In 30 minutes you can unwind, release tension and relieve the effects of stress on the body - opening to flexibility and greater mobility. 6 poses, 1 prop, 30 minutes!
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Supported Fish Pose with Butterfly Legs
Hold: 2-5 minutes +
Take a rolled towel or blanket across the mat. Settle down onto it with the shoulders fully supported at first and then slowly begin to inch your way towards the floor with shoulderblades barely grazing the floor behind you. Take the bottom of the feet together. Start here allowing the shoulders and upper back to fully release and open. Take your arms up overhead or out to sides (even interlacing them if comfortable). You can stay here for the remainder of the time OR gently inch your way to where the shoulders are fully supported on the floor. To come out - stretch your legs out straight for 5 breaths then bend knees, press into your feet and lifting your hips - remove the blanket from underneath. Bring your hips back down and relax for 5 more breaths before continuing.
1/2 Stirrup (Ardha Ananda Balasana)
Hold: 2-4 minutes/side
Take a rolled blanket or towel under your hips for support. Bring your right knee into your chest and take your right hand to the inside of the knee to grasp the inside or outside of the right foot. Using a little bit of shoulder and chest traction, pull the knee into the outer right side towards the floor and head the bottom of the right foot towards the ceiling. Take your left leg either bent or out straight. Hold here feeling the deep stretch in the lower back, hips and glutes. Release and take a breath or two - sense the feeling in the right body versus the left. Take the second side.
Twisted Child's Pose (Balasana)
Hold: 3-5 minutes/side
Come onto your knees from Downward Facing Dog. Bring your big toes together and knees apart slightly (bringing them closer together opens the front thighs more). Keeping your hips low to the heels (prop with blankets or blocks if needed), allow your torso to drop forward, resting your head on the floor. Walk your hands and body over to the left and lift up partially and take your right arm, palm up, over to the left under your torso. Walk your left arm overhead or keep it level with your head for support OR tuck it back behind you. Use a block for your head if needed for comfort. Remain here for 3-5 minutes and twist to the second side. To come out, step back into Downward Facing Dog.
Hold: 2-5 minutes/side
Cross right leg over the left above the knee or take left leg out long and stack right knee over left. Prop hips where needed with block or blanket. If your hips come between your feet comfortably, rest your bum on the floor but don't push too hard to get here. Stay here or gently fold over and place elbows on blocks or the floor. Allow gravity to weigh your hips down and open the upper back. To come out, lift up, unwind and windshield wiper legs for 5 breaths. Try second side always remembering that each side is unique!
Cat Pulling It's Tail
Hold: 2-5 minutes/side
Come onto your back and roll over to your left side. Take your left arm out from the shoulder and take your left leg, bent knee, slightly back behind you. Catch or reach for the left leg with your right hand and gently pull it back behind your further, taking the foot closer to the floor and rolling the shoulder and chest open slightly to the right. You can stack your right leg on top of left bent or you can straighten the leg and take it out in front of you. If you want to go further, grasp your right toes with your left hand and keep the leg straight out to the left or simply allow the right foot to sit in front of your body. Allow your breath to guide your body deeper into the twist and if you feel you can, gently pull the left toes back further, emphasizing the stretch in the thigh. To come out, release all holds and roll onto your back taking the arms and legs wide for 5-10 breaths. Continue to the other side.
Hold: 5-10 minutes
Allow the heels to settle out to the corners of the mat, slide your shoulder blades underneath your body, and take your hands out to the sides, palms up. Take some deep breaths, coming back to the 3 part breath - first in the belly, then in the chest and finally the collarbones - and extend the exhale even longer. Allow yourself to sigh a few times and let it all go!
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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All rights reserved by Aprille Walker and The Yoga Ranger Studio 2014-2018 (copyrighted material)