Tofino yoga: 15-Minute Yoga
by Natalie Rousseau, Tofino
This simple sequence of yoga poses can be practiced by anyone as a quick morning routine or as a way to release the work day. You will benefit whether you're tight from swinging a hammer, tense from too much computer work, sore from all that paddling, or simply want to find more energy and focus. Read through the whole sequence first, then roll out a mat (or practice on a carpet) and give it a try. Focus on keeping the breath steady rather than getting the poses "perfect". Repeat from beginning to end 3-6 times, finish with a few quiet breaths in a seated posture, taking the time to notice the way you feel before you get on with your day. Enjoy!
Balasana (Child's Pose)
Begin on all fours, feet flat behind you. Exhale and pull your hips back over your heels. Rest your chest and belly on your thighs stretching your arms out in front. Allow your forehead to rest on the floor or on top of crossed forearms if necessary. Cultivate a deep even breath that is drawn through the back of your throat, mouth closed. Stay here for five to ten breaths.
Bujanghasana (Cobra Pose)
Slide forward onto your belly, feet hip width apart and fingertips beneath your shoulders. Allow your forehead to rest on the floor. On an inhale breath lift ribcage, shoulders, and head off the floor, keeping pelvis down and buttocks relaxed to avoid compression in the low back. Gaze ahead and relax shoulders away from your ears. Hold for three deep breaths expanding your heartspace on every inhale. Exhale to bring forehead back to the ground.
Tuck your toes under and move up to all fours. Spread your fingers wide.
Bidalasana (Cat's Pose)
As you inhale move your heart forward and roll your tailbone up. Extend through the front of the spine drawing your shoulders back and gazing up lightly.
On your exhale breath round your spine, relaxing your neck completely. Press down through your palms to open the space between your shoulderblades and draw your navel to the back of your spine. Inhale again and move back to Extended Cat Pose.
Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
On your exhale breath lift your knees and pull your hips back. Keep your arms straight, your fingers spread wide, and lift your shoulders away from your ears. Gaze back towards your knees, spine long, belly hollow, and neck relaxed. Press your thighs back and draw your heels down, lengthening your calves. Don't fret if your heels don't reach the ground yet, with practice they will. If your legs are very tight you'll want to keep your knees bent to maintain the length in your spine. Find the balance between push and pull in Dog Pose. Hold for 3-5 breaths.
Anjaneyasana (Lunge Pose)
Look to your palms and as you inhale step your right foot forward. Relax your knee and foot to the floor as you exhale. Fingertips rest on the floor.
Inhale and sweep your arms up lengthening out of both side waists. Keep arms shoulderwidth apart and gaze ahead, tailbone soft. Hold 3-5 breaths. Move back to Dog Pose by bringing the palms down on an exhale breath, lifting the hips on an inhale breath and stepping the front foot back on an exhale breath. Repeat lunge on the left side and move back to Dog Pose again.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Hold Dog pose for 3-5 breaths. As you inhale draw your hips back keeping shoulders broad. With the exhale breath firm your thighs to lengthen the backs of your legs.
Finish in Child's Pose, breathing into the back body. Relax shoulders and soften your lower back. Repeat sequence from here as many times as you like.
Natalie Rousseau, ERYT.
For questions or more info, call Natalie at 725-8363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org