From the Blue Osa Yoga Mat…
“Sitting still is the hardest yoga practice you can accomplish and offers the greatest rewards.”
For the month of October, we want to invite you to slow down as we take you through a yoga sequence intended to prepare the body for meditation. October’s Hump Day Yoga Sequence is fast and easy to follow and is a fantastic way to start your day. This sequence is designed to help inner alignment and ward off restless energy for the purpose of creating space for you to be still.
But before we get started, in just a few words, what is meditation?
Meditation is a process of purifying the crowded mind and bringing it to a place where it focuses inward and becomes tranquil. Through the method of meditation you are introduced to deeper levels of yourself and your amazing mind.
Our goal this month? To help you to sit in stillness everyday.
We understand that sitting in stillness can be really difficult. In fact, stillness tends to be the most difficult part of any yoga practice so we know that if bringing the body to stillness is tough, the mind is even more so. If you are the type of person who has a hard time sitting still then this sequence is for you!
And before you get started, remember to register for Blue Osa’s 30 Day Meditation Challenge!! We’re giving away 3 nights at Blue Osa! Click here for rules and regulations, or to register!
Instructions: Follow the sequence of pictures below. We have outlined some very basic instructions for each pose. We’ve given some suggestions on timing for each pose but feel free to remain in any place that feels good for as long as you’d like.
1. Begin at the back of your mat in extended child’s pose. Breathing deeply and remaining here for as long you’d like to connect to your breath.
2. When you are ready, on an inhale breath come to all fours for Cat pose, and then transitioning with the exhale to Downward Facing Dog. Continue to inhale to all fours for Cat pose and exhale back to Downward Facing Dog, flowing at the pace of your breath.
3. Inhale to all fours with a neutral spine and exhale to Downward Facing Dog. Remain here for six to eight breaths in stillness.
4. Once the hamstrings warm and you are feeling the connection to your breath, raise the right leg to the sky for Three Legged Dog. Stay here for two to five breaths, lower the right foot and repeat on the left side.
5. When you are ready to move on, raise the right leg back and up and bring the right knee towards your right hand, edging the right foot to the left thigh/pelvic bone for King Pigeon Pose. Stay here for a minimum of solid five breaths. Return to Downward Facing Dog and repeat on the left side.
6. Following King Pigeon, we are ready for some seated postures beginning with Seated Side Stretch. Start by lowering the hips to the heels with the shins on the floor. Shift your hips to the right and take your left hand to the floor on the left side of your body. Inhale and reach the right hand up and over to the left side, feeling a powerful stretch through the right side of the body. Stay here for as long as you would like, opening in the side body. Exhale the right hand to the mat and repeat on the opposite side.
7. Moving into Seated Spinal Twist, straighten both legs in front of you and step the right foot over the left leg with the right foot on the mat just outside your left hip. The right knee will point directly up at the ceiling. Placing the right hand on the floor just behind the right glute, exhale and twist the torso to the right. Inhale the left arm up and with the exhale bring the arm to the outside of the right thigh, near the knee. Using the left arm against the knee for leverage, pull the torso and right thigh snuggly together. Inhale, lengthening through the body and exhale deepening in the twist. Stay in Seated Spinal Twist for a minimum of 30 seconds, releasing on an exhale. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the left side.
8. Finally, coming into Cross Legged Forward Bend by simply crossing your legs and bring the torso forward, keeping a long, flat back.
Now your body is prepared for seated meditation! Find a comfortable seated position like Easy Sitting Pose. Most important is to be seated with a straight spine. There are many variations of hand placements, so feel free to chose the one you like best. Once you have found a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and again connect with your breath.
Begin establishing your meditation practice by meditating daily, maybe starting with 3 minutes and gradually increasing your time. Remember to start small and to be patient with yourself. You are on to better things already!
And don’t forget, sign up for our 30 Day Meditation Challenge today!