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January 16, 2015

Not a Cookie Cutter Yoga Routine: Move Your Own Way.

We weren’t made from a cookie cutter.

We are all different. This is totally acceptable at Starbucks, when some people order their coffee black and others add peppermint and white chocolate, but sometimes people forget it in other areas of their lives. Especially at the gym, people think they need to follow the same routine that someone else made, but what works for one person may not work for someone else.

So, let’s get moving and grooving to the beat of our own drum!

Feel more than welcome to follow along with this routine, but please remember that every body is different. Everyone has their own needs and desires. I recommend putting together a playlist of some great dance songs and dancing through each pose in a way that feels amazing in the body and mind.

Let the soul ignite with love and passion and let go. Let go of the expectations that yoga should be quiet and serious. Release the fears of looking silly. Instead, embrace it. Embrace the wild gypsy spirit of the soul and open the heart to whatever feelings arise through the practice.

This routine focuses on finding ease and balance in the midst of chaos.

It includes:

Tree Pose: Once we are feeling centered and we have found a comfortable pace of breath, bring the right knee up for a good squeeze and then plant the right foot against the inside of the left thigh. It is also nice to tap the big toe down if balance isn’t so good yet.

Extended Hand-To-Toe Pose: Bring that right knee back into the chest for a squeeze and take hold of the big toe. From here, we’ll extend the leg forward and then out to the side. When ready, guide the foot back to center.

Dancer Pose: Drop the knee and from here we’ll catch the toes behind us. It’s nice to stay here, but we can also lengthen out, pressing the right foot into the right hand, and lifting the left arm up.

Come back to center and give that knee another squeeze. Rest the right foot against the upper thigh/pelvic bone area and slowly and gently dive on down, finding balance by touching the fingertips down to the floor. Wrap the right arm around the back and catch hold of the right toes.

With the foot still resting on the upper thigh, walk the hands out into plank pose. Lower down and roll the shoulders down the back, coming into Upward Facing Dog. Then, curl the toes and lift the hips into Downward Facing Dog. Drop the foot from the thigh and lift the leg, in Downward Dog Split.

Low Lunge: Step the foot between the hands in Low Lunge. Move around here for a few moments to open up the hips. Then, plant the palms and sweep that leg all the way back behind you in Downward Dog Split.

Pigeon Pose: Keeping the knee bent, sweep forward and sink the hips down into a soft Pigeon Pose. This is a nice place to put a blanket or a pillow if the hips are tight.

Then, do it all on the other side.

These poses are great for testing balance and stamina. They are all about finding ease in perceived difficulty and can help bring a beautiful sense of serenity to life off of the mat. Include poses that feel good and exclude any that don’t.

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Author: Stacy Porter

Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own

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Stacy Porter

Stacy Porter is a yoga instructor, writer, and dirt worshiper. She loves her garden, having tea parties with the fairies, and howling at the moon with her Jack Russell Terrier, Mackenzie. She’s on a mission to improve human-fairy relations one glitterbomb at a time…which just means that she passionately believes that we need to return to love, connect with Mother Earth, and remember that magic is real and already at our fingertips. She blogs about everyday magic, plant-based eating, and green spirituality at her website about everyday ways to make this world a better place. You can also find her onTwitterFacebookand Instagram.