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  • Basic Yoga Sequence Part 3

    The following sequence is part 3 of a basic yoga sequence of stretches is for general flexibility.

    This third part focuses on reactivating the hips.

    A lot of times after doing deep relaxed stretching the body may feel fragile, like you are a newly hatched bird or newly born horse not quite used to using their body. These reactivation exerises ideally minimize that feeling. You could think of it as taking out the slack.

    Basic Yoga Sequence: Reactivation Exercises

    One of the most basic methods for taking-out-the-slack of just-stretched muscles, is to simply reactivate them. This exercise focuses activating the inner and outer thighs.

    inner thigh activation exercise
    outer thigh and outer hip activtion exercise
    standing forward bend.

    Stand with feet hip width apart and feet parallel with knees straight. Press the feet outwards to activate your outer thighs. Relax and then press your feet inwards to activate your inner thighs. Repeat a few times.

    Do the same actions while bending forwards.

    Basic Yoga Sequence: Standing side bend

    standing side bend stretch for the side fo the body
    This pose can be used to stretch the side of the spine and, if the hips are pushed to the side, the outer thigh of one leg and the inner thigh of the other.

    Stand with feet hip width apart and parallel. Push your hips to the right (relative to your feet) and bend your spine to the right. Reach your arms to the right (past your ears) also.

    While holding this position press your feet outwards. Relax. Then press them inwards. Then relax.

    Work at doing activating both actions (and relaxing them) slowly and smoothly.
    Experiment with holding each action for a few breaths to see if it helps you to deepen the stretch and improve your flexibility.

    Basic Yoga Sequence: Triangle Front Fold and Triangle Twist

    For the next pose stand with one leg forwards and the other back. Point the front foot straight ahead and the back foot slightly outwards. Keep your knees straight. If you can touch your hands to the floor then rest them on yoga blocks or on your front chin.

    As for the standing side bend, activate the outer thighs of both legs by pressing the feet outwards. Relax. And then activate the inner thighs.

    standing triangle hamstring stretch
    triangle twist hamstring stretch and spinal twist.

    To increase the work load on your legs you can also lift your hands off of the floor. Activate your outer or inner thighs first and then lift your hands. Then put your hands down and then relax your legs.

    To move into triangle twist, lift the front-leg side arm and turn towards the front-leg side.

    With your right leg forwards you can use your right leg and left hand against each other. Press your foot and hand outwards, away from each other. Relax. And then push them inwards, towards each other.

    Basic Yoga Sequence: Half Moon Pose

    half moon pose

    For half moon pose turn one foot out 90 degrees (to your pelvis). Lift the other foot. If you left foot is turned out then touch your left hand to the floor. Bend your knee if you can't touch the hand to the floor (or use a yoga block.)

    For this pose you can push the foot back and the hand forwards (away from each other). You'll have to have to push the hand down slightly to get some friction.

    Then pull the hand back towards the foot and at the same time pull the foot towards the hand.

    Basic Yoga Mini-Sequence

    One possible variation on the above "reactivation poses" is to do side bend followed immediately by half moon (i.e. side bend to the left and then do half moon with the left foot and left hand on the floor, then do the right side for both poses). Then do the triangle front fold followed by the twist.

    If you are limited for time you might choose only one pair of these poses, either side bend and half moon or triangle front bend and triangle twist.

    standing side bend stretch for the side fo the body
    standing triangle hamstring stretch
    triangle twist hamstring stretch and spinal twist.

    Basic Yoga Sequence: Fun and Balance

    Basic Yoga Sequence Fun Pose: Bakasana

    bakasana

    Bakasana or crow pose can be a fun way to finish of your yoga practice.

    Afterwards lay on your back for a few breaths with knees bend and hands on your chest, then rest in shivasana if you need to.

    Part 1

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    Stretching to Improve Flexibility

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