Now with hundreds of thousands of workers moving to permanent remote work, it is more important than ever to keep our bodies moving and fluid. And as a yoga teacher, you can help!
Use these sequences in your online classes, or in studio classes to keep your students feeling good.
Yoga Sequences for Work From Home Movement
A Sequence to Combat Sitting
This sequence is great for those who sit for long hours. And let’s be honest, that’s most of us!
Focus on strengthening the upper back for better posture, stretching the hip flexors for better breathing, and releasing stress with mindful breathing.
1. Savasana with Sama Vritti pranayama.
Talk your students through a balanced breath. Inhale for a count of four, hold the breath for four, exhale for four, and hold the breath out for four. Repeat as many times as you’d like!
2. Banana Pose
This pose is wonderful for opening up the fascia along the sides of the body, allowing for deeper, fuller breaths. Hold each side for 5-10 breaths.
3. Pelvic Tilts
Set up supine with bent knees and feet on the mat. Inhale into belly. Exhale, press low back into the mat and draw low belly down. Inhale to relax back to a neutral pelvis and neutral spine. Repeat 5-10 times.
4. Bridge over a Block with Half Virasana
This pose helps to stretch the quads and hip flexors. If your students get a cramp in their foot, have them keep their toes tucked instead. Hold for 5 breaths each side.
Cat Cow feels amazing if you’ve been sitting for a long time. Take your students through 3-5 rounds, focusing on squeezing their back muscles in cow.
You can talk your students through some movement here to stretch their glutes and hamstrings.
7. Sun Salutations
Sun Salutation A or Classic Suns are great for moving energy and waking up sleep muscles. Move through 3-5 rounds.
- A chronically tightened psoas can cause all sorts of issues - one of which is shallow breathing. Because the psoas is attached to the diaphragm, a tight psoas can block you from breathing deeply - which can cause or worsen anxiety. Get your students to breathe deeply into their low belly here. The front foot should be walked out to the side and externally rotated (pointed away from body).
9. Half Frog
After the right side Psoas Lunge, lie down and do Half Frog on the right side. Push back into Downdog. Repeat psoas Lunge on the left leg, then Half Frog on the left leg.
10. Warrior 1 - Humble Warrior - Pyramid
Spend 5 breaths in each pose. Then take Chaturanga down to the belly to do Locust after the right leg, and Bound Locust after the left leg.
11. Locust (Bound Locust after left leg)
Locust is great for strengthening the upper back - which tends to get weak with prolonged sitting. Return to Downdog, then do Warrior 1, Humble Warrior, and Pyramid pose on the other leg, followed by Chaturanga all the way to the belly for Bound Locust.
Stay for 5-10 breaths each side with Downdog in between to transition.
13. Supine Twist
Hold 5-10 breaths each side.
Tech Neck Flow
All that time sitting at a desk—and even just scrolling through social media on our phones—is causing more and more people to suffer from tech neck. This sequence is full of juicy neck stretches, upper back strengtheners, and mild backbends to help your students get relief from tech neck!
1. Baddha Konasana with Chest Opener
Set up your students in Baddha Konasana and have them tent their fingers behind their backs. Squeeze shoulder blades and lift the chest. Stay for several deep breaths, possibly Ujjayi breathing or Sama Vritti.
Seated Neck Release - Side Bend - Forward Fold in Half Straddle
Neck Release: Set up your students legs in a half straddle with right leg extended and left foot folded in to the inner thigh. Ground the right hand down and reach the left hand out towards the ground. Lay right ear towards right shoulder. Stay for 5 breaths.
Side Bend: Tuck chin slightly towards chest. Reach left arm overhead into a side bend. Stay for 5 breaths.
Forward Fold: Lower left hand down. Both hands should frame the right leg. Draw chest forward, keeping the spine long and not rounded. Stay 5 breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
Do 3-5 rounds of Cat Cow.
Puppy is great for opening the shoulders. Stay for 5-10 breaths. Option to take Puppy Pose on blocks. Sink the chest down while maintaining the ribs hugged in.
Warrior 2 with Shoulder Rolls - Reverse Warrior with Scalene Release - Triangle Pose
Warrior 2 with Shoulder Rolls: Set up in warrior 2 legs with right foot forward. Relax arms down. Move your students through shoulder rolls forward and back 5 times.
