Show up to your practice with love. (+ 45 minute sequence)

Next time you unroll your mat, ask yourself what place love has in your practice.

Showing up is often the hardest part of just about everything we do.  This includes getting to the yoga studio (or gym) and walking those steps into the room where you’ll be asked for the 10,000th time to breathe, let go, or hold for just another moment.  By being willing to show up for ourselves, and for whatever the day might bring, it will become just a little easier to show up for others; for our coworkers, our friends, our loved ones.  We don’t usually think about it day-to-day, but it’s kind of amazing that we get to be here at all, living, breathing and challenging our bodies.  Let’s start today’s practice acknowledging how great it is to be here.  Lessening the harsh judgments we often pronounce on our own bodies, and beginning to let love fill in those same spaces.

studio stairs

Each Tuesday I teach a 6:15 AM class.  I struggle to drag my sleepy ass out of my cozy, warm bed and over to the coffeemaker, asking myself “why did I agree to such torture?”  

And then I arrive to class to see 9 dedicated students, week after week, who graciously allow me to guide them through 45 minutes something totally new to them.  Each one of them inspires me as they show up with energy, willingness and courage to leave their comfort zone, and dedication to take care of their bodies.  They are willing to try new things that aren’t always (or usually) easy.

Here’s the 45 minute sequence we did today, focusing on shoulder-opening, and inspired by a class I took with the wonderful Malik Wilson at the new Dhyana Yoga SEVA Center.


  • Start seated, on one or two blocks.  Knees below the hips.  Close the eyes.  Stir your “pot of energy” with some loosey-goosey movements—circling to the right (x3) and then the left (x3)
  • Find a stationary seat. Inhale to ground the sitting bones.  Take hands to the low back, finger tips pointed up.  Send the breath into that space, removing the exaggerated arch of the low-back.  Work your hands around to your belly—noting the transverse abdominals that hug the body here, belly pulling in.  Sit tall.  Deep en the breath.
  • Cat/Cow—lengthen the inhale and exhale more than before
  • DownDog (lazy dog to pedal out and breathe, then come to stillness)
  • Leg Lift, Open hip, Low Lunge, Twist*

Awakening, Vitality (Sun Salutations and Warrior)

  • Sun A (x 3) –use a block at the front of the mat to help from dipping the shoulders too low in low push-ups
  • Sun B:
    • Uttka with hands interlaced behind the back (v)
    • Warrior 1 (v) *
    • Uttka with hands interlaced (opposite thumb on top) (v)
      • Low lunge, pulse on exhale to fold over straight legs (x3)
      • Hop back foot in to Pyramid, cow-face arms , fold nose to knee
      • Option to lift back leg to Airplane with cow-face arms
      • Option to open to Revolved Half-Moon, release back foot, heel to ground
      • Triangle
      • Extended Side Angle with half bind
      • Standing straddle fold with reverse mudra
      • Side lunge on both sides
      • Pivot to low lunge, Lizard
      • Side Plank (v)*
    • Uttka to Boat (if there is time)
    • Child’s pose, then tabletop

Backbends, Hips and Closing

  • Forearm plank (5 breaths)
  • Sphinx to rest
  • Forearm plank to Dolphin
  • Child’s Pose
  • Come seated, Tabletop, lower to belly
  • Locust x2 with shoulder-opening arm variations (hands by low ribs, elbows towards one another, then hands interlaced at low back)
  • Bow
  • DownDog or Child’s pose
  • Seated forward fold
  • Reverse plank
  • Bridge
  • Supine Pigeon *
  • Hug in, expel to Savasana

*: repeat on other side

(v): vinyasa (high to low plank, updog/cobra, back to downdog)


2 thoughts on “Show up to your practice with love. (+ 45 minute sequence)

  1. Pingback: yoga AND bootcamp | onlyhalfcrazy

  2. Pingback: Series: Top Five Vinyasa Sequences – #5 | A Cup o' Yoga

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