yoga sequence

Easy, Relaxing Yoga Practice

I have a lovely, short, easy yoga practice for you.

It's perfect for beginning, never-done-yoga-before newbies.

It's even good for I-can-do-everything yoga pros.

One of the things that surprised me when I started doing a home practice that was designed for me by another teacher (when I began studying in the viniyoga tradition) was that doing "easy" stuff actually worked.

I thought that the quickest way to get to my goals was to do the most challenging stuff possible.

But regularly stressing my body wasn't working very well. It definitely wasn't helping me feel more comfortable or strong or physically balanced. It was wearing me down.

My teacher gave me a practice that I thought was way too easy to actually do anything. But after doing it for a few days, I noticed I felt better. I was less stressed, my neck felt better and my breathing was so much smoother. I also had more energy and felt more patient and easygoing.

Things don't have to be hard to work. And it turns out, if you work well within your capacity (think 80%) you actually progress faster.

But don't just take my word for it. Do this simple practice once a day for a few days. If you like it, come to class or get a private lesson so you can have something designed just for you.

Gentle Morning and Evening Yoga Routine

The most important ingredient to a successful yoga practice is, well, the practicing part. More specifically, practicing on a regular (daily) basis.

It's hard to do something every day, especially if it's new. So I always try to give new yoga students something very small, and very doable to get started.

Yes, on days when you have lots of energy and enthusiasm and things are going great, the short, gentle yoga practice may seem "too easy." But easy still works. And on days that aren't going so well, when everything is hard, you'll have a nice, comfortable, undemanding practice to give you a boost.

So, if you are beginning yoga for the first time, or looking to start a more regular practice, here are a couple of short options for you to use each day. Once you have learned the routine by heart, I encourage you to practice without the recording, so you can go at your own pace.

To start, decide whether yoga practice fits better in the morning or evening for you, then stick with that practice every day for a week. Although you'll probably feel a little more relaxed and centered right away, it takes about a week to start seeing a real difference. (Yoga Teacher Sri Krishnamacharya reportedly told students they had to do their practice every day, without fail, for 90 days to know whether it was working.)

* These recordings are from a 30-Day Yoga Challenge I led in September 2016. They are designed for yoga newbies and students who want to get back to basics, and require no special equipment and very little space.

Enjoy!

Restore: Deep Breath, Deep Peace

The following is a restorative yoga sequence designed during the Yapana Being: Restorative Yoga Training with Leeann Carey. It includes progressively quieter backward-bending poses to relax the body while expanding the front of the body and chest for access to a deeper breath.

All postures can be found in Leeann's book, The Yapana Way.

Props Used

1 Chair

1 Bolster

2-3 Blankets

2 Blocks

1 Strap (optional)

1 10-pound Sandbag (optional)

The Sequence

  1. Virasana - Hero Pose
  2. Matsyendrasana - Fish Pose
  3. Jathara Parivarttanasana - Revolved Stomach Squeeze
  4. Supta Baddha Konasana - Reclined Bound Angle Pose
  5. Setu Bandhasana - SupportedBridge Pose
  6. Legs up the Chair
  7. Savasana (brief)
  8. Meditation
  9. Savasana
Hero Pose

Hero Pose

Fish pose.

Fish pose.

Legs up the chair.

Legs up the chair.

Restore: Sequence for Sore Athletes

This tested and student-approved sequence is designed to help sore athletes (or yogis) recover after a hard workout. All postures (and additional sequences) can be found in Leeann Carey's book on restorative yoga, The Yapana Way.

Props Used:

1 Bolster

1 Blanket

1 Block

2 Straps

1 Chair

1 Sandbag (10 pounds, optional)

The Sequence:

  1. Matsyasana - Fish Pose
  2. Virabhadrasana II- Warrior II
  3. Utthita Trikonasana - Triangle Pose
  4. Ustrasana - Camel Pose
  5. Jathara Parivartanasana - Stomach-Turn Pose
  6. Eka Pada Apanasana - One-Legged Knee to Chest Pose
  7. Supta Padangustasana I - Reclined Big Toe Pose I
  8. Prasarita Paddotanasana - Wide-legged Foward Bend
One legged Knee-to-chest Pose.

One legged Knee-to-chest Pose.

Reclined Big Toe Pose I.

Reclined Big Toe Pose I.

Wide-legged Forward Bend.

Wide-legged Forward Bend.

Restore: Sequence for Digestion & Deep Rest

This is a tried and true sequence of restorative yoga postures that my group designed during the Yapana BEING: Restorative Yoga Therapy training with Leeann Carey. It begins with "louder" full body postures for general opening, and winds down through quieter backbending and inverted postures to a deep rest in final savasana. All postures and variations can be found in Leeann's book, The Yapana Way.

Props used (per student):

2 Bolsters

2 Blankets

1 Strap

1 Block

1 Sandbag (10 pounds)

The Sequence:

  1. Warrior II - Virabhadrasana II
  2. Revolved Triangle - Parvrtti Uttita Trikonasana
  3. Reclined Bound Angle - Supta Baddha Konasana
  4. Prasarita Padotanasana - Wide-legged Forward Bend
  5. Jathara Paravartanasana - Revolved Knee Squeeze
  6. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana - Supported Bridge
  7. Viparita Karani - Legs-Up-the-Chair
  8. Savasana
Warrior II Pose, with sandbag

Warrior II Pose, with sandbag

Wide-legged Forward Bend

Wide-legged Forward Bend

Revolved Knee Squeeze Pose

Revolved Knee Squeeze Pose