Tofino Yoga: Inner Body Bright
by Natalie Rousseau, ERYT, Tofino
Create inner brightness with this energising and rejuvena- ting sequence. Strengthen your focus with balance work while soothing tension through forward bending, twist out toxins from the body and the mind, and open to new experience through backbending. Read once through before you give it a try. Enjoy!
Hinge from the hips as you fold forward by moving the sitbones back. Press down evenly through the feet and lift your inner thighs, rolling them back. Release the weight of your head and the sides of the waist downwards. Keep a hint of softness through the back of the knee, while hugging the leg muscles into the bones. Hands rest on the floor for extra support or hold the backs of the shins to go deeper. Do not force this pose. Breathe deep and slow, experiencing the details of the stretch. Hold 4-5 breaths and then return to standing. Repeat from Urdhva Hastasana 3 times.
From standing take your left leg back (3-4 feet) and turn your toes in till the heel of your right foot lines up with the arch of your left foot. Face your heart and navel to the long edge of your mat and as you inhale stretch the arms up to the height of the shoulders. As you exhale press out of your left heel and reach right to create a lateral stretch. Tip the arms keeping shoulder on top of shoulder and rest the right hand lightly on your shin or ankle, a block, or the floor. Spiral the left side of the heart to the ceiling and find a gazing point that allows for a soft neck. Hold 4-5 slow deep breaths and then spiral the left hand to the floor on the inside of the right foot and lift your back heel to come down into a lunge, facing the heart to the front of your mat and staying light on your fingertips to transition into Anjaneyasana.
Scissor your inner legs towards each other and lift your low belly into your spine as you prepare to come to standing. On your inhale take your arms up overhead and lengthen through your tailbone. Release the weight of you hips downwards as you stretch the sides of the waist upwards. Keep the upper arm bones squeezing in as your shoulders relax down. Gaze straight ahead and hold for 4-5 deep breaths. Come out by placing the fingertips on the floor once again and then stepping back to standing at the top of the mat. Repeat from Utthita Trikonasana to do the sequence on the other side.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
After Anjaneyasana on the second side step back to Downward Facing Dog pose by stepping the front foot into line with the back foot, hip distance apart, and spread your fingers wide anchoring down through the base of the fingers and the outer edges of the palms. Use strong arms to press your hips to the back of your mat getting a beautiful stretch through your spine and legs. If the legs are very tight soften the knees to get maximum extension in the spine. Hang the head from the neck and take 5-6 slow deep breaths enjoying every moment of this nourishing and strengthening pose.
Eka Pada Rajkapotasana
From Down Dog bring your right knee forward between your palms placing the outer edge of the leg on the mat and and resting the heel in front of the left hip. Scissor your inner legs towards each other for support and square off your hips and shoulders. If your pelvis is high from the ground and you can't relax place a folded blanket beneath your right buttock. Walk your fingertips back towards your hips and gather your elbows into your waist. Extend upwards through the centre of your chest by lengthening through the tail and lifting pubic bone to navel. Keep the chin level and the gaze steady. Hold 4-5 breaths and then lean into the right sit bone and swing the left leg forward for Janu Sirsasana. *If this pose hurts your knee at all please skip it and continue on.
Support the back of your right thigh with the folded blanket if the knee is higher than the hip and extend your left leg straight out from your hip. Sit up straight and tall pressing the sitbones firmly into the floor. If the pelvis tips backwards here place another blanket beneath the sitbones to create a long spine. Reach your arms up over head on your inhale and hinge from your hips as you exhale, anchoring the low belly towards the spine. Rest your palms where ever they land and slide the shoulders back from the ears. Be patient, breathe deep, don't force. Hold 5-6 breaths and then sit up and lift the right knee to place the foot on the floor at the outer edge of the left knee for Ardha Matseyandrasana.
Clasp your right shin with your palms and bring your chest to your thigh sitting up straight and tall. Wrap your left inner elbow around your knee and as you inhale place your right fingertips behind you and look over your shoulder. Don't lean back into the right hand, sit tall and proud. Lengthen up through your spine with each inhale breath and twist through the upper spine with each exhale breath, shoulders softening towards the ears. Hold 4-6 breaths and then move back to Adho Mukha Svanasana for a breath or two before repeating the last three poses on the other side.
Finish your practice with a long slow forward bend. Sit up on your blanket if you need to and stretch your legs out in front of you. Pressing down through your sitbones inhale to take the arms overhead and exhale to hinge from your hips stretching forward over your legs and anchoring the low belly to the spine. Rest your hands wherever they land and relax your shoulders away from your ears. Take your time here, don't force. Hold 5-15 slow deep breaths and when you are done lay down on your back with arms and legs outstretched in Savasana for a few minutes before you continue on with your day.
Contact Natalie: 725-8363 or firstname.lastname@example.org