HOHO flow: Heart Opening for the HOlidays

It’s that time again! CafeGanesha is traveling around the triangle, making pit stops on the way at some amazing yoga studios and spaces, connecting with the local yogis and yoginis, and shining the spotlight on the pockets of light that shine so brightly all over our geographic area. This go ’round we are visiting Blue Point Yoga in Durham, by Duke University and Duke Medical Center for a heart opening flow specifically suited for both recharging your batteries (which admittedly may be depleted this busy time of year) as well making space for compassion, grace, introspection and honesty. “Opening your heart” to these ideas implies both receptivity to love and intimacy in our relationships with ourselves, our friends, our family, and the world at large.

Just as you can practice heart opening in your thoughts and emotions, you can also experience opening the heart space in your physical body. This sequence will warm the spine and clear space for you to dive deep into Ustrasana, camel pose. If you are authentically ready to enter some advance backbending this sequence will prepare you to dive in to the shakti driven waters of our BONUS SEGMENT including Ustrasana, Urdvha Dhanurasana, Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana,and so much more. To see and experience the advanced backbending segment click HERE to flow with Lindsay!

How to proceed:
Watch the video through from top to bottom once, twice, several times before following the flow. Because the pace is a wee bit fast I recommend looking to the pictures below and following them with your breath and your rhythm. Column one represents the first option for the flow which is less intense in the body allowing for more concentration on breath patterns, option two dives a bit deeper in Column 2, and Column 3 represents option 3. As always feel free to mix and match. Once you have slowly integrated every pose into your practice turn on the video after several rounds of a Sun Salutation of choice to warm the body and follow along! MAKE SURE TO DO ON EACH SIDE πŸ˜‰ — Close your practice out with some supine hip opening, twisting, or whatever feels organic in your body in the moment. Savasana awaits you with your heart wide open and your prana battery recharged!

(if you would like to view a larger version of each shape, click on the picture to enlarge)

Tadasana- Mountain Pose (with Lotus Mudra)

Tadasana- Mountain Pose (with Lotus Mudra)

Tadasana- Mountain Pose (with Lotus Mudra)

Utkatasana-hands in lotus mudra

Utkatasana-hands in lotus mudra

Utkatasana-hands in lotus mudra

Parivritta Utkatasana- hand to opposite knee and sacrum

Parivritta Utkatasana- hooked elbows

Parivritta Utkatasana- arms wide open

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana---maintain hand and arm position from parivritta utkatasana.

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana---maintain hand and arm position from parivritta utkatasana.

Parivrtta Anjaneyasana---maintain hand and arm position from parivritta utkatasana.

Anjaneyasana-Crescent Lunge (hands to heart in lotus mudra)

Anjaneyasana-Crescent Lunge (hands overhead in lotus mudra, spine stacked)

Anjaneyasana-Crescent Lunge (hands extended overhead, tail bone rooting, heart lifting and shining up to the light)

Lunge with back heel dropped (Warrior feet)

Lunge with back heel dropped (Warrior feet)

Lunge with back heel dropped (Warrior feet)

Side Angle-Reaching towards the light (elbow to knee version)

Side Angle-Reaching towards the light (hand to block version)

Side Angle-Reaching towards the light (hand to floor version version)

Utthita Parsvakonasana-(Extended Side Angle)

Utthita Parsvakonasana-(Extended Side Angle)

Utthita Parsvakonasana-(Extended Side Angle)

High Skandasana- hands to heart, soles of both feet down

Low Skandasana- hands to heart, extended leg has toes lifted

Low Skandasana- arms extended, extended leg has toes lifted

High Skandasana- hand to knee and opposite hand reaching to sky. Press in to the knee to release tension in the hip flexor and extend energy to the opposite wrist across the heart space

Low Skandasana with half bind- press the tricep into the shin to open the heart to the sky, reach the opposite to the sky and lengthen wrist to wrist, soften the shoulders to lengthen the neck

Low Skandasana BIND- arms bind around bent knee at the shin, press into shin to open the heart to the sky, soften the shoulders to lengthen the neck, both heels press into the earth

Malasana (wide yogic squat) - hands in lotus mudra at the heart

Malasana (wide yogic squat) - hands in lotus mudra overhead

Malasana (wide yogic squat) - hands clasped behind, heart lifting, throat open, neck long

Low Lunge

Low Lunge

Low Lunge

Plank

Plank

Plank

Vasisthasana (side plank)- knee down variation

Vasisthasana (side plank) with starfish legs

Vasisthasana (side plank) w/ Tree Legs (foot rests above or below knee only!)

Knee coiling to chest in plank

Knee coiling to chest in plank

Knee coiling to chest in plank

Scissor legs Vasisthasana

Scissor legs Vasisthasana- bottom foot hovering

Scissor legs Vasisthasana- bottom leg extended towards head

3 Legged Down Dog

3 Legged Down Dog

3 Legged Down Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward Dog

Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward Dog

Utanasana (forward fold)- soft bend in the knees

Utanasana (forward fold)

Padangusthasana (big toe stretch)

Toe Stand- hands to heart

Toe Stand- arms over head

Toe Stand- palms together overhead

Ustrasana (Camel) with bolster (stacked towels are another option)

Ustrasana- toes tucked variation

Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Toe Stand- hands to heart

Toe Stand- arms over head

Toe Stand- palms together overhead

Utanasana (forward fold)- soft bend in the knees

Utanasana (forward fold)

Padangusthasana (big toe stretch)

Tadasana- Mountain Pose (with Lotus Mudra)

Tadasana- Mountain Pose (with Lotus Mudra)

Tadasana- Mountain Pose (with Lotus Mudra)

So much gratitude to our Yoginis: Anne-Marie, Deborah, Lucia, and Lindsay for 6 hours of filming done with grace and humor. Thank you also to Heba Salama Photography and Julie Nickle videographer for amazing work and generosity in service. Finally thank you to Blue Point Yoga for allowing us to use the space and flow with the good energy that lives there.

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2 Comments

Filed under Fav Flows, Local Yogals, Yoga Around the Triangle

2 responses to “HOHO flow: Heart Opening for the HOlidays

  1. Pingback: Advanced Backbending at Blue Point | Cafe Ganesha

  2. Pingback: 2011′s greatest hits from Cafe Ganesha | Cafe Ganesha

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