Vinyasa Basic Flow with jumpbacks

“Vinyasa” in Sanskrit, the original language of yoga, means simply “to place in a special way.” In this form of a Vinyasa, the postures of the Sun Salutation are joined in a flowing cycle which warms the body from the inside out, stretches the spine, muscles and internal organs. By joining each of the asana in the Salutation cycle with breath and linking the postures with controlled levitation called “jumpbacks,” the entire cycle becomes a seamless flow of breath and movement to anchor the mind. Ujayii Pranayam is maintained throughout by ever so slightly toning the vocal folds to provide for a gentle and metered breath which only you can hear, like the sound of the ocean in a conch shell.

Jumpbacks are used instead of stepping back, which you can always substitute to rest or make the process more gentle. In the Sun Salutation cycle, after the forward bend you step back through Lunge and then to Plank, and then from Downward Facing Dog you step first one foot, then the other up to your hands. For a vinyasa, you can take both feet back at the same time by transferring your weight to your hands momentarily, supporting your torso with your core as you mindfully extend your legs and place your toes, turned under, on the ground for Plank. This is a “jump” only in that your feet are off the ground momentarily.

Things you might want to have handy: Yoga Mat, Yoga Towel or Blanket


It is recommended to perform the warm-up before starting this routine.


Step 1: Mountain

Duration: exhale
Pose Review: Mountain Pose

Engage your core, focus on your breath and press your feet evenly into the ground as you lengthen through your tailbone and lift your sternum. Smile!


Step 2: Raised Hands Pose

Duration: inhale
Pose Review: Raised Hands Pose


Sweep your arms up and overhead with a gentle lift of your chest while your core steadies your spine and lower body; hands come together over your crown.


Step 3: Awkward Chair Pose
Duration: exhale-inhale
Pose Review: Awkward Chair Pose

Sit back and down so your weight is over your heels as your fingertips reach up, shoulders back and chest lifted.


Step 4: Forward Bend
Duration: exhale
Pose Review: Forward Bend

Lower your torso to your thighs as you straighten your legs, keeping your belly lifted and legs engaged. Reach your fingers to the floor.


Step 5: Now Look up

Duration: inhale

Offering your heart forward, use your core to lengthen your spine with your hands on the floor and transfer your weight to your hands.

    
Step 6-7: Plank-Four Limbed Staff Pose
Duration: exhale
Pose Review: Plank, Four Limbed Staff Pose

Lightly spring back to Plank pose by lifting through your core and bandhas and extending your legs behind you. Immediately bend your elbows back and close to your ribcage while maintaining the integrity of your spine. Shoulders stay in the back plane of the body without rounding forward, head stays inline with the spine, neck neutral and face relaxed.

    
Step 8: Upward Facing Dog
Duration: inhale
Pose Review: Upward Facing Dog

Drawing your heart forward, roll over your toes until the tops of your feet are on the ground with your toes pointed. Engage your core to ease your low back and keep a neutral neck and soft face.


Step 9: Downward Facing Dog
Duration: exhale + 5 breaths
Pose Review: Downward Facing Dog

Lifting your hips back and up, drop your heart while extending your arms. This is where you rest to regain your steady breath if you feel overextended. You can also drop to your knees for Child’s pose if you need more rest.


Step 10: Forward Bend

Duration: exhale
Pose Review: Forward Bend

Prepare on the 5th inhale in Down Dog by bending your knees a lot and looking forward to where you want your feet to land. With extended, strong arms, on the exhale spring forward as much from the engagement of your core and bandhas as from springing off your toes. Transfer your weight to your hands while you draw your knees in and up and lightly land your feet between your hands.


Step 11-12: Awkward Chair Pose - Up Hands
Duration: inhale
Pose Review: Awkward Chair Pose

Dropping your hips back and down, weight centered over heels, wave your heart up through your core and reach your arms out by your ears. Immediately press the Earth away with your feet to extend your legs, lift your heart and arms to the sky.

Perform as many repetitions of this cycle as you’d like by returning to Step 1: Mountain Pose. Always finish with an exhalation in Mountain Pose. Continue only as long as your breath remains steady and unforced through your nose. If you begin to become winded and your breath loud or ragged, stop, rest and regain your focus before continuing to the next asana in the cycle.


Perform the relaxation sequence to complete this routine.


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