Welcome back for Step Five!

This week’s practice requires 7:39 minutes for the pose intro and 11:13 minutes for the full flow.
Poses introduced this week:

  • Standing Straddle Splits
  • Tree Pose
  • Butterfly Pose

Here are your videos:

Detailed Pose Introduction

This video will slowly describe the poses – explaining what to do, and what to focus on for each of the new poses. Always respect and listen to what your body needs and where there is resistance or tension –– you should NOT experience pain. Using a modified pose does NOT decrease the benefits of the pose. Ignoring your body DOES significantly decrease the benefits.

Standing Straddle Splits

“Prasarita Padottanasana”

Standing Straddle Splits stretches hamstrings, inner thighs and low back. Enjoy the benefits of more open leg muscles and less lower back pain.

Tree Pose

“Vrksasana

The benefits of tree pose include:

  • Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
  • Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet
  • Calms and relaxes your mind and central nervous system
  • Develops balance and focus, physically and mentally
  • Increases your mind / body awareness.

Balancing poses in yoga increase physical and mental steadiness and poise. Regular practice will improve your focus and your ability to concentrate.

Butterfly Pose

“Badhakonasana

  • Stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees, improving flexibility in the groin and hip region
  • Helps in intestine and bowel movement
  • Removes fatigue from long hours of standing and walking
  • Offers relief from menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms
  • Helps in smooth delivery if practiced regularly until late pregnancy
  • Cautions: If you have a groin or knee injury, place a blanket under your outer thighs for support. Sciatica patients should either completely avoid the pose or sit on a cushion to raise the hips. If you have lower back issues, do the posture only while keeping the spine erect – Avoid rounding the spine by bending forward.

Flow Sequence Step 5

It’s time to transition from pose to pose and match the movements you learned in the intro with YOUR breath. The first time through you can transition at the speed of Jenny’s breath, but eventually you want to transition at your own breath’s speed. Frequency: Once a week has benefits, but once a day, most days is a great goal! Once in the morning and once in the evening will provide maximum benefit if you can prioritize that in your schedule. Take advantage of any pose modifications that serve your body. It’s normal to find that your body will request different modifications from day to day, or even at different times of the day (ie: AM vs. PM)

Continue your home practice – once a day is SO good for you! – but several times a week might be more manageable… it’s YOUR home practice and YOU are in charge of the frequency.

Feel free to review or mix up your practice with step 1 flow, step 2 flowstep 3 flow, step 4 flow and the new flow introduced below.

The most important and most beneficial element in any home yoga practice is consistency! Adding a small amount of challenge will bring growth to your practice, but the growth should be manageable and not interfere with consistency. Some days you will benefit from variety in your practice and other days you will find comfort in a well known set of poses where your mind can rest into the practice.

This week’s flow sequence:

  • Cat & Cow
  • Child’s Pose
  • Full or Modified Spinal Balance
  • Child’s Pose
  • Downward Dog
  • Full or Modified Plank
  • Crocodile
  • Cobra
  • Downward Dog
  • Forward Fold
  • Mountain Pose
  • Warrior I (right foot back)
  • Warrior II
  • Standing Straddle Splits
  • Warrior II
  • Warrior I
  • Mountain Pose
  • Warrior I (left foot back)
  • Warrior II
  • Standing Straddle Splits
  • Warrior II
  • Warrior I
  • Mountain Pose
  • Tree Pose (left foot up)
  • Tree Pose (right foot up)
  • Mountain Pose
  • Butterfly Pose

Audio Only of Flow Step 5

We recommend you watch the intro and the flow videos until you’re confident you know what each pose position is. Once you are confident, you may prefer to follow along with the flow sequence in audio only to allow a deeper connection to your body, breath and spirit.

Poses introduced in weeks 1, 2 & 3 that are included in this sequence:

Child’s Pose

“Balasana”

Child’s pose is a true resting pose that you can hold for long periods of time without the need for props. Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest. Recommended if you have dizziness or fatigue. Helps alleviate stress and anxiety. Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple. It lengthens and stretches the spine.

Crocodile Pose (modified)

“Makarasana” or “Nakrasana”

The crocodile pose strengthens arms and core

Downward [Facing] Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana

Pose benefits include:

1. Boosts energy
2. Eliminates back pain
3. Improves circulation
4. Strengthens the immune system
5. Builds upper body strength
6. Increases flexibility in the hamstrings

Cobra Pose

“Bhujangasana”

While you bend in this pose, you stretch the abdomen, neck and arms, while toning buttocks, shoulders and back of thighs. It opens up chest to strengthen lungs and increase the uptake of oxygen, and is thus considered good in treating asthma. Additionally, cobra pose promotes good digestion, relief from stress and fatigue and helps ease pain of sciatica.

Plank Pose

Chaturange Dandasana

The benefits of plank pose are subtle yet important. Done properly and consistently, the most noticeable benefits include: Strengthening the wrists. Balancing the joints of the elbow and shoulder. Ab strengthener. Chest strengthener. Leg/ quadriceps strengthener. Elongate back. Increase respiration and circulation

Cat Pose

“Marjaryasana”

Cat Pose is a rejuvenating pose that relieves stress, especially after a long hard day. It massages the abdominal organs and stretches the spine and the whole upper back area. It also improves circulation in the spine and core area. For balance and full benefits, Cat Pose is most often followed by Cow Pose.

Cow Pose

“Bitilasana”

Cow pose is most often combined with Cat Pose to warm up and stretch the spine. There are many physical benefits
of Cat/Cow Pose, including toning the gastrointestinal tract and female reproductive system. The asana flow helps relieve stress from menstrual cramps, lower back pain, and sciatica. Cat/Cow Pose increases flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine.

Spinal Balance or Balancing Table Pose

“Dandayamna Bharmanasana”

The spinal balance pose improves balance, memory, focus and coordination. This posture builds core body strength and lengthens the spine.

*You should avoid this pose if you’ve had recent or chronic injury to the knees, back, arms or shoulders.

Forward Fold Pose

“Uttanasana” 

Standing Forward Fold pose lengthens the spinal column and stretches the backs of the legs and the back muscles. This posture stimulates digestive, uro-genital, nervous and endocrine systems.

Mountain Pose

“Tadasana”

Mountain Pose is a basic standing posture and is, therefore, the foundation for all others. It helps to create space within the body, allowing internal organs to work more efficiently–improving respiration, digestion and circulation. It leaves its users invigorated and motivated.

Warrior One

“Virabhadrasana I

Warrior I strengths the feet, hamstrings, quadriceps, and gluteus, and builds core power, helps internal rotation of the leg (which can be quite challenging for many!), and opening the chest.

Warrior I teaches body awareness and the body-mind connection and develops coordination and a sense of connection with your physical self.

Warrior I is a powerful stance to help you gain inner strength and courage, letting you open up to yourself and others.

Warrior Two

“Virabhadrasana II”

Warrior Two strengthens legs, gluteus, hips, core muscles, chest, the shoulders, and arms. This full body pose works every muscle you’ve got. Helpful in developing endurance, maintaining proper alignment for longer periods of time.

This pose offers the opportunity to practice finding where you can dissolve excess tensions, as you hold what needs to be held for stability and integrity within the pose. Translate this on your mental awareness as well—find and let go of unnecessary tensions in your life – learn to relax in some areas of your life while being strong in others.

Through the practice of this pose, find peace in the moment, even in the uncomfortable ones; learn stillness of mind in places you would rather not be.