Mood-Enhancing Flow



Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

 

This flow from Lauren McLaughlin at SunstoneFIT will help you to lengthen, strengthen, and move your body in directions opposing habitual movement, creating emotional and physical benefits.


Begin by linking your breath and movement to calm the parasympathetic nervous system, then flow into releasing tension of the hips and lower back. Detoxify your internal organs through twists and inward rounding, helping to boost your metabolism and stimulate the thyroid and endocrine system. At the close of your practice, loosen tightness in the back, shoulders and neck, leaving you feeling a refreshing surge of energy and calm.

  

1. Cat/Cow (Marjariasana-Bitilisana)

Inhale, arch the back, lift the tailbone, drop the belly, pull the heart forward

Exhale, round the spine, tuck the tailbone, abs pull in, chin to chest

Transition: tuck toes, lift hips to Downward Facing Dog


2. Proud Pigeon (Salamba Kapotasana)

Bring your right knee to your right wrist, right heel towards left thigh, left leg long, squeeze the knees toward one another, inner thighs strong, lift the chest, option to into interlace the hands behind the back


3. Seated Spinal Twist  (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

From Proud Pigeon: Hands down, draw the left knee forward, sit back, right foot to the floor outside the left knee, take the right hand to the base of the spine, the left elbow to the outside of the right knee (inhale and lift the chest, exhale to twist)

Repeat: Left side from Proud Pigeon through Seated Spine Twist

Transition: lift to Downward Facing Dog, bring feet to hands, inhale half lift, exhale fold forward


4. Chair (Utkatasana)

Big toes together, arms up, palms face one another, bend the knees


5. Chair Twist (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

From chair: palms to heart, twist right, left elbow to the knees (work to keep the hips below the heart)


6. Twisted Crescent Lunge (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)

From Chair Twist: step the left foot to the back of the mat, draw the abdominals in strongly

Transition: drop the back heel, draw the front foot in slightly


7. Separate Leg Forehead to Knee  (Dandayamana Bibhaktapada Janushirasana)

Left foot at a 45 degrees, round the forehead to the knee, bend enough until the forehead connects to the front knee, square and level the hips (by sending the right hip up and back, the left hip down and forward)

Transition: step back to plank, Vinyasa, top of the mat

Repeat: Left side Chair through Separate Leg Forehead to Knee

Transition: step back to plank, Vinyasa, top of the mat


8. Eagle (Garudasana)

Swing the left arm under the right, cross at elbows maybe wrists, bend the knees, wrap the left leg over the right

Transition: Bend the knee deeper, unwind the arms and leg and kick the heel back


9. Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana)

Hinge forward, open the chest to the left, stack the left hip over the right

Repeat: right side Eagle through Half Moon

Transition: step the feet together, inhale arms up overhead, exhale fold, inhale half lift, Vinyasa, jump through to seat, roll down slightly


10. Wheel (Chakrasana)

Walk the heels in to the glutes, hands behind shoulders, fingertips towards the shoulderblades, press through the palms and feet and lift the hips

Transition: lower the hips


11. Plow (Halasana)

Tuck the knees towards the face, press the palms down, extend feet overhead, keep the abdominals engaged (by drawing belly to spine), (if the toes meet the floor) interlace the hands behind the back or lock the thumbs

 

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