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Gentle Hatha Sequence

Apr 11th, 2012

Seated Meditation with hands in Prayer

  • Cross your legs in a way that is comfortable for you.
  • Lengthen the spine, and reach the crown of the head up to the sky.
  • Feel your rib cage expand and contract as your breathe deeply.
  • Let your sitting bones drop down into the earth.
  • Let the palms meet at heart center in Prayer position

Seated Twist

  • Twist upper body to the right, bringing your gaze with you. Rest your left hand on your right knee, and your right hand on the floor behind you.
  • Invite your neck to relax, and your back muscles to feel soft and broad.
  • As you inhale, lengthen the spine, and as you exhale, twist deeper.
  • Switch sides

Seated Side bends

  • From a comfortable cross-legged position, walk the right fingertips away from the right hip, and reach the left arm up overhead.
  • Keep both sitting bones rooted in the ground.
  • Feel the left ribs expand, and open the left shoulder slightly to the sky.
  • Keep the shoulders away from the ears, and lengthen your neck.
  • Switch sides

Cat/Cow Pose

  • Begin in Table position (hands and knees), hands under the shoulders, and knees directly beneath the hips; tops of the feet should be on the floor.
  • Inhale, and drop the belly toward the floor. Gaze is upward. Spread the collarbone wide, and press the palms into the floor (Cow Pose).
  • Exhale, and arch the back toward the ceiling, as the shoulder blades separate. Head hangs heavy toward the floor (Cat Pose).
  • Alternate 5- 10 times, feeling the stretch in the upper and lower back

Childs Pose

  • Spread your knees wide to the outer edges of the mat, and bring your big toes together to touch.
  • Walk your hands forward toward the top of the mat, as you rest your forehead down on the ground.
  • Drop your hips to your heels, and continue to stretch your fingertips forward, with the palms facing down

Puppy Pose

  • From table position (hands and knees), walk the hands forward, but keep your hips directly over the knees.
  • Lower down to the elbows and chest, fingertips reaching toward the top of your mat; hips stay lifted.
  • Rest on the forehead, or chin, for a deeper stretch.

Downward Facing Dog

  • Begin in Table position (hands and knees), hands under the shoulders, and knees directly beneath the hips.
  • Tuck the toes under, lift your hips to the sky, and start to straighten the legs; visualize yourself in an upside-down ā€œVā€ position.
  • Press your hands into the mat, and stretch your chest toward your thighs; head hangs heavy like a bowling ball.
  • Heels stretch down toward the ground.
  • To deepen the stretch, alternate bending and straightening one leg at a time before settling into the posture

Rag Doll

  • Bring your feet hip width apart, and fold forward from your hips.
  • Grow long through your spine and relax your neck.
  • Reach for opposite elbows, and gently sway side to side.
  • Keep the weight in the balls of the feet, and allow your knees to bend if your hamstrings are tight

Standing Cat/Cow

  • With your legs hip-width apart and knees bent, place hands on thighs, with fingertips facing inward.
  • Inhale and arch the back, gazing upward.
  • Exhale and round the back, tucking the pelvis under; gaze falls downward.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.