I remember carrying toddlers on my hip, carrying all their luggage (and that is A LOT) in the other, dragging a stroller behind me, and still paying for our groceries at the same time. Mom - I feel you! Backache from hips to the upper back - tension in the shoulders, feeling depleted - this is what many Mom's feel during and at the end of a day. This practice is here to release your back, unwind your tension, soften your shoulders, and balance your energy. For you Mom's - 30 minutes all about you!
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Reclined Shoelace Pose
Hold: 2-3 minutes/side
Cross your right leg over your left and bring your knees into your chest grasping the shins, ankles or feet with your hands. You can take the feet wider or remain with a tighter twisted legs position. Settle your shoulders on the floor and allow gravity and a little arm power to bring the legs in closer to the abdomen. Breath and sense the space you are making here. Feel everything unwind and open. Before taking the second side, take your hands wide and allow the knees to drop over to the left for Twisted Roots below. When you finish, return and take the second side.
Hold: 2-6 mins/side
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.
Twisted Ropes in Child's Pose
Hold: 2-3 minutes per side
Come into Child's Pose, big toes together, knees wide. Tuck your right arm, palm up, underneath your body and your left arm behind your right (palm up) so they are crisscrossed underneath your shoulders. Tuck your chin into the x in the middle or rest your forehead on a block or blanket. Breathe deeply and allow the shoulders to unwind and release. Have patience with this pose - breath into it and allow it to work it's magic. It is not an easy pose to hold but you will feel AMAZING when you come out! To come out, lift your chin and begin to unwind. Take a few minutes with arms bent out to sides and feel the sensations in your arms and shoulders. Take the second side crisscrossing the arms the opposite way with left arm in front of right.
Extended Child's Pose (arms wide)
Hold: 3-5 minutes
Come onto your knees. 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 your fists or hands or the floor. Allow your head to be supported fully with the weight on the space between your eyebrows. This will bring some softness to your whirling thoughts and quiet your mind (hold here for 2-3 minutes). Use a block for your head if needed for comfort. Remain here for 3-5 minutes. Gently press up to come out.
Swan & Sleeping Swan
Hold: 2-5 minutes/side/pose
From hands and knees, take your right knee forward towards the right wrist. Tuck your right foot underneath your pelvis or take your right shin more in line with the front edge of your mat (depends on your hip bones). Keep your right foot activated. Walk your left foot back more with top of the foot on the floor behind you. Keeping your fingertips on the floor, lift up and hold, keeping your head high and allowing your hips to settle towards the floor. After 2-3 minutes, walk your hands out in front of you either lifted, on a bolster/blocks, onto elbows or all the way to the ground. Lengthen your spine once you are down and then release fully into the pose. Focus on your breath. After a few breaths you can try to lower more or take your right foot out further forward. Always know you can come back out if it isn't right for you to go deeper today. To come out, press up and step back to downward facing dog for 1 minute. Remember to do both sides!
Hold: 2-5 minutes +
Come onto your back and 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). Breathe into the inner legs, chest, upper back and shoulders. To come out - stretch your legs out straight for 5 breaths then bend knees bringing the bottoms of the feet flat. Take a few breaths here before continuing.
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)