This sequence is focused on balance and strength, transitioning between some very powerful postures. Standing on your feet can be enough of a challenge at times never mind standing on your hands – your balance will change every day so don’t get frustrated if you can’t move into Hand Stand, just be mindful of your body and approach your practice with a light-hearted attitude. I call this a “snippet sequence” so please ensure that you warm up properly to avoid injury.
Find Stillness in Movement
• Inhale into Utkatasa, press hands into heart centre and twist to the left extending arm at shoulder height – inhale and as you exhale repeat on the right side
• Step right foot back into Runners Lunge - twist to the left, extending arms again to shoulder height
• Whilst exhaling, cartwheel hands to frame foot and step left leg back into 3 Legged Dog
• Gently shift weight forward until shoulders are right over wrists – 3 legged Chataranga
• Keeping legs split, keep shifting slowly into modified Scorpion (Vrschikasana)
• Push back up to 3 Legged Dog and then step through with left leg into Warrior 2
• Reverse Warrior. Exhale and cartwheel hands to frame foot and step left leg back into the 3 legged dog.
• Keeping left leg raised, jump off your right foot to step both feet between hands – Utanasana
REPEAT ON OTHER SIDE
• Inhale into modified Utkatasana – fold forward into Utanasana
• Jump back into Plank, press down and hover over the floor for 2 breaths
• Exhale in Downward Facing Dog, bend knees and on an exhale move into Crow
• Gently shift into Tripod Headstand – take 2 breaths, focus and find your balance
• On an exhale, slowly bend your legs; placing thighs close to your chest and knees back onto the outside of the upper arms
• Move back into Crow
• Take a deep inhale and on the exhale, kick your feet back into Plank – vinyasa
• From Downward Facing Dog, take a moment to align hips to shoulders, extend spine and engage your core
• Bend knees and on the exhale gently move shoulders over wrists, hips over shoulders and ankles over hip into Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
• Hold for 5 breaths (or how long your balance allows you to hold the pose)
• On an exhale, gently press down (ensuring elbows are close to ribs) and feet are flexed to meet the floor
• Inhale into Cobra
• Exhale into Downward Facing Dog, hop feet between hands
• Inhale into Utkatasana (modified)
• Press hands into heart centre and inhale into Tadasana
Notes on this sequence:
This sequence is advanced, however all elements can be modified to suit your practice. There is also a lot of focus on alignment and breath – without these two elements, synchronising movement between postures will be a little more challenging.
If handstands or headstands don’t feature highly on your list of “poses I love to do”, I would highly recommend doing these postures with a wall behind you. It will build your confidence and strength before you feel happy to give it a go in the middle of a room. It takes a while for your body to figure out its centre of gravity and balance, so let the wall be your new BFF for a while!
It is also worth noting that there will be quite a bit of weight bearing on wrists, so I recommend wrist stretches after the sequence as a good idea.
Most importantly, Yoga is meant to make you happy so do what you can and have a bit of fun!
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Please visit www.nanoyogini.com for more info and sequences.