chest skyward extend your right arm up rotate it externally and sweep it alongside your ear press through your right heel lengthen through your entire side body lower your and the floor step both feet back to down dog now you’ll cultivate more grounding in your hips in VO de Madrazo no one warrior pose one step your right foot between both hands spin your left heel to the midline and keep the toes pointing toward the front edge of your mat inhale and lift your torso place both hands on your hips turn the back of your left leg from the inner thigh to the outer thigh widening in the back of the leg keep your shoulders torso and pelvis aligned your left legs straight and your left heel pressing into the floor extend both arms up sink the pelvis down balancing weight between both legs as you lengthen your spine lower your arms placing your hands along either side of your right foot step back to down dog turn your right heel in and place your left foot between your hands bending your left knee bring your hands to your hips and lift your torso to stand spiral your inner right thigh back grounding into the outer edge of your right foot keep your right leg strong release weight back into the heel and raise your arms feel centered as you anchor through your legs lower your to the floor and step back to down dog slow down your breath adjust your weight so that it flows evenly between your hands and your feet now you’ll play with balance in ardha chandrasana half moon pose step your right foot forward turn your left foot in toward the midline of the mat and come up to stand with both legs straight raise your arms out and lengthen the sides of your waist extend your torso to the right triangle pose place your left hand on your waist bend your right knee and place your right hand on the floor about a foot in front of your right leg shift your body forward until the right leg and right arm are sharing the weight of your trunk and straighten your right leg and lift the left leg up until it is parallel to the floor extend the left arm up and turn the chest waist and head to look up to come out turn your gaze to the floor lower your left hand to your waist bend your right knee and reach your left foot back to the floor place your left hand on the floor and step your right foot back downward dog spin your right heel down step your left foot forward for half moon pose on the left side inhale come up to standing and lift your arms out to the side exhale extend your torso to the left take your right hand to the waist in your left hand to the shin then bend your left knee and move your left hand beyond the left foot keep leaning your weight to the left balancing the weight between your hand and foot inhale extend your left leg and float your right leg up press through the heel and spread the toes of your right foot raise your right arm stack your shoulders spin your chest turn your head and gaze up take your gaze to the floor bring your right hand to your waist and lower your right leg back until your foot reaches the floor release your right hand and step your left foot back to downward dog bend one knee and then the other releasing any tension in both legs from here you’ll come into parsvottanasana intense side stretch pose step your right foot between your hands and turn your left heel to the midline of the mat align your left hip with your right hip hug both outer hips in inhale to come up bring your hands to your waist keeping both legs straight and steady lift the sides of your torso exhale and extend your entire torso forward until it is parallel to the floor bring your fingertips to the floor on either side of the front foot maintain equal lengths on both sides of your torso as you walk your hands forward and take your head toward your shin press strongly into both heels and lift your ankles and thighs up press with hands firmly into the floor and step back to down dog take your right heel in step your left foot forward and come up to standing place both hands on your hips inhale lengthen your torso exhale slowly lower your torso toward parallel to the floor place both hands on either side of your left foot re-establish the effort in your legs to support a steady base as you exhale ease your spine down gracefully stay here for a few more breaths deep in your forward fold rest both hands on the floor and step your left foot back for downward dog you’ll balance the asymmetrical work in these standing poses with prasarita padottanasana wide-legged standing forward bend step your right foot between your hands and walk your hands around to the left so your toes are facing the wide edge of your mat keep a legs distance between your feet align the outer edges of your feet with one another inhale and lengthen your torso parallel to the floor place your fingertips on the floor beneath your shoulders exhale here lift the arches ankles knees and thighs walk your hands back in line with your feet press the palms to the floor and bend your elbows bringing them shoulder distance apart lower your head toward the floor keep the weight distributed between the heels and the entire foot to balance the work in your legs release any holding in your breath allow your breath to be even soften your eyes and feel a deeper sense of calm as your spine releases inhale lift your spine halfway turn your right foot out walk your hands to the short edge of your mat place them to either side of your right foot and step back for a long held downward dog spread your fingers and palms and bring your feet in line with your hands spread your feet and lift up through your arms and legs until the buttocks are lifted move your thighs back descend the heels and head toward the floor slow down your breath continue to feel the powerful lift in your legs as you release tension in your spine lower your shins to the floor and draw your pelvis back toward your heels release your forehead to the ground bring your arms down alongside your torso and rest in balasana Child’s Pose inhale lift your torso up and come to lying down in shavasana corpse pose extend your legs and arms allow the feet to turn out turn your palms face up and let your shoulders fall back follow your breath in and out patiently and gradually extending the exhalation until your limbs are relaxed and your body and mind becomes still and tranquil you

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