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Enlighten the Body With This Simple Hatha Yoga Sequence

This well-rounded Hatha yoga sequence starts off with classical Hatha Sun Salutations, moves through steady holds in poses that twist the spine in all directions, and finishes off with pranayama to calm the mind.

So, what is the difference between a Hatha yoga sequence and other yoga styles?

While most share the same postures, the overriding trend in modern yoga is variations of Surya Namaskar A and B that are woven together in a flow.

In Hatha yoga, Sun Salutations are simply used as a warm-up. The poses that follow are generally held for longer than they are in other styles: from 30 seconds to several minutes. This Hatha yoga sequence gives the body time to settle into the posture and the mind a chance to go inward.

Sun Salutations

Moving the spine in all directions, this classic Sun Salutation is considered the best way to warm up the spine and body. It is also a great way to start off any Hatha yoga sequence.

Sanskrit: Surya Namaskar

Step by step:

  • 1. Stand with your feet hip distance apart. Exhale and bring your palms to prayer.
  • 2. Inhale and reach up, bending your back slightly.
  • 3. Exhale and fold forward, bringing your palms to the floor on either sides of your feet.
  • 4. Inhale and step your right foot back, lower your knee to the floor, and lengthen your spine.
  • 5. Hold your breath and step your left foot back to Plank pose.
  • 6. Exhale and lower your knees, chest, and chin to the floor.
  • 7. Inhale and scoop forward into Cobra pose.
  • 8. Exhale and push back to Downward-Facing Dog.
  • 9. Inhale and step your right foot forward. Exhale and step your left foot forward.
  • 10. Inhale and rise into a backbend.
  • 11. Exhale and return your hands to prayer. Repeat the entire sequence, stepping the left foot back and forward.
  • 12. This completes one round. Practice four to 10 rounds.

Shoulderstand pose

Beautiful sporty girl doing yoga exercises for abs strength, Supported Shoulderstand asana, Salamba Sarvangasana

Inverting the body brings a fresh supply of blood to the brain, making this pose mentally revitalizing and physically relaxing.

Sanskrit: Sarvangasana

Step by step:

  • 1. Lie on your back with your legs together.
  • 2. Inhale and in one movement, bend your knees toward your chest to reach your feet toward the sky. Support your lower back with your hands, fingers pointing up.
  • 3. Draw your elbows toward one another and walk your hands toward your shoulders as needed. Keep your legs together and feet relaxed.
  • 4. Hold this pose for up to a minute or more.

Plow pose

 

Plow pose is a great stretch for the spine. At the same time, it stimulates digestion by compressing the abdominal organs.

Sanskrit: Halasana

Step by step:

  • 1. From Shoulderstand pose, keep your hands on your back and lower your feet to the floor behind your head.
  • 2. If your feet touch the ground, interlace your fingers on the floor and use this grip to shimmy your shoulders underneath you. Try to keep your feet together and legs straight.
  • 3. Hold this pose for up to a minute.

Bridge pose

 

Bridge pose makes an excellent counter pose to Shoulderstand pose as the mid and lower spine are stretched in the opposite direction. When combined with Fish pose, the three poses balance each other perfectly.

Sanskrit: Setubandhasana

Step by step:

  • 1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hip distance wide. Keep your feet near your bottom.
  • 2. With your arms by your sides and palms on the floor, inhale and lift your hips toward the sky. Take it a step further by interlacing your fingers on the floor and using this grip to shimmy your shoulders underneath you.
  • 3. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.

Fish pose

 

Fish pose improves breathing by opening the chest and relieves constipation by stretching the abdominal region.

Sanskrit: Matsayasana

Step by step:

  • 1. Lie on your back with feet together, arms by your sides. Place your hands under your bottom, palms facing down.
  • 2. Inhale and push your elbows into the floor while lifting your chest to the sky. Gently rest on the top of your head, keeping most of your weight on your elbows.
  • 3. Stay in the pose for up to a minute.

Half Lord of the Fishes pose

 

Twists are extremely beneficial for the entire digestive process. When released after a good long hold, they bring a fresh supply of blood to the internal organs.

Sanskrit: Ardha Matsyendrasana

Step by step:

  • 1. Sit with your legs folded underneath you. Shift your hips to the right, and place your left foot just outside your right knee, knee bent and foot flat on the floor.
  • 2. With your left fingertips on the floor behind you, inhale and reach your right hand to the sky. Exhale, bend the arm, and place your elbow against your right knee. Twist to the left.
  • 3. Hold this pose for up to a minute. Repeat on the opposite side.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Calm beautiful girl practicing hatha yoga nadi shodhana pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing), sitting cross-legged in Easy Pose, Sukhasana, meditation, Vishnu mudra, copy space

An extremely relaxing exercise, this breathwork alternates respiration between the left and right nostrils. This balances the energy between the left and right brain, bringing tranquility to the mind.

Sanskrit: Anuloma Viloma Pranayama

Step by step:

  • 1. Sit in a comfortable position, spine tall. Bring your right hand into Vishnu mudra: index and middle fingers tucked toward the palm, other fingers extended.
  • 2. Close your right nostril with your thumb and slowly and gently inhale through the left nostril. Close the left nostril with your ring finger, then slowly and gently exhale through the right nostril. Inhale through the right, close with the thumb, then exhale through the left. This is one round.
  • 3. Practice five to 10 rounds; all breaths smooth and without strain.
  • 4. Altogether, this Hatha yoga sequence takes around 20 minutes to complete. Add in more Sun Salutations or some standing poses such as Tree pose and Eagle pose to elongate this Hatha yoga sequence, and don’t forget to spend some time resting in Savasana to finish it off.

Julie Bernier
Julie Bernier
Julie Bernier teaches women the art of self-care so that they feel their healthiest and happiest in their own unique bodies. This holistic approach to individualized wellness is rooted in the ancient Indian knowledge of ayurveda: a complete medical science and way of life which explains that our wellbeing blossoms when we align ourselves with nature. Julie is a registered ayurvedic practitioner by the Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America (AAPNA), a Certified Massage Therapist, and a classical hatha yoga teacher. She studied each of these modalities in the US and straight from the source in India. Connect with Julie at trueayurveda.com, on Instagram, or on Facebook. True Ayurveda, Facebook, or Instagram.

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