Sequence Wednesdays: Home Practice Roundup
I don’t have a new sequence or set of poses to share with you this morning (I know, boo Annie!) but I thought it might be useful to show you how you could put some of the sequences and hacks I’ve already covered together to create a full home practice. Depending on how quickly you move, I’d guess this would be a 30-45minute practice, but you could certainly extend or shorten it easily.
Home practice is hard. I wish I could tell you that I diligently roll out my mat in a place free of distractions and spend an hour practicing every day. I don’t do that. Because of my full time job, my teaching and all the other obligations/excuses that come up, I find myself doing my home practice a pose here, a pose there etc…and I get distracted. When I do have the time and the focus to sit down for a long home practice, I find I need to go in with a plan of what I’m going to do.
What’s interesting is that even if I don’t stick with the plan, simply having it keeps me on my mat long enough to be able to do the practice that feels good that day. This is a round about way of saying that while I think it will be helpful to have a full sequence as you begin your home practice, the world won’t end if you deviate from it. This is simply my suggestion for a starting point. I’m not going to include all of the pictures and explanation from the original posts (though hopefully enough for you to get the general idea) so please click back if you need more details.
Start in supported fish. As your chest and upper back release into the bolster/pillow/block, take a moment to set an intention for your home practice. This can be as simple as, I’m going to park myself here and not get up for 20 minutes or as complicated as you like. Hang out in this pose for 1-5 minutes. When you are done, tuck your chin into your chest and sit up.
Next, you can move into my usual warmup. Make sure you are comfortable in your seat. The lateral extension of the spine and the gentle twists are especially nice as you get started. Make sure you do both sides so you are even.
Move into your first downward dog of the practice. I always like a little support as I get started, so grab your bolster and rest your head onto it. Pedal out your feet, move your hips and do whatever else feels good as you loosen up the body a bit. Stay here for a minute or 2.
Make your way up to the front of the mat, getting ready to move through some sun salutations. I suggest starting with the abreviated version (horrible photos so I’m not going to repost them here) and then after a few rounds, going for the full sun salutation (supported of course). Try as much as possible to link your breath with your movement. Allow your body to open up naturally – try not to force a deep forward bend for example – it will come. Do 3-5 rounds each of the abbreviated and full version.
Next up: Standing poses. Warrior II and Extended Side Angle is a good place to start. From there you can move into Triangle and Ardha Chandrasana – making sure to support your body properly. Do both sides and hold for 5-10 breaths.
After you’ve finished your standing poses you can move onto backbends. I’d pause for a moment here to take stock of how your back feels – is it stiff? super open? Then, I would choose one or two of the following backbending options: 1. Wheel at the wall (don’t go very far if you are feeling stiff) 2. Bhujangasana at the wall (again, you don’t have to do the full pose here, just come up as far as is comfy) or 3. Supported Wheel. Do three backbends of your choice – holding for about 5 breaths each.
Make sure to take a nice long savasana when you are done!
Note: nothing against forward bends here, you could certainly add them in before the restoratives at the end.