Simple Power Yoga

Beginning: I have tight hamstrings. When I begin a power yoga practice at home, I warm up by bending over with my feet at hips width and grab my elbows so my shoulders relax and my fingers don’t touch the floor. After about 15 breaths or so I do a few sun salutations, at least one surya namaskara A and one surya namaskara B, but I usually shoot for at least three A’s and two B’s.

Lung Series: Then I briefly think about my upper and lower body and how they felt during the sun salutations. Does it feel like certain muscle groups need to chill? Do others feel neglected and dead? I’ll throw in one or two arm balance variations (bakasana, astavakrasana, and adho mukha vrksasana are examples) with some extra chaturangas (pushups) if it feels like they need it, and then I will generally do at least virabhadrasana I and virabhadrasana II with low variations like parsvakonasana and parivrtta parsvakonasana (look for the upcoming pdf on the Lunge Series for gruesome detail about this part of my practice!).

Posture Work: Then it is as simple as picking 2-10 poses (usually picked before I start practicing and written down somewhere close to me). I’ll breathe through these 5-10 breaths each and see how connected I can make the transitions to and from each.

Finish: After a couple poses on the ground (eka pada kapotasana, paschimottanasana, and baddha konasana are staples here) I lie down, twist my spine both ways and chill-out in savasana for 20 breaths. Finally, I perform the sitting meditation practice for that day. Power yoga is simple–breathe, feel, relax.

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