Take your yoga practice into the outdoors with these mini yoga flows from YogaRu
Summer is the perfect time to take the brave step of rolling your mat out and getting your flow on. These mini yoga flows will work anytime of the day but starting your morning off with your practice, before the business of the day takes over, is a great way to build the healthy habit into your daily routine. Getting up that extra few minutes early is much more palatable when the sun is shining outside!
You might even find you got a taste for outdoor yoga at this year’s Wellfest festival and bring your practice outdoors into your garden or your local park. You can also practice these mini flows on your summer holidays. They are the perfect way to stay active, while still getting all the benefits of your relaxing holiday vibes.
These four mini flows will give you a little bit of everything you need for the coming summer months.
Salute to the sun
The sun brings out the best in us and for that we salute it. This sequence has lots of standing poses with arms reaching for the sky. Standing poses are very strengthening to the legs, core and glutes. With the addition of the arms reaching, waking up the shoulders and the arms, you are getting a full body workout. They are also great for getting the circulation going and building focus, concentration and stamina. The standing poses, where one leg is lifted, will strengthen and stabilise the ankles and knees and are valuable support if you are a seasoned runner.
Starting the day off with this sequence will set you up for whatever the day has in store for you. It’s hard to not feel a burst of energy in the afterglow of poses like Wild Thing and Half Moon. They are challenging poses that require balance, concentration and a small leap of faith! Wild thing has the added benefit of being an inversion (where the heart is above the head) and eases stress, tension and anxiety. It also boosts the immune system; aids good digestion; increases circulation; and most importantly, gives you that yogi glow! There is also a healthy splattering of twists and side bends in this sequence which are very energising. Anytime you’re feeling tired sit up tall and take a twist to wake yourself up again.
Backbends are the perfect summer poses. It feels really good to open up the chest and shoulders after months of guarding ourselves from the cold weather. Backbends are energising. They also aid good digestion; ease stress, tension, anxiety, fatigue, depression; and boost the immune system. On top of that already impressive list of benefits, they press and stimulate the colon and help you stay ‘regular’ over the summer months. Look for strength in the whole extent of the back body in locust pose to counteract all the sitting you might do through your day.
So we may not always need cooling down on your average Irish summer’s day but this sequence is also very calming and soothing. Forward bends ease insomnia stress, tension and anxiety and are very relaxing and calming. If you’ve had a busy day and your mind is rushing this is the sequence for you. It can also be practiced in the morning if you wake up feeling less than refreshed. Spend a few minutes in your shoulder stand and feel the effect of the reverse of blood flow through the body.
Ruth Delahunty is a 200hr Yoga Alliance certified teacher and founder of Yogaru.ie, a yoga lifestyle website that promotes a yoga way of living both on and off the mat. For more information visit yogaru.ie.