Sunday, 30 July 2017

Yoga finishing sequence 2 - Receive the benefits


A yoga finishing sequence will release any tension and calm the mind ready for final relaxation.  Don't be tempted to skip final relaxation - it is the most important part of your practice and one in which you will receive the benefits of your practice. This week's finishing sequence is a seated one finishing with a delicious Legs up the Wall.

You will need a block and two cushions:-

Baddha konasana (release hips and lower back) - sit on a block with your legs outstretched.  Bend your knees, drawing your heels towards you. Roll on to the sides of your feet so that the soles of your feet are  together. Support your legs with cushions to protect your SI joint.
Hold your ankles, or if that makes your lower back round, your shins.  Inhale, lengthen through the crown of your head, breathe out, hinge forward.  Hold for 5 breaths, inhale and slowly come up.



Seated twist(twist out tension)- sit with the legs outstretched. Bend the right knee and draw the leg close into the chest. Take your right hand to the mat behind your right hip or to the block on which you are seated. Breathe in and lengthen your spine. Breathe out and wrap your left arm around your right leg.  Work with the breath to deepen the twist.  Inhale, lengthen through the crown of your head, exhale start to twist from the abdomen, then the ribcage, then the shoulders, keeping the chin in line with the breast bone.  As you hold the twist, work with your breath.  With each inhale lengthen, with each exhale, you may have room to twist a little more.  If you have a good twist through the spine, slowly turn your head to look over the right shoulder. Come out of the pose in the same way as you went into it. Inhale lengthen, exhale release the neck, the shoulder, the ribcage and finally the abdomen. Repeat second side.  



Seated forward bend - sit with your legs outstretched.  Breathe in stretch your arms up, breathe out fold over your legs bringing your arms down either side of your legs. Stay here for 5-10 breaths, then breathe in to come up slowly.  



Legs up the Wall-sit by a wall with your knees bent and your right hip up against the wall.  Swivel your hips so that your legs come up the wall.  Shuffle your bottom as close as you can to the wall and position your arms where is comfortable for you, either a little way from your body or overhead. Close your eyes if you wish and spend 10-15 minutes in the pose if you can. To come out of the pose roll onto your right side and draw your knees towards your chest. Spend a minute or so there to allow your blood pressure to normalise before coming up.  



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