Prime of Life Yoga Routine Level II

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After you master the level I sequence described in the preceding section, enjoy the challenge of this section's level II sequence. It's a little longer and more physically demanding, and like the other routine, brings balance by working each side of the body separately.

Plan to spend approximately 45 minutes to complete this sequence, which is broken into two parts: standing postures and postures on the floor.

For detailed information on the various postures in this section or their variations, head to Chapters 4, 7, 8, 11, 12, and 15. Select a breathing technique from Chapter 5. Hold each posture and variation for six to eight breaths, with the exception of the warrior II posture (Steps 3 and 4), and the seated forward bend posture (Steps 12 and 13), both of which you move into and out of three times before holding for six to eight breaths.

1. Start in the mountain posture illustrated in Figure 18-2a.

Initiate the Yoga breathing style of your choice from Chapter 5 for six to eight breaths.

2. As you exhale, step out to your right with your right foot about 3 to 3V2 feet (or the length of one leg); turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot inward 45 degrees.

3. As you inhale, raise your arms out to your sides in a T parallel to the line of your shoulders and the floor for the warrior II ready posture as Figure 18-2b indicates.

4. As you exhale, bend your right knee to a right angle with the floor and turn your head to the right as shown in Figure 18-2c; repeat Steps 3 and 4 three times and then remain in the warrior II posture for six to eight breaths.

5. As you inhale, raise your right arm and turn your right palm up; as you exhale, reach back with your left hand (palm down) and hold the outside of your left leg, looking up at your right hand for the reverse warrior posture (see Figure 18-2d), and stay for six to eight breaths.

6. As you inhale, move back briefly to the warrior II position and then bend your right arm, lay your right forearm across the top of your right thigh, and extend your left arm over your head in alignment with your left ear as illustrated in Figure 18-2e; stay in this extended right angle posture for six to eight breaths.

7. Repeat Steps 1 through 6 on the left side.

8. From your wide stance, roll your body up, turn both feet forward (to the right), and hang your arms at your sides; as you exhale, bend forward from the hips and hang your torso, head, and arms down, holding your bent elbows with opposite-side hands in the standing spread-legged forward bend as Figure 18-2f demonstrates for six to eight breaths.

9. Return to mountain posture (refer to Figure 18-2a.)

10. As you inhale, raise your arms from the front up and overhead; as you exhale, bend forward from the hips, raise your left leg back and up until your arms, torso, and left leg are all parallel to the floor and you're balancing on your right leg in the warrior III posture. See Figure 18-2g for six to eight breaths.

11. Repeat Steps 9 and 10, balancing on the other side with your left leg.

Figure 18-2:

Prime of Life Yoga routine: Level II, part 1.

Figure 18-2:

Prime of Life Yoga routine: Level II, part 1.

12. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor at hip width and place your hands at your sides palms down; as you inhale, raise your hips up and your arms overhead to touch the floor behind you in the bridge variation with arm raise posture as shown in Figure 18-3a for six to eight breaths.

13. Lie on your abdomen with your left arm forward (palm down) and your right arm back at your right side (palm up) and then bend your right knee and hold your right foot with your right hand, lifting your chest, left arm, and right foot to a comfortable level as you inhale into the half bow posture (see Figure 18-3b); stay up for six to eight breaths and then repeat with opposite pairs, holding your left foot with your left hand and extending your right arm forward.

14. Move to your hands and knees with both at hip width; as you exhale, sit back on your heels and fold your head and hips down into a comfortable position for the child's posture variation as Figure 18-3c illustrates — stay folded for six to eight breaths.

15. Transition to a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you and bring your back up nice and tall, moving your arms forward and up alongside your ears as you inhale, as demonstrated in Figure 18-3d.

16. As you exhale, bend forward from your hips, bringing your hands, chest, and head toward the floor as shown in Figure 18-3e; repeat Steps 15 and 16 three times and then stay down and folded for six to eight breaths.

Soften your legs and arms as needed.

Take extra caution or avoid seated straight-legged forward bends if you have back problems that are exacerbated by rounding the back.

17. Lie flat on your back with your legs stretched out and your arms extended out into a T with your palms up, and as you exhale, bring your right leg up and across your torso to the opposite side, slide your left arm overhead, and turn your head to the right until you are in the Swiss army knife as in Figure 18-3f; stay in the posture for six to eight breaths and then repeat with opposite pairs.

Soften your limbs as needed.

Figure 18-3:

Prime of Life Yoga routine: Level II, part 2.

Figure 18-3:

Prime of Life Yoga routine: Level II, part 2.

18. Stay on your back and hug both your knees to your chest with your hands as you exhale for the knees-to-chest posture (see Figure 18-3g); hold for six to eight breaths.

Hold on under your thighs if you have knee problems. As an alternative, rock gently from side to side.

19. Lie flat on your back in the corpse posture (refer to Figure 18-2h) with your arms along the sides of your torso, your palms up, and your eyes closed to finish, use belly breathing from Chapter 5 or a relaxation technique from Chapter 4 for three to five minutes.

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Unite Mind Body Spirit With Yoga

Unite Mind Body Spirit With Yoga

Practitioners of yoga talk about a unification of body, mind and spirit acquired through practicing the yoga exercises and techniques. Learn more within this guide.

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