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Posted by on Jan 1, 2017

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Two. Move.

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Two. Move.

Welcome to Day Two! Let’s move!

The word Vinyasa has many definitions. It is generally considered the linking of movement to breath. But it can also describe a flowing, dynamic style of yoga practice or a particular sequence used to transition between postures (usually Plank, Chaturanga Dandasana, Up-Dog, Down-Dog). It can also mean setting your intention for your personal yoga practice and taking the necessary steps toward your intention. For the purpose of our 21-Day Challenge, let’s go with linking breath to movement, moving in flow, and connecting to intention.

Today we’ll take yesterday’s Kapalabhati Pranayama breathing practice into motion. Please begin your practice with the Kapalabhati Pranayama we explored yesterday, but with a few postures added before Savasana. You can either go to the blog post here or just check the quick recap below.

Here’s a description of how to perform today’s Vinyasa:

After several rounds of Kapalabhati Pranayama on your heels, push yourself back to Child’s Pose (Balasana in Sanskrit) and take several breaths resting your forehead on the mat or on your stacked hands in front of you. Collapse into this pose. Notice deeply.

After several breaths, curl your toes under, engage your abdominal muscles, and on an exhale, lift your torso and push yourself back to downward dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). This may be a shorter downward dog than you usually, do. That’s ok, we won’t be here for long.

On your next inhale, come back to Table pose. Then exhale back to Child’s Pose. Move back and forth in this way several times. Keeping your breath even and smooth.

Inhale to Table
Exhale to Down-Dog
Inhale to Table
Exhale to Child’s Pose

Inhale as you move forward, exhale as you move backward. Make your breaths deep and long; make your movements last the length of each breath. Move very deliberately and in sync with your breath.

Here is the short version of today’s practice:

  • Take a comfortable seat
  • Close your eyes, Bring your attention inward
  • Inhale, lengthen the spine, Exhale, keep that length
  • Notice
  • Continue in this way for 10 or 20 breaths
  • Open your eyes and move to a kneeling position (sit back on your heels)
  • Perform Kapalabhati for 20-50 breaths, Repeat (as you like)
  • Come to Child’s pose, feel the effects of Kapalabhati
  • Come up to Table, then move with breath:  Table > Down Dog > Table > Child’s Pose…
    Repeat Five times (or as many or few times as you like)
  • From your last Table, let yourself back to a comfortable seated posture
  • Savasana