Ready for Spring? This practice is all about bringing balancing to the body, working with the Liver/Gallbladder meridians and the wood element - we help detoxify and clear the Liver meridian lines for Spring health! Breath, mindfulness, guided imagery all to help you embrace the Spring changes mentally and physically. Join me using the detailed guide below or the video!
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Hold: 2-6 minutes
Come onto your seat using a folded blanket under your hips to give you a little lift and tilt forward. Bring the bottom of your feet together a little ways away from your hips. Lengthen your spine then slowly fold forward allowing gravity to pull you. Allow your back to round and your forehead to rest on the blocks and rest your hands on your feet or the ground. To come out, press through your hands and come back up. Bring the bottoms of the feet flat and windshield wiper the knees side to side.
Hold: 1-3 mins/side
Sit up with sitting bones stable on the floor or a folded blanket. Bring both feet together, knees wide to sides. Take your right leg and turn it out to the side, keeping the foot flexed. Take it back behind you as far you feel comfortable, knee bent (remember the 2/3 of your max idea). Take one hand to the inside of your legs and the other to the outside of your left leg. Sit up tall and breathe into the legs. This pose seems so simple but pay attention to releasing muscle engagement in the thighs and hips. Try to keep your abdomen in the middle and not leaning over and both hips on the floor (use blanket if necessary). To come out, bring feet back together and flutter knees up and down for 5-10 breaths. Continue to second side.
Supine Hand To Big Toe Series (Supta Padangusthasana Series)
Hold: 2-3 minutes each position
Come onto your back. Bring both knees into your chest and gently squeeze them in. Take a strap or belt and wrap it around the ball of the right foot (right under toes) and take the leg up to the ceiling. Allow the strap to lengthen the leg out (more important to have leg straight than closer to your head), holding each end of the strap in each hand. Keep your left leg either outstretched on the floor or knee bent a little away from your hips. Allow the left knee to drift out to the left slightly. Hold upright for 2-3 minutes.
Then, take the strap in the right hand and let the right leg go out to the right - keeping both hips firmly on the floor. You can balance this by allowing the left knee to fall out to the left. Hold here for 2-3 minutes. Bring foot back to center and take the strap into your left hand and take the leg about 6-10" across the midline of the body and allow the left knee to fall in towards the right - almost crisscrossing in the middle. Notice the right hip and keep it moving away from the upper body (you can take your hand and slightly move it towards end of the mat). Come back to center after 2-3 minutes and move to the next pose before starting the second side.
Dragonfly (Upavistha Konasana) & Lateral Dragonfly
Hold: 2-6 minutes/side/pose
Take heels wide on the mat, relaxing the knees and feet. If this is too much on your hamstrings, gently bend your knees and support with blocks if needed. Slowly bend forward, walking fingertips forward. If you are close to the floor, use a block or bolster to support your head. Breathe deeply into the entire back side of the body and drop your chin to your chest - lengthening the neck. Focus on exhaling 2-4 seconds longer than your inhale. Sense the muscles when they try to engage and send some breath to release them. Surrender to the pose and to gravity. To come out, return to upright, lift the INSIDE of the knee up and windshield wiper the legs for 5 breaths. Take a block to the outside of one knee, begin to lengthen the side body and lean over placing your elbow on the block and using your hand to support your head. Take your opposite arm up and over and rest it on the head - interlacing the fingers if comfortable. Breath into the side body and feel length from the foot to the fingers. To come up, take the top arm down by your hip and press your head up with your other hand. Take 5 deep breaths and continue to the other side.
Tipsy Half Frog
Hold: 2-5 minutes/side
Come onto your belly placing elbows under shoulders or slightly in front as if taking Sphynx pose. Pull your body forward slightly using your hands and then relax your entire body. Gently slide your right knee out to the right level with your hip and take your right ankle level with your knee at a 90 degree angle. Softly flex your foot. Breathe here and allow gravity to pull you down and slightly forward. You can rest your head on a block or drop your chin to your chest. To come out, gently tuck your foot back in and slide the leg back to straight. Rest here with your forehead on your hands for 8-10 breaths or take 10 cat/cows. Return to your Sphynx pose and take the second side.
Hold: 2-5 minutes/side
Come into a cross-legged position and flex feet taking the heels under each opposite knee. If you are able, take your front leg heel and place it on the opposite knee for a Firelog style pose. Either way, keep a little engagement in your foot so the ankle doesn't turn inward. Take your elbows gently to your knees and softly rest your head in your hands for a few breaths. You can stay here or take your hands to the floor or a prop and fold forward. Breath into the hips and hip flexors allowing the area to open. To come out, press up and uncross taking the feet wide and taking a windshield wiper action to soften. Take the second side.
Hold: 2-6 mins
Come onto your back and take arms wide - level with shoulders or bent elbows (more chest opening) and cross the right leg over the left - winding once or double wrap. Press through the foot and gently shift hips over to the right. Drop knees over to the left and turn head to the right. Allow gravity to take the knees over and if you feel you can, walk the left toes back behind you more for more twist. To come out, engage your core and bring legs back to center. Drop feet wide on the mat and let knees come together. Breathe here for 8 breaths and continue to second 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! Take a 6 count inhale, 6 count exhale, 6 count hold at the bottom of the exhale for 3-5 rounds. Focus on your breath and let 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)