A Well Balanced Yoga Ritual

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Early April and the Commonwealth Games are upon us. Sounds like it could be hard to get anywhere! What about our yoga practice? It’s the perfect time to be disciplined and create our own home practice. For more support and inspiration for building a home yoga ritual, check out our 30 Day Yoga Challenge!

 

Planning a Well Balanced Yoga Sequence

When I am planning a yoga class I try and incorporate poses which stretch and strengthen around each of the major joints – shoulders, hips and spine. I include poses which move the spine in each of its 4 directions – forward, backwards, side to side and rotating.

But first it is necessary to relax and centre our attention inward with our Complete Yoga Breathing, moving into warming the body with a Salute series and then we are ready for action!

Pick your poses from the chart below making sure you choose at least one from each criteria. Most poses will fill more than one and as far as order goes, usually we start with standing poses to build strength and warmth, moving unto the back arches and inversions, then finish with passive twists, forward bends and a little relaxation. I have provided a suggested sequence in the chart and the order in which to perform the sequence is below.

Criteria PosesSuggested sequence
Stretch around the pelvisOutside of the hipsPigeon, Sleeping Pigeon, Cow Face, FirelogSleeping Pigeon
Inside of the hipsCobbler, Warrior 2, Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Wide Leg forward bend, SquatTriangle, Extended Side Angle
Back of hipsForward bends, Seated forward bend,Forward bends
Front of hipsCrescent Moon, Supine Hero,

Lord of the Dance, Warrior 1, Warrior 3, Pigeon

Supine Hero,
Strengthen round the pelvisAll strong standing posesTree, Eagle, Half Moon, Extended Side Angle, Bridge, ChairChair
Stretch the shouldersBack of the shouldersEagle PoseEagle
Front of the shouldersReverse Prayer, Cow FaceCow Face
Under the shouldersDown Dog, Pigeon, Warrior 1Down Dog
Strengthen the shouldersPlank, Crane, Side Plank, Bent Arm PlankPlank,
Strengthen the backLocust, Side Plank, Staff, Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Revolved Triangle, Chair, Revolved Side Angle, Revolved LungeLocust

 

Strengthen the abdominalsBoat, Plank, Side Plank, StaffSide Plank
Back bendsLocust, Cobra, Bow, Camel, Bridge, Wheel, Pigeon, FishCobra
Forward bendsStanding Forward Bend, Wide leg Forward Bend, PloughStanding forward bend
Side bendsTriangle, Extended Side Angle, Gatelatch, Exultant WarriorTriangle

Extended Side Angle

 

TwistsRevolved Triangle, Seated Twists, Supine Twist, Revolved Side Angle, Revolved LungeSeated Twists,
InversionsDown Dog, Standing Wide Leg Forward Bend, Dolphin, Bowing Pose, Shoulder stand, HeadstandShoulder stand,

 

Following is an example of a well-balanced class with all aspects taken care of. Even though with the minimum of 5 breaths in each of the poses and the whole sequence only taking about 20 minutes you will feel that every part of your body has been stretched and strengthened.  Finish with a little relaxation and then meditation. If you have more time spend longer in each pose and if there are particular areas you feel need more stretching or strengthening add more poses from the chart.

Savasana

Complete Yoga Breathing

Mountain Pose

Salutes x 3

Extended Side Angle

Triangle

Extended Side Angle

Standing Wide Leg Forward Bend

Eagle

Down Dog

Plank

Side Plank

Locust

Cobra

Sleeping Pigeon

Seated Twist

Cow Face

Supine Hero

Shoulder Stand

Savasana

Meditation (there’s plenty of choices on our music and videos page)

 

 

By Vrndavan Dasi

Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training