I love this standing sequence of poses. There’s a bit of a Warrior theme going on, and it contains all the ingredients for a well-rounded practice with a forward bend, backward bend, twist, lateral stretch and balance. Perfect for any time of day. Either flow with your breath, and move from one pose to another every time you exhale or stay for up to six breaths in each posture. Enjoy a sense of sthirasukhaasanam, feeling steady and firm, yet also experiencing a sense of ease and lightness.
1. Before you begin you may want to do some simple limbering moves, then when you’re ready stand in mountain pose, feet hip distance apart. Bring your hands together into prayer position.
2. Inhale and extend your arms upwards and arch back, exhaling into a Forward Fold. Knees can be soft and your hands can be on the floor, feet, shins or knees.
Stay here for several breaths or exhale and step your left leg back into Crescent Moon pose. Both arms can be raised in line with your ears, or resting on your right knee.
3. Drop down into a low lunge and take a resting breath or two, then exhale into a Forward Bend over the right leg. Look back to your left foot which should be flat on the floor. If your hamstrings are tight, soften your right knee.
4. Exhale into Triangle pose. Try to keep both legs strong and straight. Have the right hand resting against the lower right leg and the left arm reaching up to the sky. Don’t worry if your right hand isn’t on the ground.
5. Press your left foot firmly into the floor, bend the right knee keeping it over the ankle, exhale and lift up into Warrior 2, extending your arms out to the sides. Turn your head to look over the right hand.
6. Keeping your lower body still, exhale and drop your left arm down and raise the right arm up into Reverse Warrior. Breathe into the right side.
7. Exhale and tip over to the right, coming into Side Angle Pose. Maybe sink down a little more in your right knee and drop your hand down to the ground by your foot, or rest your elbow on your knee. Reach your left hand up to the ceiling, or extend your arm forward over your ear. Breathe into the left side and allow it to open.
8. Exhale and turn to look at your right foot, coming into a Forward Bend over the right leg again. See if your forehead can rest on your right shin and look back at your left foot.
9. Keep your left hand where it is, exhale and lift your right hand up into Revolved Triangle. Press both feet into the floor and draw your naval in, engaging your abdominal muscles to help stabilise you. Exhale back into the Forward Bend to exit.
10. Move from the Forward Bend into Warrior 1, bending the right knee and allowing the weight to come into the left heel as you lift your arms overhead in this simple standing backbend. Try bringing the hands together, but if your shoulders are stiff they may be more comfortable apart.
11. If you want to include a balance, move from Warrior 1 into Half Moon Pose. Exhale as you bend forward, then lift the left leg and extend it back. Flex your heel. When you’re ready, raise your left hand and then look up. Exit by lowering your hand, then your leg, and come into a forward fold with the legs together.
12. Inhale and stand up raising the arms up and overhead, before exhaling into Mountain Pose, with your hands in prayer position. If you’ve left out Half Moon Pose, you can simply step forward from Warrior 1 and then lower your arms.
Take a rest for a few breaths if you want and then repeat leading on the other side. Do several rounds if you want, and maybe do some simple lying poses before coming into Savasana.