Tag Archives: yoga classes in south florida

Simple Yoga Sequence at Home

10 September

One of my good friends moved to France about two years ago to study, and she recently asked  me for help with yoga. So I typed up my favorite simple yoga sequence for home, which is the one I also use when I teach or substitute teach for my friends, and send it over to her in Paris to try. Many people since then have asked me to create a routine for them to use at home that is easy for them to do alone without having to watch a video or plug in their computer to get someone in youtube. So here is my favorite yoga sequence for a one hour class/routine.

Simple yoga sequence at home

Simple Hatha Yoga Sequence

This sequence is divided in several parts or sections that will create a complete routine that is easy to follow at home.

Beginning Meditation

Come to a comfortable seated position. Grab a towel, bolster, or block to support you if you need to. Bring your hands to your knees or to your heart.

Take a deep breath and relax your mind.

Begin with chanting 3 OMs inhalin and exhaling OM.

Take a deep breath and think of all the wonderful amazing things that happened to you today.

Awakening & Standing Breathing Exercises

These are the warm up exercises

Rotate feet 3 times each way.

Rotate knees 3 times each way.

Rotate shoulders 3 times front and back.

Rotate hands 3 times each way.

Rotate neck 3 times each way.

Rotate head 3 times each way (look to the left, back to center, look to the right, back to center).

Bring your arm over your head, clasp thumbs from both hands together for side stretch (Inhale pull to the left, exhale back to center. Inhale pull to the right, exhale back to center).

Sun Salutations

Sun Salutation are done in rounds meaning one round is both sides. I suggest a minimum of 3 rounds, 5 max.

Simple Sun Salutation Sequence 

The simple sequence is as follows: Inhale (IN), Exhale (EX)

Start by standing in mountain pose at the front of your mat. Face East to do your sun salutations.

IN arms up over your head.

EX bring your arms down and to touch the math or toes (bend your knees if you need to).

IN look halfway up up.

EX bring your right foot to the back of the mat.

IN bring your left foot to meet the other one for plank pose, and hold your breath while in plank.

EX bring your knees down, chest down chin down to the mat,

IN and come and up to upward dog or cobra (which ever you prefer)

EX to downward dog

IN bring your right foot to the front of the mat

EX bring your other foot to meet it

IN come up, arms up

EX bring your hands to prayer (chest)

This is half of one round, then you would do the left foot and that would be 1 complete round.

Some people do chaturanga instead of the knees-chest-chin, come thru before up dog or cobra. But if you have never done a correct chaturanga, is better to stick to knees, chest, chin come thru. I had been doing chaturanga all wrong for 8 years until 2010 when a teacher in an advance class showed us!!! It’s sad but most teachers don’t teach a correct chaturanga, specially at gyms

Advanced Sun Salutation Sequence

Include warrior poses in the simple sequence above, in round 3, after downward dog when your foot comes to the front and you are in  a lunge position, start with warrior I, then II. I never do warrior III in sun salutations though.

And then after one round of warriors, the next round will have triangles (trikonasa).

Add Warrior I and Warrior II to simple sequence (if round 4).

Add prayer twist to simple sequence (if round 5).

Add trikonasa from warrior II to simple sequence (in combination with either 2 above).

Balance

Tree Pose on both sides. Release each side with control. Shake legs after coming out of Tree Pose.

Dancer Pose on both sides. Release each side with control. Shake legs after coming out of Dancer Pose.

Spine

After the balance poses, I like to start working the spine.

Begin with Dandasana, hold for a few breaths and do a forward fold.

Next is, Janu Sirsasana, hold for a few breaths on each side and fold.

Lay on your back and bring knees to chest, head to knees, hold for a few breaths, and release.

Detox Poses

After working the spine, I find that detox poses are best to follow.

Start with a twist from Janu Sirsasana on both sides. Hold for a few breaths in each side.

Laying down twist, knees to chest and bring to each side. Hold for a few breaths in each side.

Laying down twist one leg to the side, do both sides. Hold for a few breaths in each side.

Core Poses

The core is extremely important and one of the hardest to workout in a regular gym routine or yoga routine. I like to do boat pose and when I have advanced students or athletes, I will have them do boat situps, never touching the ground 🙂

Boat pose, hold for a few breaths.

Inversions

My favorite inversion to do in class is dolphin. I don’t believe in head stand for myself. I do enjoy 90 degree hand stand on the wall, but I don’t include either in my routine or classes because they don’t call to me. It’s an inner voice that tells me head stand is not for me. So I practice other inversions such as Dolphin, Plow, or Shoulder stand instead. For this simple routine, Dolphin works great.

Dolphin and Dolphin push-ups (10 if possible and increase as days go by)

For more advanced students, dolphin pushups with one leg up

Final Meditation

For the final meditation, enjoy about 10 minutes in Savanasa, reflecting on your practice or giving thanks to yourself for doing something for your body and mental health. And when you are ready, come up to a comfortable seated position and chant OM.

 

What other poses would you add to this routine to make it your own? Share with us!

 Photo by InboundDen

 

Meditation | Where to Start

02 September

Another one of my blogs for MentalBlox.com on meditation. Many people ask me where they should start. I always recommend finding out what type of meditation will work from them and the reason is that I don’t believe meditation is well understood at the beginning. So starting with something that works for you, will help you enhance your spiritual practice.

Private yoga classes in South Florida

 

Three Types of Meditation

Meditation is key in spiritual growth. We hear it all the time on the internet, in the streets, on TV, etc. But most people avoid it because their image of meditation is of someone sitting still in a dark room quieting their minds. Creating a meditation routine is the first step to start, but finding the right type of meditation that works for you is most important.

Guided Meditation

In high school, attending a catholic girls-only school, I enjoyed going to mass every day. I now understand it was my meditation routine. It was a guided meditation lead by the priest. It worked for me because it is difficult to quiet my mind on my own. Guided meditation works for me the best, whether is chanting or simply visualizing the words I hear. I’m able to work on different aspects of my life, relax, and quiet my mind. You can design your own guided meditation and recorded and play back to yourself. Guided meditation can help those that are just now getting started in their spiritual path.

Dynamic Meditation

I know people who have no problem with quieting their mind. However, their issue is not being able to “quiet” their bodies. They are the ones you see in yoga not holding still the poses, not being able to sit for a long period of times and not because it hurts their bodies but because it’s simply too hard to stay put. These are the people that enjoy always being busy and physical work. These people may benefit from dynamic meditation and Kundalini Yoga, where the body is moving while meditating. It doesn’t work for me, I have to keep my body still to go deeper, but for those that find anxiety in not moving, dynamic meditation would work best.

Mantra Meditation

Choose a mantra and repeat it. For people that practice physical yoga, there might be mantras they know from their yoga class. I choose mantras from my spiritual books and chant them. I also enjoy practicing Bhakti Yoga, which is devotional yoga, a way of chanting mantras in a call-and-response way also known as Kirtan. Attending Kirtan is a way of mantra meditation and even movement meditation if you dance. Mantra mediation and Kirtan work for me because it quiets my mind and calms me. Many yoga studies offer Kirtan in addition to meditation and yoga classes, but if you are unable to find Kirtan in your area, simply play a few Kirtan CDs and sing along. Sirius XM recently launched Krishna Das radio, so if you have Sirius in your car, you can chant while driving!

Meditation comes in different forms. Finding the right type of meditation and creating a daily routine will help you grow in your spiritual path.

 

Which of these above would you try first? Share with us your thoughts!

 

Photo by InboundDen