Whether you made New Year’s resolutions or not, you likely have some goals you’re currently working on. Start (or restart) your new year now by going through this simple sequence to set your intentions. There’s no need to fret if you haven’t set any resolutions or intentions for the year. They will come to you!
1. Mountain Pose with Hands in Prayer
Stand at the top of your mat, feet inner hip distance apart, hands in prayer at your heart. Pressing your palms together, draw your shoulders back and down, lifting your heart. Close your eyes, bow your chin, and recall your intention for the year ahead. Deepen the breath.
Not sure what your intention is? Simply hold space for an intention to arise. Be still and breathe, expanding your entire torso with every inhale, and softening on every exhale. Take five deep breaths.
2. Standing Crescent Pose
From Mountain Pose, exhale, lower your hands to your sides, and open your eyes. Inhale and reach the arms up and overhead, palms facing one another. With your right hand, grab hold of your left wrist.
Inhale and lengthen your spine, pulling the shoulders down away from the ears; exhale and make a side bend to the right. Repeat on the second side. Don’t be surprised if the sides of your body feel shockingly tight after a day or two of lounging around—they just need to be opened back up.
Lean forward and back here, accessing the stiff places along your sides and outer shoulder blades. Breathe deeply into the lungs, rib cage, and entire side-body as you open and lengthen.
3. Half Sun Salutations
Build more pranic energy by linking movement and breath with Half Sun Salutations. From Mountain Pose, inhale and reach your arms overhead; exhale into Forward Fold, extending long over your legs, bending the knees as necessary.
Next, inhale, and with your fingers on the mat or pressing off your shins, extend the spine forward, back flat. Exhale and fold back in.
Inhale, and pressing down through the legs, extend your heart forward and up, rising with a flat back, reaching your arms out and up. Exhale and bring your hands together at your heart. Repeat.
Do as many Half Sun Salutations as feels good. Slow down the breath and movement to really marry the two. If you’re comfortable, close your eyes and anchor your awareness to the unique rhythm of your breath.
4. Low Lunge with Side Bend to Twist
From Forward Fold at the top of your mat, step your left foot back and lower the left knee. Inhale and reach your arms overhead. Hook your thumbs, palms facing forward; draw your waistline, shoulders, and arms back.
Inhale and grow tall from your pelvis; exhale and lean up and over to the right, pulling the shoulders down away from your ears and deepening the front knee.
Your back foot pointed, feel a deep stretch along the inner left leg through the left belly. Lean forward and back here, finding areas needing extra attention.
Inhale, then exhale and bring your left hand to your right knee, reaching your right arm to the back in a Twist. Deepen your Twist by hooking your left elbow outside your right thigh, hands in prayer at your heart. Take five breaths, then repeat on other side.
5. Extended Child’s Pose
Rest in Child’s Pose, your big toes together, knees outer chest distance apart, bottom to heels, arms reaching forward. As you breathe, settle into the hips, feeling the sides of your body and reconnecting to your intention. Stay here as long as it feels good.
Take notice of how you feel after working through those poses. Spend a few minutes in savasana or meditation and seal your practice with three deep breaths. Namaste! Visit DoYouYoga for a few other pose ideas.
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