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This Vinyasa Flow Will Give You Strength to Survive a Heat Wave

  • Mary Greenan

    Backbend Sun Salutations

    • Stand with your big toes together, outer edges of your feet parallel. Inhale and raise your arms over your head.
    • Press your palms together bringing, them down into prayer at chest level. Exhale and bend forward, hinging at your hips.
    • Place your hands on the floor. Inhale and step your right foot back, bending your back knee to touch the floor. Reach your arms up over your head as you lean back and push your hips forward.
    • On your exhale, bring your arms down and place hands on either side of your left foot. Step your left foot back and push your hips up to down dog.
    • On your inhale, roll out to plank pose. On the exhale, lower your knees, chest, and chin to the ground.
    • Use your inhale to pull your chest forward and up into a baby cobra pose.
    • Exhale and lift your hips back into down dog.
    • Repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Mary Greenan

    Chair Twist Kriya

    • Begin standing with big toes together, outer edges of feet parallel. Bend your knees and sink your hips back like you're sitting down in a chair.
    • Reach your arms high, framing your face. This is chair pose. Inhale here to lengthen through your spine.
    • On your exhale, take your hands together at the center of your chest in a prayer position. Twist to the right, placing your left elbow outside of your right thigh, looking up over your right shoulder.
    • On your next inhale, come back to chair. On the exhale, twist to the left.
    • On your next inhale, come back to chair. Repeat this sequence for 1 minute at a quick, steady pace.
  • Mary Greenan

    Down Dog Split

    • Start in down dog. Lift your right leg up toward the ceiling.
    • Shift your leg to the left to open up your hip; bend the knee.
    • As you inhale and exhale 2 to 3 times, roll your ankle, knee, or head—whatever feels good.
  • Mary Greenan

    Rock Star

    • In your down dog split, continue to open your hip so that you come to the fingertips of your right hand and you start to tip over. Slowly tip so that your right toes eventually come to the ground behind your left knee.
    • With right knee bent, reach your right arm up and out so it stays in line with your body.
    • Lengthen through your left leg, lifting your hips up as you drop your head back.
    • Hold for 2 to 3 breaths, opening your chest, hips, and back.
  • Mary Greenan

    Low Lunge Twist

    • From rock star, look down at your left hand.
    • Keeping your right arm lifted, rotate your body around so your stomach points toward the floor.
    • Step your right foot all the way forward to a low lunge twist.
    • Hold for 2 to 3 breaths, using each inhale to lengthen your spine.
  • Mary Greenan

    Low Lunge Twist with Quad Opener

    • From your low lunge twist, tap your back knee to the ground. (You can put a towel under your knee if needed. Or you can do this move on the beach, along with these five poses.)
    • Reach your left heel toward your butt, and bring your right hand back to grab the left foot.
    • Alternate between bringing your heel closer for a deep quad stretch, and pressing the foot away for more of a twist and shoulder opener.
  • Mary Greenan

    Lizard Pose

    • Release your left foot and place both hands to the left of your right foot.
    • Lower your forearms to the ground so that your elbows line up with the arch of the front foot.
    • Reach your chest forward, and allow your head to relax in line with your spine.
    • Breathe here for at least 3 deep breaths, then repeat on your left side.
  • Mary Greenan

    Dancer Pose

    • From lizard pose, slowly shift back into down dog and hold for 2 to 3 breaths.
    • From down dog, walk your hands back to meet your feet in a forward fold and, one vertebra at a time, roll up to stand.
    • Shift your weight onto your right leg. Bend your left knee and grab the inside of your left ankle with your left hand.
    • Gently lift your left leg as high as you can, and press your ankle into your hand to open your back.
    • Reach your right arm straight up. Hold for 3 to 5 deep breaths.
  • Mary Greenan

    Bound Dancer

    If your regular dancer pose feels easy, use the heat to your advantage and take it a level deeper today with this bound variation.

    • Place your right foot in the crook of your right elbow with your arm bent and lifted, palm facing your head.
    • Bend your left elbow and reach for your right hand with your left.
    • Clasp your hands and then square off your shoulders as best as you can. Breathe here for 3 to 5 deep breaths.
    • Slowly release your arms and legs and settle into mountain pose—big toes touching and heels slightly apart; outer edges of feet parallel—for 2 to 3 breaths.
    • Repeat this whole sequence on the left side, starting from down dog.
  • Mary Greenan

    Ankle to Knee

    • Once you have done the sequence on both sides and are again in mountain pose, inhale your arms out and up.
    • Bend your knees to lower into chair pose, reaching arms forward. Continue lowering your butt toward the ground until you can gently sit down.
    • Bend your right knee and place your right shin on the ground in front of you, parallel to the front edge of your mat.
    • Take your left shin and stack it on top of your right shin so that your left ankle is on top of your right knee and your right ankle is on top of your left knee.
    • Flex both of your feet to provide static stability to protect your knees. Place your hands on the ground in front of your shins.
    • Inhale and bring your belly to your spine. On the exhale, lean forward. Allow your head to relax.
    • Breathe here for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side before taking a well-deserved Savasana.


Heidi Kristoffer

Heidi Kristoffer is the creator and producer of Microsoft Bing Fitness Yoga & MSN Yoga, creator of CrossFlowX, wellness expert for multiple online platforms, and mama to baby twin girls.  More →

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