Energising yoga flow
This energising flow will help you to find strength and openness in the body, particularly in the shoulders, the core, glutes and legs. It starts with a classic downward-facing dog – this starting point allows this short sequence to be easily adopted into any practice. Give it a go and have fun. By Katherine Salter
1. Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
(See image above.) Firmly press the ground away with your hands and externally rotate your shoulders. Straight back with a tight front body. Knees can be bent if your hamstrings are tight, ground down the heels. Hold for five steady breaths while you lengthen the back body.
2. Plank Pose (Santolanasana)
From downward-facing dog pose, shift the weight forward to bring the shoulders above the wrists, draw the belly in to engage the core, round the upper back, press the heels back to fire the quads and glutes. Find a spot at the top of your mat, keep your gaze there and hold for five calm breaths.
3. Side Plank Pose, Tree Variation (Vrksasana In Vasisthasana)
From plank pose, step the legs and feet together. Roll to the outside of the foot, squeeze the legs together. Do your best to bring the arms and shoulders in one line. Avoid back bending and keep the whole body as firm as a still board. Either hold here or place the top foot into the inner thigh of the lower leg as in tree pose. Press the bottom hand and foot down and lift the hips high. Engage the side core and hold for five breaths if possible.
4. Wild Thing Pose (Camatkarasana)
From side plank pose, draw the top knee towards the chest, lift the hips higher, rotate the chest towards the sky, quietly step the top foot behind the bottom knee, send the top arm towards the top of the mat, hold this beautiful heart opening pose for five breaths if possible.
5. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
From wild thing pose, super activate your core and legs, bring your lifted foot to the front of your mat, out to the side, coming into a wide lunge with your hands place on the floor inside of the knee. Take your back knee off the floor to energise your back leg, hips stay at your front knee height level, and either stay up on your hands or bring your forearms down to the ground. Remain in the pose for five long and steady breaths, continuously internally rotating your back inner thigh up toward the ceiling and reach your chest forward through your arms.
6. Twisted Lizard Pose (Parivrtta Utthan Pristhasana)
From lizard pose, lower your back knee down to the floor and bend the leg. Start to twist your spine through the core strength and open your chest towards the sky. Reach your opposite arm back and take hold of your inner foot. Keep externally rotating your shoulders back. Either front hand or forearm down on the mat, depending on your flexibility level. Hold for five deep breaths.
7. Plank Pose Knee to Elbow (Phalakasana I)
From twisted lizard pose, transition back to lizard pose, press the ground away from your hands, round the upper back, and fire the core. Pick up the front foot and draw the knee to the outer side of the elbow. Imagine you are fighting against gravity and the whole body is lifting. Five breaths if possible.
8. Flying Splits Pose (Eka Pada Kundinyasana II)
From plank pose, straighten the front leg to the front. Hover your elbows in first, shift your weight forwards and start bending your elbows as you are entering Chaturanga Dandasana. Squeeze your legs towards the mainline. The back foot will become very light and eventually float up. Hold for five breaths if possible. From here, you could either step your front foot back to Chaturanga Dandasana or transition to Chin Stand Pose (Ganda Bherundasana) if you are up for a challenge.
Katherine Salter is a yoga teacher based in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. Connect on Instagram @katherinesalteryoga.
Photos by @sarahcarmodyphotographyuk