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Season 1 - Episode 6

Lunge Salute with Chair

10 min - Practice
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Alana shares a dynamic variation of downward dog and lunges with a chair. This sequence is designed to assist yogis get up-and-down from the floor, promoting increased mobility and flexibility in the hamstrings, thighs, hips, and spine.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Wall

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(swooshing waves) Hello, welcome back. Thank you for joining us. So on this next short piece, we'll do a variation of downward dog with a chair. It's one of my favorite variations and then we'll explore some lunges with a chair. So we'll go back and forth with lunges and a chair dog.

So we'll first begin with a few quarter sun salutations bringing the hands together and standing in tadasana just to begin to connect with our breath. So we're essentially breaking down some sun salutations. So beginning with the hands at the heart as you're ready, breathing in and then exhale and press the hands towards the Earth, towards the floor and as you inhale, reaching the arms up lengthening and then exhale, hands together at the heart and continue two more times. Inhale and then exhale. Inhale, circle the arms up, lengthening and exhale, hands together at the heart.

One more time together, breathing in and then exhale and press. Inhale, circle and exhale, hands together. And you might continue this a few more times and then when you feel complete, releasing the arms and tadasana and then bringing your chair to a wall and it's important, I found it's important to have a mat underneath you so that the chair isn't sliding. It's not essential but I have one today. And then I'll walk towards the chair and then place my hands around the chair.

Now, I know there's a variety of chairs at home. Bringing your hands to the edge of the chair and then walking your feet back underneath your hips. So here's a variation of downward dog with a chair. Okay. And then reaching through the sit bones and lengthening through the spine.

And here, the head isn't really dropping or lifting but it's nice long extension, taking a few full breaths here. Being mindful of your wrists. You might keep your knees bent. Softening the back of the knees can kind of alleviate the stretch or strain through the hamstrings. And then as you're ready, you'll slowly walk back to the chair to come out using your legs to press up and stand in tadasana.

So we'll do that one more time together. And this is one of my favorite variations because there's very little weight on the wrists and when we're on the floor doing downward facing dog, it's weight bearing so this is really, it's really nice for the hands and the wrists. So as you're ready, you'll walk your feet back again underneath your hips and bringing your feet slightly wide or apart as you reach your sit bones away feeling that nice long extension in length and you might play with the position of your hands. Good breathing. Again, you're welcome to soften the back of the knees and reach through the sit bones, taking about five full breaths.

And then as you're ready, you'll walk back. And then using your feet to stand up in tadasana. Okay, so we've done that two times together. You might do a third or a fourth time at home. Now, we're going to move into a variation of a lunge.

So as you're ready, bring your hands, place your hands on the chair and then walk your feet back into your chair dog and taking a moment to lengthen through the spine, reaching through your sit bones, breathing and then as you're ready, you'll take a look forward, inhale, take a big long step with the right foot between the hands and then you might reach back for the ball of your left foot bending the knee and making sure the knee is tracking over the big toe. So it's not over but tracking or slightly behind and then notice what's happening up through the spine. Can you get a sense of lengthening the heart towards the wall? As you soften the shoulders down the back, you might take a look forward, breathing and then as you're ready, you'll step the foot back coming into the chair dog. And then taking a look forward.

Taking a nice long step between the hands. I like to come onto the ball of the foot as I sink down into the hip and then again, softening the shoulders down the back, drawing the heart towards the wall. Breathing. Getting a nice stretch and opening through the thigh and the hip. And then as you're ready, exhale, step back.

And I'll do this one more time speeding up the pace. Inhale, stepping the foot forward. Exhale, stepping back and lengthening. And then inhale, stepping forward and then exhale, stepping back and you might continue this several times at home. From here, we'll move towards a lunge and this time, you might begin to bring the knee towards the floor.

And here, you might bring a blanket or a pillow under the knee for support. And now here, we're in a low lunge. This can be quite intense. Softening the shoulders down the back. You might keep the toes tucked under or you might press the top of the foot down to the floor a bit and feel that connection through the foot.

Good, tucking the toes under, lifting the back leg and then stepping the right foot back into chair dog and lengthening. Breathing. And then taking a look forward and inhale, step the left foot. And you might stay here. You might lower the right knee down.

You might bring the blanket or pillow under the knee for support. And you might keep the toes tucked under or release the top of the foot to the floor and then lengthening up through the spine, softening the shoulders. Breathing. And see if you can relax the jaw. And then as you're ready, tuck the toes under, lift the back leg and step back.

Okay. And then one more time. Stepping the right foot forward. Lowering the left knee. Now, you might keep the hands on the chair for support.

You might begin to reach the arms up towards the ceiling, towards the sky, sinking down into the hips and breathing. Now, the chair is there for support. Okay. And then tucking the toes, lift the back legs, step back into chair dog and then as you're ready, stepping the left forward and then letting the right knee lower down and you might stay low here. You might begin to reach the arms up towards the sky.

Breathing. And then as you're ready, releasing the hands back to the chair, tuck the back toes and then step back into chair dog. Breathing. And then walking the feet back to come out and then just taking a moment to stand in tadasana just to notice. Namaste, thank you.

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