Get Happy With This Invigorating Yoga Sequence

Get Happy With This Invigorating Yoga Sequence

While yoga is definitely known for calming the body and mind| certain poses are so vibrant and stimulating that they can have the opposite effect| offering you more energy than a cup of joe. The next time you’re feeling blah| hop on your mat and complete this 12-pose total-body yoga sequence. I recommend warming up with five Sun Salutations beforehand| and feel free to modify poses if they seem too difficult.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography

| Fierce

  • Stand with your feet together. Bend your knees and lower your hips as you raise your arms overhead| coming into Fierce Pose.
  • Focus on sitting back into your heels. Tuck your tailbone in and engage your abs| keeping your spine straight. Relax the shoulders as you gaze up toward the ceiling. Hold for five breaths.

| Warrior 3

  • Lift your left leg back behind you| balancing on your right foot with your torso parallel to the floor in Warrior 3. Extend your arms straight in front of you| or if that bothers your lower back| rest your hands on your hips.
  • Draw your navel toward your spine and hold for five breaths.

| Warrior 1

  • Release your left leg behind you| bend your right knee and lower your hips| coming into Warrior 1. Keep your right thigh parallel to the floor and raise your arms into the air.
  • Hold for five breaths| gazing at your palms.

| Modified Rotated Side Angle

  • Keep your legs in the same Warrior 1 position and lower your left hand to the floor a few inches to the left of your right foot. Rotate your torso to the left and gaze at your lifted right hand. Stack your shoulders| one on top of the other.
  • Keep your back heel grounded or lift it up| holding this modification of Rotated Side Angle for five deep breaths.

| Star

  • Plant your left heel and lift your right leg into the air| balancing on your left palm and foot| holding Star Pose. Actively point through the ball of your right foot to help you stay balanced. If this is too difficult| bend your right knee and rest the sole of your foot on your left inner thigh.
  • Enjoy this pose for five breaths.

| Extended Tabletop

  • Slowly lower your right leg to the floor behind you| bending both knees| so your belly is pointing up toward the ceiling. Readjust your feet if you need to so they are parallel and slightly wider than hips-width distance apart.
  • Press firmly into your feet to lift your hips high| engaging your glutes and hamstrings| and extend your arm over your face.
  • Hold Extended Tabletop for five complete breaths| gazing at your extended hand or up toward the ceiling.

| Three-Legged Dog

  • Turn your torso to the left 180 degrees| planting your right hand back into Down Dog position. Straighten your right leg into the air| coming into Three-Legged Dog.
  • Try to keep both shoulders parallel with the floor| holding for five deep breaths.

| Knee-Up Plank

  • Bend your right knee and swing it forward| squeezing it close to your chest while simultaneously coming into plank position with your shoulders above your wrists. Hold here for five breaths.
  • Then begin doing a variation of mountain climbers for about 30 seconds without letting your toes touch the floor. This should warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up.

| Crow

  • Hop both feet forward behind your hands. Come into a squat| placing your hands shoulder-width distance apart on the mat| feet together. Spread your fingers as wide as you can| creating a strong| stable base.
  • Straighten your legs slightly| placing your knees as high up onto your triceps as possible. Slowly shift your weight into your palms and lift your feet off the floor.
  • Stay here in Crow Pose for five breaths| gazing at the floor in front of you.

| Happy Baby

  • Slowly roll onto your back. Bend both knees and hold on to the outside edges of your feet| stretching your lower back in Happy Baby.
  • Gently use your upper body strength to equally press both knees toward the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest| but keep everything relaxed.
  • Enjoy this stretch for five breaths.

| Wheel

  • Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the ground (heels as close as possible to your bum). Bend your elbows and place your palms flat on the ground above your shoulders| fingertips facing your feet.
  • Inhale| press into your palms| and lift your head| shoulders| and hips off the mat| straightening your arms and legs. Try to walk your hands and feet a little closer together.
  • Stay in Wheel Pose for five deep breaths and then slowly lower your body down.
  • Repeat two more times. Hug your knees into your chest to release your lower back.

| Tipover Tuck

  • While hugging your knees to your chest| rock up and down the spine from head to tailbone| gaining momentum and rocking all the way forward onto your feet in a low squat.
  • Straighten your legs| folding forward| and interlace your hands behind you| holding Tipover Tuck for five deep breaths.
  • Then release your hands| bend your knees| and rise up into Fierce Pose| repeating this sequence on the left side.

| Mountain Pose

Set a strong intention for your practice at the top of your mat.

  • Stand at the front of your mat| feet together| legs active| and arms by your sides.
  • If you choose| this is the time to take a moment to bring your awareness inward| to create an intention for your practice| or to make a dedication. Stay for five breaths.

Source: Laughing River Yoga

| Standing Forward Bend

Allow all the stress to melt and pour off your back in Standing Forward Bend.

  • Begin in Mountain Pose at the front of your mat. Inhale| and reach your arms straight above you.
  • As you exhale| engage your abs| and fold forward with a straight back. Tuck your chin in toward your chest| relax your shoulders| and extend the crown of your head toward the floor to create a long spine. Shift your weight forward onto your toes| straightening your legs as much as possible. Place your hands on the ground| fingertips lining up with your toes.
  • Hold here for five breaths.

Source: Laughing River Yoga

| Downward Facing Dog Pose

Downward Facing Dog is an active pose that always helps to calm a busy mind. Focus on deep| full-body breaths and releasing any tension in your legs or back.

  • From Standing Forward Bend| place your hands on the floor| and step back to Downward Facing Dog.
  • Spread your fingers wide| and create a straight line between your middle fingers and elbows. Work on straightening your legs and lowering your heels toward the ground. Relax your head between your arms| and direct your gaze through your legs or up toward your belly button. Hold for five breaths.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography

| Warrior 1 Pose

Warrior 1 Pose sets a strong foundation for the rest of your practice.

  • From Downward Facing Dog| step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in| press into your feet| and lift your torso up.
  • Lift your arms up| and press your palms together. Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips| and gaze up at your hands.
  • Stay here for five breaths. Then come back to Downward Facing Dog| step your left foot forward| and do Warrior 1 on the other side.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography