Home Sadhana - Twist It Out

If you have 30 minutes to practice at home, here is a short sequence designed to fire up internal heat, encourage healthy elimination and detoxification, and to release toxins in the form of sweat, breath and unhelpful energies. 

Before going into these poses warm up with a few minutes of Ujjayi breath and continue this breath throughout your practice.  Move through some cat-cow, and several rounds of Surya Namaskar A. Hold each of these poses for 5 - 10 deep steady breaths, with a connecting Vinyasa or Downward Dog between each side.  Follow with poses to cool the body (supine twists, figure 4, supported bridge, happy baby) and finish with seated or Savasana meditation.  Note: This is NOT meant to be a beginner series.  If you are new to yoga I recommend practicing under the guidance of a teacher. 

I realize these directions are inconsistent in rights and lefts - my directives match the orientation of the posture in the photo.  Feel free to start all on one leg, right or left - or switch back and forth with the directions -  just to change it up!  Most importantly do both sides.

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Ardha Matseyandrasana - Release Comparison

Bend your right knee and draw your right heel near your left hip.  Cross your left leg over right, pressing your left foot into the ground.  Root evenly through both sits bones.  Bring your left hand behind for support, hook your right elbow to outer left knee.  Inhale lengthen up through the crown of your head, exhale twist to your left.  With each deep breath find these actions of length and rotation in the spine, using the contractions of muscles around your waist. (Maintain for 5 - 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.)

As you breathe become grounded in your seat.  Know that this space is yours, this pose is yours, this body is yours.  You are taking the place you are meant to and following your own path.  No one can walk this path for you, your challenges and successes are uniquely your own.  No one can embody your wisdom and you are not meant to be anyone other than who you are.  Release the urge to compare yourself with others.  With each exhale release comparison.

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Parivrtta Anjaneyasana - Release Anxiety

From down dog, step your right foot forward to a lunge, placing left knee on the ground.  Inhale, reach your arms overhead, lift and lengthen your spine.  Exhale, twist to your right, placing your left elbow to outer right knee.  Sink your hips into the stretch but maintain integration (scissoring) of inner thighs. Rotate your breast bone towards the wall to your right.  Keep your collarbones open, draw your right shoulder down your back.  Inhale lengthen up through the crown of your head, exhale twist to your right.  With each deep breath find these actions of length and rotation in the spine, using the contractions of muscles around your waist. (Maintain for 5 - 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.)

As you breathe feel the heaviness and grounding of the lower body.  Feel the earth under your foot, stabilizing you.  Allow yourself to savor every breath, feeling the expansion into your open heart and the deep and full release of each exhale.  There is nothing more important than being here, right now, honoring your body through practice, experiencing this life-giving breath.  Feel that, which each exhale tensions of the mind leave the body.  Let go of worries over the future or regrets over the past.  Be here now.  With each exhale release anxiety. (Maintain for 5 - 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.)

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Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana Variation - Release Fear

From down dog, step your left foot forward to a lunge, stacking left ankle under left knee.  Root through the ball of your right foot, lengthening back through the inner leg as your draw your right heel up and forward.  Strengthen and elevate the right thigh towards the sky.  Inhale, reach your arms overhead, lift and lengthen your spine.  Exhale, twist to your left, reaching your arms wide; left arm reaching back, right arm reaching forward.  Stay centered, with shoulders above hips, not leaning forward or back.  Inhale lengthen up through the crown of your head, exhale deepen or maintain the twist to your left.  With each deep breath find these actions of length and rotation in the spine, using the contractions of muscles around your waist. (Maintain for 5 - 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.)

As you breathe feel expansion from heart center all the way through the fingertips.  Feel the wobbles and effort in maintaining your twist and balance.  Understand you are capable and powerful.  You are able to overcome all that is placed before you.  You are not meant to be perfect but to fully embody your attributes, flaws, successes, and failures.  Understand that trying and working for what you want is already a great win, regardless of the outcome.  Understand that things very rarely go the way we expect or plan but we adapt, survive and thrive.  Fear is of no use to you on this journey.  With each exhale release fear.

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Parivrtta Trikonasana - Release Distraction

From down dog, step your right foot forward to a lunge, fingertips to earth framing your right foot.  Then turn the left toes out to a 45 degree angle and straighten both legs.  Rooting through both feet, draw your right hip back.  Inhale, lengthen your spine and place your left fingers to outer (or inner) right foot.  Exhale twist at the waist towards your right, extend your right arm to the sky, aligning your wrist above your shoulder.  Continue to root through both feet evenly.  Draw your shoulders back, opening your heart. Inhale lengthen up through the crown of your head, exhale deepen or maintain the twist to your right.  With each deep breath find these actions of length and rotation in the spine, using the contractions of muscles around your waist. (Maintain for 5 - 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.)

As you breathe steady your gaze on one fixed point.  Be unwavering in your focus even as the pose grows more challenging.  Feel everything narrow in and converge.  Know that this focus is your potent energy source.  You can direct this raw power anywhere you choose.  You can direct your energy in ways that sustain and support, rather than dispersing your energy in areas that are unsustainable and weakening.  Refine your focal point.  Decide where you want to concentrate your power.  Let all the noise and nonsense fade away into the periphery.  With each exhale release distraction. 

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Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana - Release Ego

From down dog, step your left foot forward into a lunge and return to Parivrtta Trikonasana.  From this revolved triangle shape shift your gaze downwards.  Put a slight bend in your left knee, bringing your right fingertips one torso length forward.  Begin to lift your right heel of the earth. On an exhale breath shift your weight into your left foot, lifting your right leg up and back.  Reach powerfully through the sole of the right foot and engage the inner thighs.  Inhale lengthen forward through the crown of your head, exhale deepen or engage the twist to your left  With each deep breath find these actions of length and rotation in the spine, using the contractions of muscles around your waist. (Maintain for 5 - 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.)

Maintain your effort and make micro adjustments in response to the wobbles.  As you breath observe what arises.  Who cares if you fall?  Why does it matter that this feels hard?  What does it have to do with your vibrant, timeless, radiant, divine soul and self?  Nothing.  Who cares if it's perfect?  Why does it matter if your toe lines up with your hip and your head?  What does perfect execution have to do with your value?  Nothing.  Just be here now.  Let go of should.  With each exhale release ego.

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Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana - Release Attachment

From standing shift your weight into your right foot, firming all the way up the thigh and engaging low belly.  Lift your left knee to a 90 degree angle at hip height.  Take hold of your outer left foot with your right hand.  Take an inhale and grow tall; pressing down through your right foot and lengthening up the spine.  Exhale slowly extend the left leg out, simultaneously extending the right arm.  Inhale root through the standing foot, rise up through the crown.  Exhale twist to your left and extend your left arm behind you.  Continue to maintain balance by adjusting all these actions with each breath: root and rise, reach and grip, lengthen and twist with each breath.  With each deep breath find the actions of length and rotation in the spine, using the contractions of muscles around your waist. (Maintain for 5 - 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.)

As you balance in this pose feel the dance of sensation and response.  Recognize the fluidity and impermanence in all things.  Nothing lasts and nothing is meant to.  Recognize what is present right now.  In each moment.  Breathe and be present.  With each exhale release attachment.