Life can be busy and demanding of our time, however a short practice can still be a remedy to go inward, cultivate peace and slow down.
I’m all about being realistic and encourage students to forgo lofty ideals of long practices when life adds extra demands. Here is a short 20-30 minute Iyengar Yoga sequence to practice. Enjoy the deeply relaxing Mgz solfeggio frequency music while you practice to invite in uber relaxing vibes, and change up your frequency.
Working the legs first is grounding & creates power, as is the meaning of Utkatasana.
Stand in Tadasana feet together.
Press the feet down as you lift the thighs up.
As you inhale bring the arms up to shoulder height.
As you exhale sit down into the pose.
Go in and out for 5-10 reps.
On the last one hold it for a few breaths squeezing the thighs together, press the Heels down, buttocks to heels.
Come out by straightening the legs & release the arms.
Standing Wide Leg Forward fold
Stand in tadasana.
Bring hands to rest on the hips.
Step or jump the feet 4-5 feet apart.
Outer edges of the feet should be straight.
Press the feet down and lift the thighs up.
Broaden the collar bones apart and take the shoulder blades down.
Go up and back to open the chest.
Extend the chest forward.
Bring hands to bricks or to the ground.
Spend some time to readjust the actions of the feet pressing down, thighs lifting up and moving back.
Straighten the arms, shoulder blades to the buttocks.
Stay for 4-5 breaths.
Walk the hands back in line with the shoulders while continuing to extend the chest.
On an exhalation bend the elbows keeping them in line w the shoulders.
Release the head down.
Hold for 1-2 minutes or as long as feels appropriate for you.
To come out straighten the arms and walk the hands back under the shoulders.
Heel toe the feet hip distance apart.
Hands on hips, look forward, extend trunk forward to come up.
Reclined legs crossed supported pose is one of my favorites.
Opens the outer hips and allows for a gentle groin opening.
Recommend you stay for 5 minutes switching which leg is forward halfway in between.
This is a lovely way to open the chest and release tension.
Props needed: bricks, blankets, bolster
If you have a bolster lay it so the short edge of the bolster points to the short edge of your yoga mat.
Trifold a blanket or use a small pillow for your head.
Have your bricks next to you as you sit with your back to the bolster.
Don’t have your back touching the bolster. Bend the legs and squeeze the legs together, hands can be supported on the bolster or on the floor beside the bolster.
Roll down in a C shape placing your head and neck on the blanket or pillow.
Cross the right leg in front at the chins so knees are more in line with the hips.
Adjust with your hands moving the skin of the lower back and tops of buttocks apart and down.
Roll the upper arms from inside out so the shoulders go towards the bolster.
Spread the arms out until you feel a nice stretch in the chest and arms are totally relaxed on the ground.
Close the eyes and rest.
Become the quality of water.
Soft, fluid, expansive.
Switch the left leg forward half way through.
Support the outer thighs with bricks, blankets or pillows.
No tension should be in the groins.
To come out use hands to bring the knees together and feet to the ground.
Roll to your right side and curl up in a little ball knees to chest, chin to chest.
Stay for half minute.
Press hands into the ground to come up.
Legs against the grain pose, aka, legs up the wall is everyone’s favorite pose!
It’s a subtle inversion that brings blood to the brain and induces a deep state of quiet. Do not practice if you are on your menses.
Props needed: bolster & blanket
If you don’t have a bolster or blanket get creative with what ya got at home!
Bring the short edge of your yoga mat to a wall.
Place the bolster long edge facing the wall about 1/2 a foot from the wall.
Spread the blanket to cover the mat.
Sit on the end of the bolster facing away from the wall with the legs bent, knees and ankles stacked like in Utkatasana (see pose #1)
Have both hands on the ground and bring one shoulder down towards the opposite hand.
Swing the legs up til they are vertical.
The bolster should be under the low back allowing the bottom of the buttocks to be off the back of the bolster slightly near the wall.
Roll the upper arms from inside out, and press the shoulders down.
Widen the collarbones, allow the arms to rest by your side, just not higher than the heart.
Allow yourself to become water.
Soft, fluid, expansive.
Stay 5-15 minutes depending on time.
Great pose to include before bed.
To come out bend the knees and bring the feet halfway down the wall.
Slowly slide off the bolster til your bum rests on the floor. Cross the legs like in pose #3 for half a minute.
Roll to the right side, press hands into the ground to come up.
Corpse pose or total relaxation pose should never be skipped! It’s a most important pose you can rest in for 5-20 minutes.
Props: blanket or pillow for the head, booster for under the backs of thighs if you like.
Lie down in the center of your mat.
Extend the heels away, lengthening the buttocks to heels.
Roll upper arms from inside out.
Release spine towards the floor.
Close the eyes and become water.
Soft, fluid, expansive.
When thoughts come in just notice them and come back to becoming water.
To come out bend knees, bring feet to the ground, bring arms to rest on chest.
Roll to the right side.
Press hands down to come up.
About Dina and her studio
Dina Georgoulis is owner of ZOE Yoga Lifestyle studio in Tampa, Florida. She is a certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher Level 1. Dina began practicing yoga in 2001 to destress from managing retail stores. She has been practicing Iyengar Yoga since 2008 first with Karin Stephan, who studied with BKS Iyengar Yoga in the late 60’s, and is known for her work with the asymmetrical body and yoga therapeutics.
Dina began studying with David Meloni in Florence, Italy in 2018 to further her understanding of working with her asymmetric body. David is the highest certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher in the world, and his therapeutics are able to help even the most physically challenged practitioners find a path into practice and beyond.