It’s the second month of the New Year and...about that time our resolutions start slipping through the cracks. According to Forbes, “less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.” Depressing? Slightly. But discouraging? Not quite yet!
So, what do we do when our #NewYearNewYou energy starts to wear off? It’s time to look at our resolutions from a different perspective - and we’re here to help.
How To Reset Your Resolutions with an At-Home Yoga Flow:
One of the most common reasons we break our New Year intentions is that we get a little over ambitious when we make them. As a result, most of us can easily blame our busy schedules for our lack of follow-through.
Take yoga, for example. The ancient practice of yoga has been proven to boost both physical and mental well-being — it’s no wonder this form of exercise is such a common theme in our resolutions for self-improvement. But, while there are invaluable benefits to taking yoga at a local studio, there is also a lot to be said for practicing at home!
If you don’t live close to a studio, or you’re the on-the-go type who struggles to make time for a regular class, doing yoga at home can help you fit the practice seamlessly into your life. It’s also an incredible way to make your New Year’s Resolution way more attainable.
We reached our to our local Sangha Studio for a private class with the founder, Caitlin Pascucci. Sangha is a studio that prides itself on community and making yoga accessible for everyone. During this class, we learned how to reset our intention for the New Year, at home every week - we loved it so much we had to share with you!
Read on for our special Sangha Flow that can be practiced anywhere, anytime.
Step 1: Seated Pose
Try 3 minutes of quiet breathing at the beginning and end of any practice (or, throughout your day when you need a quick reset!)
This is a great pose to begin and end a practice with. This can be done in a chair, on your couch, at your work desk...wherever! Chose a sitting position where the spine is upright and you are able to take some deep breaths. At the beginning of a practice (no matter how long it is) it can help us settle in and ground down mentally. At the end of a practice, it can help us re-integrate into whatever else we have to do afterwards. This pose is also a great way to take a minute and check in with yourself - and bring your New Year intentions back to mind.
Step 2: Seated Bend & Twists
Twists & bends are poses that squeeze and massage your organs. Detoxifications on a regular basis is so important.
This is a great way to get the spine moving, but without needing to stand up just yet. These Seated Spinal Twists and Bends help to release energy from deep within the body. The sequence helps increase flexibility throughout the spine, shoulders, and chest, as well as stimulates your digestive organs to aid in dextoxification.
Step 3: Cat-Cow
Inhale and tilt your pelvis back for cow pose, then exhale and tuck your tailbone for cat pose. It's a simple and effective way to get your spine moving.
The Cat-Cow stretch is a simple and effective way to get your spine moving and to help improve circulation in the discs in your back. It's a basic motion, but one that can be incredibly beneficial in preventing back pain and maintaining a healthy spine, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting. It is also believed to be a good stress-reliever and calming pose as you link the movements with your breathing.
Fire up the core and start to build some internal heat with these leg extension poses. Make sure to press back to downward dog in between sides.
At the beginner level, Tabletop Leg Extensions can be practiced to bring stability and flexibility, while engaging the core and different muscles throughout your legs and hips. This pose sequence helps build core body strenth and lengthens the spine, while helping improve balance and coordination.
Step 5: Downward Dog to Chaturanga
A great pose to move through Vinyasa and find the concept of linking the breath and body - while engaging the core!
Transitioning from Downward Dog through Chaturanga to Upward Dog is a beautiful Vinyasa Flow. It strengthens and tones the wrists, arms, abdominal muscles, and lower back. For more ambitious yogis, it prepares the body for more challenging arm balances.
Step 6: Sun Salutation
A series of Sun Salutations increase the vital energy of prana in your body - it's a simple cardiovascular exercise benefiting the whole body.
This is probably the most common part of a standard flow class, so it sets you up to go to any class and is also a great way to get up and get moving! Practice this flow by breathing in deeply and releasing unwanted baggage, while focusing on the intention you've set. It's a simple yet incredibly beneficial series to remove energy blockages.
Step 7: Warrior Twist
The Warrior 1 pose is a combination of strength and balance - plus it just feels so powerful! Pair it with a twist, and you'll get all the internal benefits to detoxify vital organs of the mid-body.
The Warrior 1 pose blends softness and strength. This posture will strengthen your legs and back while opening your hip flexor and chest muscles. If you add in a twist, you'll really feel this in your lower back, abs, and chest. This also aids in focus and balance. A true #powerstance.
Step 8: Reclined Twist to Savasana
Lie on your back. Drop the knees to the left and stretch your arms along the floor. Look over your right shoulder, then repeat on the other side.
A Reclined Spinal Twist is a great way to cool down after moving, and helps release the spine because of the twist. Transition into Savasana (resting pose) is a nice, quiet way to close out your practice. Savasana gives your body the permission to just be. With mindful breathing, this quiet pose releases tension and grounds the body in a relaxed state to move forward into the day (and the rest of the year!) with a refreshed outlook.
All About Sangha
If you're local to Vermont, check out award-winning Sangha Studio. The word "Sangha" translates from the Sanskrit language as "community", and that is what they are fully. This nonprofit, donation-based studio's core mission is to build an empowered community through the shared practice of yoga, in a space where you feel fully supported and encouraged in your practice.