It’s hot as firecrackers out there. Beat the heat with this cooling summer yoga sequence.
Start with your feet about 3 feet apart, toes turned out. Bend your knees and lower to a plié. Bring your hands together at heart center, elbows out wide. Hold for five breaths.
Standing Wide-Legged Forward Fold
Straighten your legs and turn your toes inward. Bending from the hips, lower your upper body to the floor. Relax your neck and let your head be heavy. You can place your palms on the floor under your shoulders or interlace your fingers behind your back and let your bound hands come forward to open your chest and shoulders. Hold for five breaths. Bring your hands to your hips and use your core to come up with a flat back.
Flowing Half Squat
Turn your toes back out to the sides. Bend one knee and lower your whole body in the direction of the bent knee; keep the other knee straight and flex your foot. Lower your palms to the floor or press them together at heart center. Hold for five breaths. Flow your squat to the other side. Hold for five breaths. Repeat on each side. Bring your body to the center and with only a slight bend in your knees, roll yourself up.
Seated Forward Fold
Sit down on your mat with both legs out long in front of you. Hinging from the hips and keeping a flat back, reach for your toes. It’s OK to bend your knees — a lot if you need to. Hold for five breaths. Sit up. Shake out your legs. Repeat.
Supported Shoulder Stand
Lie on your back; bring your knees to your chest. Press your arms out long at your sides. Use your core to peel your pelvis and then your lower back off the floor. Bend your elbows and place your palms on your lower back, fingertips pointing toward the ceiling, to support your body in the air. Straighten your legs as much as you can, trying to get your hips over your shoulders, toes pointed at the ceiling. Take five slow, deep breaths.
From your shoulder stand, lower your toes toward the floor behind your head. They may or may not touch the floor. Release your arms long at your sides, palms down. Take five deep breaths. Slowly roll your lower body down to the floor.
Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, bringing your heels toward your glutes until you can touch them with your fingertips. Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor and lift your hips as much as you can. Take five slow, deep breaths. Lower your hips. Repeat.
With your knees bent, bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall out wide. Let your arms be long at your sides, palms up, or place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Take 10 breaths.
Stretch your legs out long and let your feet and knees fall open to the sides. Stretch your arms out long by your sides, palms up. Close your eyes. Relax your whole body. Breathe normally for at least five minutes, thinking cool, refreshing thoughts.
Yoga selfies by Becca Looney. Get inspired by her practice when you follow her at @theyogadarling.
When you want to start your day off right, try an energizing morning yoga sequence.