Yoga Flow Challenge

Get in the Flow

For the July Challenge, we are working on core strength and flexibility, by introducing some yoga moves into our daily routine.

I have been practising yoga 4-5 times a week since the start of 2021, and the effect it has had on how my body feels is just incredible. I have a lot less aches and pains, and I feel so much stronger and freer particularly around my hips and in my legs. 

Upon asking what challenge you guys wanted for July, flexibility and core strength was up there, so yoga seems like the natural fit for this. 

We want you to complete this daily yoga flow, on each side of your body, to give you time to breathe, relax, loosen up but build strength at the same time. This yoga flow is mainly based around the warrior poses, which will give you strength in your legs, bum and hips, but also improve your mobility in your hip area, quads and back. 

  • Follow the flow on the infographic, from left to right, a row at a time, taking your time to get into position and breathing
  • Hold each pose for three good deep breaths in and out (about 10-15 seconds) 
  • Make sure you ground down with whatever body part is touching the floor (this is what builds the strength and increases the stretch) 
  • Keep length in your spine wherever possible
  • Focus on how it feels rather than getting it to look exactly like the pictures, our bodies are all different and we can have differing levels of flexibility on different days, depending on what we have been doing previously 

The flow is as follows:

Warrior I – Take a deep lunge with both feet pointing forwards, lifting arms up into the air.  Feeling opening up through the front body but particularly through the hip

Warrior II – Turn the back foot so it is flat on the floor, deepen the lunge through the front leg, arms out wide and straight at shoulder height, gaze out over the top of the front fingertips. Feel strength in the front leg, and hip/glute, and stretch through the front of the back leg.

Reverse Warrior –  Reach back with the same arm as the back leg, rest the hand on the back of the leg, wherever is comfortable, take the other arm up towards the sky. Feel the stretch through the front body and the hip of the back leg.

Warrior II – Turn the back foot so it is flat on the floor, deepen the lunge through the front leg, arms out wide and straight at shoulder height, gaze out over the top of the front fingertips. Feel strength in the front leg, and hip/glute, and stretch through the front of the back leg.

Warrior III – Take all your weight through your front leg, raise the back leg off the floor, keeping it straight, raise arms up out stretched in front. Feel the strength in your standing leg and glute, stretch through your raised leg hip flexor

Warrior II – Replace the back foot to the ground, turn the back foot so it is flat on the floor, deepen the lunge through the front leg, arms out wide and straight at shoulder height, gaze out over the top of the front fingertips. Feel strength in the front leg, and hip/glute, and stretch through the front of the back leg.

Triangle – Straighten the front leg now, keeping both feet grounded and your quads switched on. Take the front arm down towards the floor, back arm goes straight up to the sky, as your shoulders twist. Feel the stretch in the hamstrings of the front leg, the calves of the back leg, the obliques back and the shoulder blades. 

Warrior II – Arms back up to be straight out at either side, bend the front knee again, turn the back foot so it is flat on the floor, deepen the lunge through the front leg, arms out wide and straight at shoulder height, gaze out over the top of the front fingertips. Feel strength in the front leg, and hip/glute, and stretch through the front of the back leg.

Mountain – Step up towards the front of your mat (if you are using one) hands by your side, palms facing out. Ground down through your feet. 

Forward fold – Hinge at the hips, lean forward getting your head as close to your knees as possible. To increase this, take hold of opposite elbows and let gravity do the work for you. Feel the opening all the way up the back of the legs and into your lower back. 

Downward Dog – Hands down on the floor, and step back with the feet, push back now through the hands raising your hips to the sky. Push the arms as straight as you can, getting your chest as close to the floor as possible, your hips as high as possible and your heels as close to the floor as possible. 

Plank (forearm or full) – Wave the body forward so the weight is directly over the hands (shoulders over hands) push away from the floor making space between your shoulder blades, tuck in your tail bone and contract the stomach muscles. Feel the strength through your arms, shoulders, core and quads.  Take forearm plank here, if this is too challenging.

Cobra/ sphinx – lower the body down as slowly as possible to challenge the arms, let the legs make contact with the floor, then push up (either with the hands or forearms) lifting the chest as high as you can, lifting the chin to the sky. Feel the strength in the arms and shoulders and the stretch all the way down the front of the body, and into the lower back.  Listen to your lower back here – if it feels like it is pinching, don’t raise up as far with your shoulders and chest.

CatCow – lifting the hips off the floor take a good stable position with knees and hands in all four corners of the body. Arch the back up, engaging all the tummy muscles and making space in your shoulder blades, breathe in and out for three, then release the core muscles and arch the other way, letting your tummy sink towards the floor. Don’t sag, do this in a controlled manner, lifting the chin to the sky, and the bottom to the sky, to get the stretch through the front of the body. Take three more deep breaths. 

Thread the needle – Lift the tummy back to a neutral position, with a flat back.  Take one arm, and thread it through the gap between the other arm and your knee, lowering your shoulder to the floor, bending your grounded arm if you need to. Feel the stretch down the side and into the shoulder blades. 

Childs pose – Lift the shoulder back up off the floor, untwist, and ground through hands and knees at all four corners again. Move your bottom towards your heels, and leave your hands where they are. Feel the stretch all in the back, quads, arms, armpits and chest. 

Then repeat so that you use the opposite back leg and the opposite shoulder.

In total it should take you about 10 minutes per day. I would love to hear your feedback on how you feel once you have done it, and how you feel as the month goes on.  

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