Spring Cleaning Yoga Sequence

Goodbye winter, hello spring! The warmth of the sun on our skin has been long over due however transitioning into the warmer months isn't always a walk in the flower emerging park. Go easy on yourself if you aren't feeling that pep in your step just yet, many feel the same way and that's why we turn to yoga right? Right! Here are 5 yoga poses to clear out those winter blues and ready your body and mind for the warmer months in front of us!

1. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Benefits Include: Increases Energy. Strengthens legs and arms.

Hold for 5 breaths per side. 

Alignment: Make sure the ankle of the front foot is right below the knee (see image below).

Go Further: Lift back knee to come into High Lunge.

Low Lunge

2. Revolved Lunge 

Benefits Include: Increases Energy. Strengthens legs, ankles and arms. Improves digestion and aids elimination. Improves balance and strength.

Hold for 5 breaths per side. 

Modify: Keep hands at heart center and lower back knee for Revolved Low Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana).

Go Further: Come into Revolved Half Moon (Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana) on each side!

Revolved Lunge Yoga Pose

3. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

Benefits Include: Increases Energy. Lengthens legs and arms. Stretches and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles Stretches the hips, groins, hamstrings, and calves; shoulders, chest, and spine. Stimulates the abdominal organs. Helps relieve stress

Hold for 5 breaths per side.

Modify: Place bottom hand on shin or block

Go Further: Add Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana) on each side!

trikonasana

4. Side Plank (Vasisthasana)

Benefits Include: Increases Energy. Strengthens shoulders, arms and abdominals.

Hold for 5 breaths per side.

Modify: Place upper foot down on the ground in front of hips to stabilize (click for image).

Go Further: Lift top leg - keep reaching out through the heel.

Side Plank

5. Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana)

Benefits Include: Improves focus. Strengthens the legs and ankles. Stretches the backs of the legs. Improves balance.

Hold for 5 breaths per side.

Modify: Hold knee instead of big toe. (first two images below)

Go Further: Open leg out to side as gaze extends in the opposite direction. (3rd and 4th image below).

*BONUS Breath Work - Lions Breath (Simhasana)*

It is said that the Lion's Breath (Simhasana) is a great pose to "clear the air" so what better pose to end this spring cleaning yoga sequence! At first glance this pose might look a little silly or intimidating but I encourage you to find a space where you're alone and give it a go, it's worth it!

The following instructions are from Yoga Journal:

  1. Kneel on the floor and cross the front of the right ankle over the back of the left. The feet will point out to the sides. Sit back so the perineum snuggles down onto the on the top (right) heel.
  2. Press your palms firmly against your knees. Fan the palms and splay your fingers like the sharpened claws of a large feline.
  3. Take a deep inhalation through the nose. Then simultaneously open your mouth wide and stretch your tongue out, curling its tip down toward the chin, open your eyes wide, contract the muscles on the front of your throat, and exhale the breath slowly out through your mouth with a distinct “ha” sound. The breath should pass over the back of the throat.
  4. Some texts instruct us to set our gaze (drishti) at the spot between the eyebrows. This is called “mid-brow gazing” (bhru-madhya-drishti; bhru = the brow; madhya = middle).Other texts direct the eyes to the tip of the nose (nasa-agra-drishti; nasa = nose; agra = foremost point or part, i.e., tip).
  5. You can roar two or three times. Then change the cross of the legs and repeat for the same number of times.

 

WRITTEN BY:


Carolyn Pereira Yoga Teacher

Carolyn Pereira

Certified yoga teacher, writer and artist

Find out more about Carolyn & our other yoga teachers!