Halloween season is here! It’s time to get creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky! 2020 may already feel like we’re living in a bad horror film – but celebrating makes life feel a little closer to normal!
Halloween parties and festivals cancelled? Trick or treating cancelled? No worries – you can still get festive, at least with your yoga practice!
So throw on your cat suit, your Spiderman onesie, or whatever costume you choose this year, roll out your mat, and let’s get weird!
This yoga practice is great for celebrating Halloween, great for teachers to incorporate into their holiday classes, AND great to help ease the too-much-candy-stomach aches! Bonus is that it’s also totally kid friendly and these fun poses will keep your little ones interested in practicing with you.
Warm up your core for your practice with this fun and challenging abdominal exercise! It helps to sculpt your abdominals – and more importantly, promotes core stability and improves contra-lateral movements. This helps with coordination. Core stability is one of the most important things to work on in order to avoid injury.
Begin by lying flat on your back. Lift your knees over your hips into ninety degree angles, and dorsiflex your feet. Extend your arms directly overhead, so they’re perpendicular to the floor, and face your palms towards each other.
Press your low back firmly down into the mat. Be sure to keep this connection with your low back and the floor throughout the entire exercise.
Inhale into your low belly. Pause your breath and extend your opposite arm and leg away from each other, right leg and left arm. Extend your right leg and reach your leg forward, almost touching your right heel to the floor. Your left arm should almost touch the floor but stay lifted away from the floor. Keep the left leg and right arm still and in their start position.
Exhale, return your arm and leg to their start positions. Repeat on the other side. Do ten repetitions each side, a total of 20. (Or go for more! Why not? It’s Halloween!)
Warm up your spine with cat and cow! But the spooky version, obviously!
Set up on all fours. Stack your hands under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Press the earth away with your palms and your shins.
Inhale into cow pose, retract and depress your shoulder blades (hug them together and down your back). Lift your sit bones and drop your belly towards the mat into a mild back bend.
Exhale with a hissing sound. Round your back like an angry black cat. Press down through your shins. Elevate and protract your shoulder blades (push your spine up between the shoulder blades and lift them up towards your ears). Drawn your chin towards your chest. Pull your belly up away from the floor.
Repeat 3-5 times. Exaggerate the hissing sound!
Sun Salutations are for day walkers. All you witches and werewolves will be happy to know you can salute (and howl at!) the full moon this Halloween with these festive variations of Moon Salutations!
Howl at The Moon Pose: Begin standing in Tadasana. Inhale and reach your arms overhead in Kali mudra – this goddess has major Halloween vibes. Exhale, side bend to your right into Howl at The Moon Pose (or Standing Crescent Moon Pose). Inhale return to center, and exhale over to the other side.
Scarecrow Pose: Step your right foot back and turn your toes towards the side of your mat and inhale into Scarecrow Pose, reaching your arms out (Star Pose, sometimes called Vitruvian Pose).
Goddess Pose: Turn your toes out, bend your knees and lower your hips into Goddess Pose, exhale here. Inhale and extend your legs.
Triangle Pose: Rotate your left foot to face the top of the mat. Shift your hips back, reach your left arm forward and lower it down onto your shin, the floor, or a block. Extend your right arm straight up.
Half Moon Pose: Set your left hand down onto a block or the floor under your shoulder, about a foot in front of your left foot and over to the left a bit. Lift your right leg up to the height of your hip and reach your right arm to the sky.
Release your top leg back down and set your knee down on the mat. Inhale lift your arms up, exhale and cactus your arms, shift your hips forward, and stick out your tongue like a bloodthirsty monster!(Lion’s breath) Repeat this breath twice more – inhale arms up, exhale cactus arms and stick out your tongue. Bonus points if you cross your eyes and growl. The spookier the better. (See below)
Witch On A Broomstick Pose: Set both hands down inside of your left foot. Heel toe your left foot out a step. Tuck your right toes under and lift your right knee off the mat (Lizard Pose). Tuck your left shoulder under your left leg. Press down through both feet, engage your core, and lift both hands off the mat, extending them out to the sides.
Gargoyle Pose (Malasana): Release both hands back down. Hop your right foot outside of your right hand into Gargoyle Pose (aka Malasana).
Witch On A Broomstick Pose: Step your left foot back into Lizard Pose. Lift your arms into Witch on a Broomstick.
Monster Lunge: Walk your foot to center. Set your back knee down. Lift your arms and take your three Monster’s Breaths (Lion’s Breath).
Half Moon Pose: Tuck your back toes under to lift your back knee. Set up your right hand on the block or floor like you did on the other side and lift your left leg into Half Moon.
Triangle Pose: Release your left leg down into Triangle Pose.
Goddess Pose: Engage your core to lift your torso up. Turn your toes out, bend your knees and lower your hips into Goddess Pose.
Scarecrow Pose: Turn your toes to face forward. Open out your arms like a scarecrow.
Howl at The Moon Pose: Step to the top of the mat. Reach arms overhead into Kali Mudra. Side bend to the right and left side. Then step your left foot back and repeat the sequence.
Finish off with the creepiest pose of all – Corpse pose. Sleep like the dead and let the benefits of your spooky practice sink in! Happy Halloween!