Untitled design

Yoga Binds

A short, sweet yoga flow full of delicious, heart-opening binds.

Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (46)

1. Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)

We start our class in seated Sukhasana, or cross-legged position (image not shown). Hands placed at the heart, take a few breaths to ground the body into this moment of time. Remember that you are in the right place at the right time — nothing to do, apart from this seated pose. Here, we shall start to slow down the breath and our thoughts will soon follow. Feel your weight drop down into your pelvic halves. Open the eyes and make your way into a kneeling pose (Vajrasana, Thunderbolt Pose)

Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (47)

2. Vajrasana Side Stretch

Take a few deep breaths before reaching your right hand down to your side and reaching the left arm up and over your head (Vajrasana Side Stretch). Hold here and take your awareness down the left hand side of the body. Repeat this side stretch on the other side after a few moments. Notice how one side may differ from the other. Notice the space created from the waist into the armpit. There is always an option to sit crossed legged in theses side stretches if sitting in kneeling feels uncomfortable.

Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (48)

3. Uttanasana Prasaritta Variation

When ready, come into all fours (hands and knees) before tucking toes and lifting into your first downwards facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana, image not shown) where you can walk out your legs by alternately bending the knees. Next, make your way to the top of your mat, into a forward fold, inhale to Ardha Uttanasana (image not shown), a half-way lift before releasing the spine completely in Uttanasana (image not shown), a deep forward fold. Stay in this deep forward fold for your first bind. This is when you might need a strap if your shoulders are feeling a little tight. Start to interlace your fingers behind your lower back into Uttanasana Prasaritta variation. Soften at the knees and feel free to widen the stance as you tuck your chin into your chest and allow the bind to fall towards the back of the head. Hold for 5-10 breaths before letting go the bind slowly

Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (49)

4. Anjaneyasana with Gomukhasana Arms

Inhale, press into your feet and raise your arms over head,
looking towards your thumbs in Urdhva Hastasana (Upwards
Salute, not shown). Exhale, bring the hands back to your heart,
begin to settle your breathing. Inhale and reach your arms
upwards to Urdhva Hastasana, then exhale as you forward
fold to Uttanasana (standing forward bend). From here, lean
your weight into your right foot and step back with your left
foot. Keep the back heel lifted into a lunge pose, take the right
arm up and over your head, and the left arm down and under
behind you – either grab onto your fingers, a strap or your teeshirt for Anjaneyasana with Gomukhasana arms.

Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (50)

5. Anjaneyasana with Gomukhasana Arms Close Up

This bind will not only be challenging your stability via the legs but also your balance as you create an asymmetric shape of the upper body. Please see image 5 for a close up of this bind. Here, we are internally rotating the lower arm and externally rotating the upper – a strong pose for any yogi! Stay for a few deep breaths before repeating on the other side.

Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (51)

6. Lower Crescent Moon Gomukhasana Arms

To close this sequence exhale, step back into a plank pose (not shown), lowering down onto your knees, chest and chin. Slide onto your tummy and press into your hands. Inhale for a baby cobra (Bhujangasana, not shown). Exhale, start to draw back into downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) where you can walk out your legs by alternately bending your knees.

When you’re ready, find stillness in your down dog and lift your right leg up and back. Step the right foot forward and lower the back knee into Anjaneyasana (image not shown). Lift both arms into the air, careful not to collapse through the groin, repeat the same arm position as shown in image 5. Take the right arm up and over your head, and the left arm down and under behind you – either grab onto fingers, a strap or your tee-shirt. In the pose, your front knee bends to create a stretch in your hips, your arms engage and extend straight out from your shoulders, and your gaze, or drishti, remains calm and steady – help your balance by gazing at one single object or spot in front of you in Lower Crescent Moon Gomukhasana Arms asana. Hold for a few breaths and repeat this pose on the left leg.

Untitled (1800 x 1200 px) (52)

7. Balasana (Child’s Pose)

To close the practice, make your way into Balasana (Child’s Pose). This is one of yoga's most important resting postures and it is a nice way to gently stretch various parts of your body. It's a chance to stop what you are doing, reassess your position, reconnect with your breath and prepare yourself to move forward.


Watch the mini sequence below, brought to you in partnership with Isabel Lankester Yoga

Play Video

Enjoy the full yoga studio experience from the comfort of your own home with 100+ more on-demand and live-stream classes, from power yoga and vinyasa to yin, meditation and slow flows. isabellankesteryoga.com

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.