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The New Year Yoga Sequence That Trumps Resolutions

For many of us in the yogasphere, the New Year is just a continuation of the work we have already been doing. As yoga practitioners, we don’t go out to buy a gym membership, or lace up a new pair of running shoes. Instead, we head to the mat—as we do year in and year out. But as resolutions swirl around us, this is a great time to make a recommitment to our practice.

January vibes are all about a fresh start. This simple New Year’s yoga sequence will help us to ground in our intentions and create a great foundation for the year ahead.

Cow/Cat stretch

cow pose
Much of our alignment comes from the spine, so these classic opening postures help set us up for what’s ahead.

Step by step:
cat pose

  • From all fours, inhale and drop your belly.
  • Gaze upwards, as you broaden your collarbones to find Cow pose (Bitilasana).
  • On an exhalation, come into Cat pose (Marjaryasana) by rounding your spine and gazing towards your navel to stretch the back.
  • Repeat Cow pose and Cat pose five times each. Breathe as you make each movement.

Chair pose (Utkatasana)

ChairPoseThis strong pose grounds the legs and feet and strengthens the core.

Step by step:

  • Starting in Mountain pose (Tadasana), extend the arms up with the palms facing each other.
  • Bend the knees and drop your hips.
  • Let your torso move forward, so it forms a right angle with the tops of your thighs.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and firm up your lower belly by drawing your navel towards your spine.
  • Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute, counting to five for each inhale and exhale.

Warrior Two (Virabhadrasana II)

warrior II pose
This grounded pose strengthens the legs, stretches the shoulders, and helps with digestion.

Step by step:

  • Start standing in Tadasana at the top of your mat.
  • Step the left foot backwards three to four feet in front of your left.
  • Extend your arms out to the sides with the palms down.
  • Turn the right foot forwards, so the toes face the top of the mat and the left toes face left.
  • Bend deeply into the right knee, so it is at a 90-degree angle.
  • Align your heels and keep your shoulders over your pelvis.
  • Stay here for five to 10 breaths. Come up to standing and repeat on the left side.

Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclining Bound Angle yoga PoseThis groin opener targets the root chakra—grounding us firmly in our bodies.

Step by step:

  • Lay on your back and bring the soles of your feet to touch, knees splayed open.
  • Think about bringing the hip points together to widen the lower back.
  • Allow your arms to rest along your sides with palms facing upward.

Modify: If there is a lot of sensation, you can place blocks or bolsters underneath the knees to make this pose more restorative. Lay here for up to five minutes with eyes closed.

Corpse pose (Savasana)

corpse pose
Savasana triggers the body’s relaxation response calming the nervous system and lowering blood pressure.

Step by step:

  • Lay flat on your back and extend your arms by your sides—hands next to your hips with your palms facing upwards.
  • Widen your feet slightly more than hip-width distance. Alternatively, if your lower back bothers you when legs are extended, place a bolster underneath your knees to reduce any pressure.
  • Cover eyes with a small towel or eye pillow.
  • Stay here for five minutes. Gently roll to your right side and then slowly move into a seated position. Take a few breaths to center yourself.

We are now grounded, reconnected to our bodies, and ready for the year ahead.

Amy Dannheim
Amy Dannheim
A creative leader in the Miami yoga community, Amy Dannheim is passionate about yoga, plant-based recipes and healthy living. With her degree in journalism from the University of Florida, Amy is a yoga writer and blogger as well as the co-host for Radio 1Om8, a weekly live yoga radio show. After years of working with lululemon, Amy established herself as the go-to person for yoga consulting in Miami, with her finger on the pulse of the yoga community. When she’s not strategizing or cooking, Amy teaches dynamic vinyasa yoga classes that are layered with hip-hop and spirituality, drawing inspiration from her frequent travels. Amy sits on the Green Monkey Yoga teacher training faculty and leads regular workshops and innovative events throughout South Florida. Amy is also a VitaCoco and Funky Yoga ambassador and has appeared on the pages of Wall Street Journal, on lululemon.com and shape.com. She lives in Miami Beach with her husband and fellow yogi, Mike, where they run their bike centric community & clothing company Purdy Ave. Follow her blog at www.miamyyoga.com or find her adventures on Instagram @miamy.

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