It’s official. Summer has finally arrived and so has International Yoga Day.
Start the season out right and journey along with Chelsea as she takes us through a guided yoga series with targeted physical and mental benefits. Featuring poses from beginner to advanced levels, this series is designed to challenge yourself as you kickstart your day and your metabolism. An upscale, expensive yoga studio isn’t required. All you need is a clear space in your home or even better, outdoors, to get started today. Chelsea’s Summer mantra? Channel the sun’s energy and shine!
1. Side Plank
Shift onto the outside edge of your left foot and stack your right foot on top of the left. Firm your shoulder blades while you lift your left hip up and pull the ribcage in to your midline. Keep your body in one straight line while reaching your top arm energetically upward.
- Strengthens and stabilizes arms, belly and legs while improving balance.
2. Awkward Pose
From a standing position, the heels come up and the arms are extended forward and parallel to the earth, or to open the shoulders more, reach them up over the head and grab opposite elbows. Keep your tailbone tucked and ribcage pulling in as you sit low in your seat.
- Strengthens and tones leg muscles and relieves sciatica
3. Humble Flamingo
Start in a forward fold and slowly walk hands back, staying high on the fingertips. Slowly slide the right foot forward using the planted left foot for balance. Deeply engage your core and puff up though the back body as you lift your left foot and bring it toward your glutes.
- Compression posture to re-oxygenate your blood.
- Stretches the hamstring and increase core strength.
4. Camel Pose
Kneel on the floor with your knees hip width and thighs perpendicular to the floor. Reach back to lift right shin off the floor pulling foot up toward right bicep. Reach right fingertips to the floor and send the hips forward as you shift your gaze up to the ceiling and reach the left arm high.
- Stretches the entire front body, abdomen, chest and throat.
- Stretches the hip flexors and challenges balances while deeply stretching right quad.
5. Floor Bow Pose
Resting on your belly, bend your knees, pulling your feet as close to your buttocks as possible. Reach back for your ankles. To accomplish the full rotation in the shoulders (flip grip), start with one foot at a time and use a strap if needed. Flex your foot and grab under the pinky toe reaching past for the ball of your foot under your big toe. On your exhale, rotate your elbow out, in and up. Point your elbow toward the sky. Resting on your belly, breathe into the back of your torso as you shift your gaze upward.
- Stretches entire front body and groin.
- Strengthens back muscles.
Place your hands down, spread the fingers and turn index fingers so they are parallel to one another. Lift one leg up, take a few hops and if you find any hang time, try to catch some counterbalance by bending your knees in a stag leg (staggered) position. Deeply engage your core, press the ground away with force and stay active in your feet.
Pro tip: this posture takes endless practice and often years to achieve so be patient with yourself!
- Strengthens shoulders, arms, core and wrists.
- Improves balance, awareness and calms the mind.
We hope this series leaves your mind and body stimulated and energized, setting up your season for success, both on and off the mat. For increased intensity, repeat this series several times in a row to build on your practice.
* If you experience any pain or discomfort during the practice, stop immediately. Never push yourself past the point of gentle tension. It is advised to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise program.