A generic class

Here is a generic yoga practice for my weekly students. This is an easy-to-follow class for any occasion.

Begin in the short relaxation. Think of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Stretches and warm-ups, then on to all fours for the cat pose. Check that the wrists are below the shoulders, the knees below the hips, the feet flat. Use cat stretch and breath. Be mindful of the spine. Focus.

Rest in swan.

Back to all fours. Count through the breath. 1/2 as you fill the abdomen, 3/4 as you fill the ribs, 5/6 as you fill the chest. Then 1/2 as you empty the abdomen, 3/4 as you empty the ribs, 5/6 as you empty the chest.

Rest in swan.

Now add a leg movement in your cat position. As you breathe out, bring your right knee into touch your nose. As you breathe in, extend your right leg behind and the head looks up. Repeat several times. Now repeat with the left leg.

Rest in swan.

Move into swan-cat-dog sequence. In breath is always in cat. Repeat several times. Use ujjayi breath, if you are familiar with it. Then come to stand through dog pose.

Standing in mountain, perform the tree of life breath. 9 times in each direction.

Now take your hands to your hips for forward bend. If possible, tuck your fingers under your toes.

Rest in mountain.

Take your hands to your lower buttocks for an assisted backward bend. Work with awareness. Repeat twice more.

Rest in mountain.

Now extend the arms and work with standing twist. On an out breath, twist to the right, bend the left elbow and place the left hand on the right shoulder. Gaze towards the right fingertips. Repeat to the left and continue many times.

Rest in mountain.

Try the tree balance. Remember to find a gaze point to keep you steady.

Rest in mountain.

Return to the mat through the squat.

Kneel for cool downs.

Prepare for meditation. With eyes closed and hands in chin mudra, imagine the sound SO as you breath in and HAM as you breathe out. Repeat.

Prepare for relaxation. Run through the 22 body part relaxation. Begin at the toes, finish at the forehead. Repeat.

Finish your relaxation by rolling onto one side.

OM Shanti Shanti Shanti

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