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Tag Archives: sun salutations

30-Minute Morning Sequence

30 Minute Morning Yoga Sequence | Jason Crandell Vinyasa Yoga Method

Practicing first thing in the morning has never been easy for me. But, I’ve adapted to the early hours by creating a simple, brief sequence that slowly eases my body open. It’s illustrated above. In fact, doing a mellow practice in the morning is something I’ve started looking forward to—and, yes, I usually savor a cup of coffee prior to the first pose, or along with the sequence. Call the yoga police if you must. If I want to do a more demanding practice—which I usually save for the afternoon—I can easily use the sequence above as template. Once I get my body moving and generate some momentum, I can insert more challenging postures or include some demanding standing pose combinations.

This sequence is simple, balanced, and brief since it’s designed to help you be consistent with your practice in the new year. You’ll start in Child’s Pose to release tension in your back before transitioning into a simple twist and forward bend. I start 99% of my home practices this way.

You will pick up intensity once you get into Down Dog and do both sides of Lunging Quad Stretch. Linger over these poses as long as you like. While you’re doing these postures, establish a long, slow breathing cadence. From there, you can insert any style of Sun Salutation you want to practice at this phase of the sequence. Do between 3-10 rounds. (Check out this infographic for Sun Salutation A and Sun Salutation B, if you need more info about Sun Salutations.)

Poses 7-10 are a straightforward combination of standing poses that will strengthen your legs, open your hips, and condition your entire body. If you want to include additional standing poses or sneak a few arm balances into your sequence, this is where they should go.

The sequence concludes with a mild backbend, a neutral posture, and seated meditation. You’re welcome to intensify your backbends by including Bow Pose (Dhanurasana) or Upward Bow aka Wheel Pose. (You can go here for a tutorial on Upward Bow.

And if you sign up for our newsletter, we’ll send you a free downloadable PDF of the sequence above. Make sure to print it out and get as many coffee marks on it as want. Enjoy.

6 TIPS FOR LAUNCHING A SUCCESSFUL HOME YOGA PRACTICE IN THE NEW YEAR!

The most important thing about practicing this time of year is to be consistent about getting on your mat. Sequence, duration, and intensity matter less than the habit of practicing. In my experience, students who fail to launch a consistent home practice do so for three reasons:

1. Their expectations and practice are overly ambitious given their time constraints and competing demands.

2. They try to do too many postures and make their practice overly intense.

3. They expect their home practice to feel the exact same as their favorite yoga class. When home practice doesn’t feel the exact same, they throw in the towel.

If your resolution for the New Year is to practice more consistently at home, try avoiding these pitfalls and including the following three keys to success for launching a home practice:

4. Focus on postures you love. Practice them frequently and shamelessly.

5. Focus on brief, sustainable practices that you look forward to returning to time and time again.

6. Once you’ve established a consistent home practice, scale up your intensity and focus on postures that are challenging for you.

{illustrations by MCKIBILLO}

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Essential Sequence: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar B)

After a few rounds of Surya Namaskar A (here’s your refresher on that sequence if you’re unfamiliar), you’ll be warmed up and ready to move through the sequence below, Surya Namaskar B. For the B variation, you’ll fire up your legs in Utkatasana AKA Chair or Fierce Pose and you’ll add the strong standing pose, Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I).

Once you establish a rhythm and familiarity with this sequence, you can start to create targeted sequences by adding poses after Warrior I. If you want more specific guidance about how to best sequence for peak poses and how to stretch and strengthen your body safely and effectively, check out the online sequencing course that I offer through YogaGlo.

For all Sun Salutations, it’s essential that you breathe in and out through your nose and elongate your breath. Try to imagine that your breath leads the movement; it’s what compels you to move through each pose. Follow the breath cues below, staying for five full breaths in your third Downward Dog before you jump forward to Uttanasana. Build up to 5 rounds of Surya Namaskar B, dropping your knees to the ground if you need to in Chaturanga.

Surya Namaskar B | Sun Salutation B | Jason Crandell Yoga Method

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{illustrations by MCKIBILLO}

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Essential Sequence: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A)

Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, are the quintessential yoga warm-up sequence. They combine deep breathing with flowing movement, they stretch the entire front and back of the body, and they build strength, too.

There are several variations of Sun Salutations; we thought we’d start with the most basic, which is version “A” in the yoga canon, or Sun Salutation A.

See also Essential Sequence: Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar B)

Sun Salutation A: How To

Before you begin, spend a few breaths in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Notice how your feet feel in contact with the earth — is there more weight on one foot than other? On the front of the foot or the back? Continue to scan your attention all the way up the body, observing the sensations that arise.

Let this inward drawn attention help you start to deepen your breath. Do a total of five rounds of Sun Salutations, synching each movement to your breath and staying in Downward-Dog for five breaths.

On days when you don’t have time for a long practice, this powerful package of poses can quiet your mind while boosting your energy and give you just the amount of stretch and activation you need to have a calm, productive day.

Sun Salutation A Sequence | Surya Namaskar A | Jason Crandell Yoga Method

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{illustrations by MCKIBILLO}

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