Hey Yogis! Please enjoy Bliss’s Free Yoga Sequences!
We will be posting free sequences monthly! These sequences are meant for all audiences* to practice safely at home. These sequences are meant to aid or inspire your home practice. Feel free to add on to this sequence to make it yours! A solid warm up and at least 5-10minute Savasana is encouraged.
This week: This sequence is designed around anyone who sits in a chair or works in an office all day. General issues of sitters/ computerists are still neck, shoulders and tight legs and hips.
By stretching the neck out the rest of the spine is able to release. For this pose sit in a comfortable position, and lengthen the spine with a few breaths. Then tilt your head towards your shoulder and rest your hand gently on the top of your head. Stay here as long as you like, breathing evenly. Be sure to switch sides.
Add On: Feel free to incorporate some neck rolls, tilting the head forward and back, or some awesome self massage. Be gentle on the neck, it is strong enough to hold our heads, but we don’t want to ask too much.
Cat-Cow is a great way to warm up the spine and body. It allows us to undulate the spine, working out any stiff kinks we might be harboring. Start on all fours, shoulder under wrists and knees under hip-bones. Inhale and bring the heart forward, shoulders travel down the spine. Exhale and press into your hands to arch your back; feel your shoulders become broad across your back.
Add on: Take this Cat-Cow in circles to really open the spine and body. play with tucking the toes and hanging out in Puppy-dog pose. Or for a longer warm up alternate between Cat-Cow and Child’s Pose.
Thread the Needle Pose is a gentle yet effective way to open up those cramped shoulders! Start in all fours, just like Cat-Cow. Lift one arm off the mat, take the arm open to the side in “T” and make a “thumbs-up” signal. Take that Thumb and weave it under your body to cross through so that your temple and shoulder are grounded. The “thumbs-up” can become and open palm up towards the sky. Your top are can be grounded in front of you as pictured here.
Add On: Play with the top are mobility. You can walk your hands back, lift the arm up to the sky, to the front/back, or bring them around your waist for a bind. Play with the head position and hips to really get your full release from this pose.
Shoulders and Legs:
Downward Facing Dog is an intense posture! To get here come back to all fours in Table pose. Tuck your toes and lift the hips to the sky, press your hands into the mat like in Cat-pose. Be sure hands are shoulder with apart and legs are hip-with apart. Your goal here is to create an inverted “v” with your body. If you aren’t feeling relaxed and released in this pose try bending the knees to your ribs for Puppy-Dog Pose.
Add On: Play with moving from your normal stance to your tip toes! Feel free to try a 3-legged Dog to stretch the shoulders more. Move from Down-Dog to Plank Pose. to incorporate some flow movement to this practice.
Lizard Pose is an excellent hip opener. To get there start in Down-Dog. Inhale one leg up to the sky, exhale and bring that foot all the way forwards to the outside your hand. You can ground the lifted knee if you need. Walk the forward foot out and you can even tilt your foot to expose the soul of your foot to your hands. You can tilt your knee away from your shoulders for a deeper stretch. Be sure to maintain the long line from crown to heel.
Add On: For more release walk your hands down to your forearms and rest here. By keeping the back knee lifted you will get a more intense stretch. Sway forward and backward to create a little movement if you feel stagnate in this pose.
Shoulders and Legs:
Wide Legged- Forward Fold & Standing Forward Fold w/ a Bind are both excellent ways to let gravity do some work for you! By hinging out of your hips your able to get a deeper fold. Take a few breaths and then release deeper. By Taking the arms overhead you open and stretch the shoulders while your hamstrings get the ultimate stretch. Let the head fall heavy and hang.
Add On: In Standing forward fold you can unbind your fingers and shove your hands, palms up, under your feet. Bring the toes to the wrist creases and wiggle! This helps blood circulation and muscle release in the wrists. Bend your knees a lot if you need in order to get those hands under toes. Move the neck and head around or side to side if your craving more neck opening.
Pigeon Pose is an gentle way to open those stiff hips! To get here, start in Down Dog. Inhale one leg up to the sky, exhale and bring that knee to your chin and place it on the mat in front of you. Your front knee is bent and the back leg is long with the top of your foot grounded. Your front leg shin can either be parallel to the front edge of your mat or your heel can be touching your groin; whatever position helps your relax and release, it is different for everyone!
Add On: To release more you can walk your hands down so that you are laying on your front leg. You can stack fists and place your forehead on them to rest, or stack your hands flat for a lower release. From here you can walk your hands to the right and left to stretch out the side-body. If your looking for a quad release you could come into Royal Pigeon.
Reverse Plank Pose helps open the chest, shoulders and spine. It is a strong pose so it also helps build strength as you release. To get here start in Dandasana. Inhale and lengthen the spine place hands 6-8 inches behind you, exhale and press into your palms and bring the toes to the mat. Bring the hips up towards the sky and let the head fall back to open the throat. Maintain this position until you feel the integrity of the pose is being lost.
Add On: For a more accessible pose try Reverse Table. Play with swaying forward and backward to create mobility in this pose and an extra wrist stretch.
Plow Pose is a great counter pose for Reverse Plank; the flexion in the spine is reversed allowing a full release! This pose opens the shoulders the spine, creating space and reducing stress and fatigue. To get here start on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Bring your hands to the lower back. Press your elbows in the mat to bring your knees past your head. Keep your hands on your back for support and bring your toes to the ground. Be sure you have no pain in your neck & body; you can put a 1-inch blanket under your shoulders if you feel pain or would like to.
Add On: Theres lots to play with in this pose! Your hands can reach back to your toes, you can bring your knee past your nose! You can walk your feet side to side, or play with balance and oblique strength. No matter how you find your ultimate Plow be sure there is no strain in the neck.
Prepping for Relaxation:
Happy Baby allows us to slow down and get one last squeeze of release and opening in both hips and chest. To get here start in Savasana, bring your knees into your chest and grab your feet. You can claps your hands on your toes, inside of foot, outside of foot, or wrap your arms inside and around your legs. By rocking around in this posture you are able to massage your spine and back-body organs like the kidneys, liver, stomach, and gall bladder. BY massaging these areas you are bringing blood and oxygen to them allowing them to release, heal, and function smoothly.
Add On: Before settling down in Savasana it’s a good idea to take one last twist to neutralize the spine. From Happy Baby drop both knees to one side and bring your arms out to a “T” position. Keep your shoulders grounded but hips stacked. Repeat on other side.
*We hope everyone will try these sequences, but keep in mind your body. Prevent injury by listening to how your body feels today, and by the sound of your breath. Do what feels right for you! Be safe and have a blast!