We’ve collated five yoga poses to stimulate the body and mind. Incorporating inversions into your day, where your heart is higher than your head, can increase blood flow to the brain, calm the nervous system, improves concentration and relieve stress.
Here’s An Overview of the Practice
Starting in downward facing dog, standingsSplits and handstand hops are a few gentle inversions that also engage major muscles groups to increase energy.
Following that, malasana gives the digestive organs a deep squeeze and releases the sacrum and the hips get a big wake up call. To finish it all off, dancers pose is a one leg standing balance and an invigorating backbend all at once. Here are each of the moves broken down.
Starting in Downward Facing Dog
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) – start in a four point position, tuck your toes, extend your hips to the sky. Keep a soft bend in your knees, draw your heels down to the earth, press your hands firmly into the earth to extend your arm bones. Relax your head and breathe easily.
Then to Standing Splits
Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing Splits) – From downward dog step your right leg forward to a low lunge, enjoy a few breaths here to open into the hips. Step your back foot in slightly, take your hands to blocks or the earth in front of your right foot. Extend your left leg up to the sky. Keep lifting the back inner thigh, press into both your feet, bend your elbows and bow the crown of the head to the earth.
Followed by Handstand Hops
Adho Mukha Vrksasana Prep (Handstand Hops) – From standing splits, take your hands further forward, press them into the ground, bend your front knee. Start to kick your left leg up to the sky, keep soft in the front knee so you stay buoyant. Keep both legs active as you kick up and get a bit of air time by lifting the bottom leg too.
Be mindful of your shoulders here- press firmly into the hands and wrap the shoulders slightly. Draw your naval slightly to your spine to protect your back and use your core to find height.
Then a Yogic Squat
Malasana (Yogic Squat) – Bring both feet to the ground, take them out to the edges of the mat, turn your toes out and sink your hips back and down into a squat. Press your elbows into the knees and hands together at the chest. Let your backs of the hands touch and turn the fingers down to stretch out the wrists after your handstand play.
Use a block under your bum if you have any pain in the hips or injury in the knees, or stay higher with elbows resting on the edges of the thighs.
Repeating the Sequence on the Other Side
Step back to Downward Dog and repeat low lunge, standing splits, handstand hops and malasana on the other side.
Finishing in Dancers Pose
Natarajasana (Dancers Pose) – Come to tadasana. Take the weight into your left leg, pick up the inner of your right foot (make sure the elbow crease faces outwards, so your shoulder is in external rotation), draw the knees together and lengthen tailbone to the earth. Extend your left arm to the sky. Feel steady with an even breath and gentle drishti point.
Start to kick right foot into hand as you lean your chest forward, hinging at the hip joint. Keep lifting the inner thigh up so the pelvis stay in line and lean your chest open to enjoy the backbend.
New to Selph Yoga? On March 30, we’re hosting a foundations of yoga workshop to help build a solid foundation of joint alignment, stability, activating your core and using your breath. Everything you need to know to build a solid foundation for practice. Learn more about the event here.