Reverse Warrior with Scalene Release: From Warrior 2, reach the left arm back and shift the ribcage back. Place left hand on left hip and encourage the hip to stay level with the right - this helps to create space in the low back. Then reach the right arm out in a neck release shape. Drop left ear to left shoulder, then drop the bottom jaw and slide the jaw up towards the right ear. It’s a funny face! But it helps to release the deeper neck muscles - scalenes. Stay 5 breaths.
Triangle Pose: Encourage your students to practice with a neutral neck rather than looking up towards the hand. Stay five breaths.
After all three poses on the right leg, lower all the way down to the belly and do Diamond Cobra. Press back to Downdog and repeat on the other side.
Set your students up prone. Reach the hands forward and make a diamond shape with the hands - index fingers and thumbs touching. Pull the ribs forward and up as you inhale (don’t push!), pull the ribs forward and down as you exhale.
Lizard Lunge - Lounge Lunge - Pigeon
Hold Lizard Lunge 5 breaths.
Lounge Lunge: From Lizard, set the left knee down. Walk left hand forward of shoulder, and wrap right forearm around the right knee to encourage hugging the knee in. Turn chest towards knee and sink the left ribs down - while maintaining hips facing the ground. This should stretch both the ribs and hip flexors.
Hold Pigeon 5 breaths.
After Pigeon, take Chaturanga down to belly and do Bound Locust. Hold a few breaths. Press back to Downdog and move through Lizard, Lounge Lounge, and Pigeon on the left leg.
After Lizard, Lounge Lunge, and Pigeon on the left leg, press back onto knees for camel. Hold for several breaths. Option to repeat Camel several times, getting a bit deeper each time.
Lay on your back and draw knees toward chest. Cross right leg over left and pull knees in towards chest. Another option is to grab ankles and reach them away from the body for a deeper stretch - then holding the ankles away, draw knees towards chest. Hold each side for 5-10 breaths.
Hold each side for 5-10 breaths.
Moving Stuck Energy Sequence
You may have heard the expression “issues in your tissues."
We hold our bottled emotions in our muscles.
This sequence is meant to help your students move stuck energy out as they breathe fresh oxygen in.
Kapalabhati (50 -100 rounds)
1. Baddha Konasana Hip Unlocking
Begin in Baddha Konasana. Place right hand on right thigh close to the hip crease with fingers pointing towards the knee. Set left hand down in line with hip on the mat. Straighten right arm and lean upper body to the left. Breathe into the hip crease and lift belly up to create space in the hip. Stay for 2-5 breaths.
For stage 2, dip the right shoulder down, twisting chest towards left knee. Stay for 2-5 breaths.
Repeat on the other side.
2 Rolling Bridges
Set up for Setu Bandhasana, Bridge Pose. Exhale and press into feet to roll the hips up. Inhale and roll back down. Repeat 5-10 times.
3. Cat/Cow with Hip Circles
Take a few rounds of Cat/Cow, then add hip circles. Encourage your students to move in any way that feels interesting and explore what parts of their body need attention or movement right now.
Encourage your students to pedal out their feet and move out stuck energy from their hips.
Sun Salutation A
Take 3-5 rounds. End in Downdog.
Set up in a 90 90 lunge with hips stacked over the back knee. Draw the tailbone down to target the hip flexors. Exhale and press the hips forward an inch, inhale come back to start position. Repeat 5-8 times.
Lower through Chaturanga onto the belly for Cobra, press back to Downdog, then repeat Box Lunge on the other side.
Use your lats in Cobra! Pull the ribs forward as you lift up into Cobra, and pull forward as you lower. This helps to elongate the spine and create space between the vertebrae.
Lizard Lunge - Active Pigeon
In Lizard lunge, encourage your students to move! Use the back foot to press hips forward and back to get the energy moving.
In Active Pigeon, stay on your hands rather than forearms. On an exhale, press the shin down into the ground. Inhale to relax into the stretch. Repeat 5-8 times.
After the first side, move through Chaturange, Updog, and Downdog, then repeat on the other leg. After the second side, lie all the way down onto the belly for Bound Locust.
Clasp hands behind back. Squeeze shoulder blades as you lift up. Stay for a few breaths with a neutral neck.
Encourage your students to move side to side, and explore Happy Baby however feels best in their bodies.
Stay for 5-10 breaths each side.
As a yoga teacher, it is your job to provide to your students a little oasis from their daily life. Help the work from home(rs) by giving them a practice to help them lengthen and stretch their bodies. Use one of all of these sequences in your next class. Thank us later! 😉