A Super Chill Yoga Flow Perfect for Sunday
A Super Chill Yoga Flow Perfect for Sunday

Sundays are all about slowing down, rejuvenating your body, and setting yourself up for a productive week. What better way to make the most of your Sunday and kick of your week than with a chill yoga flow? This sequence is built to help you stretch your muscles, relax your body, and calm your mind—with a bit of added strengthening, as well. It is perfect for beginners and advanced practitioners alike, so anyone can take this sequence and modify to their needs, if necessary. It’s all about taking a gentle, mindful approach, so take your time and really sink into each posture.

The Sequence

The Sequence
The Sequence

Salamba Balanasana — Child’s Pose

Start in Child’s Pose to center your focus. Take a few deep inhales and exhales to connect with your breath. Stay here for at least 5 breaths.

Marjaryasana — Cat/Cow Pose

Move through Cat/Cow for at least 10 breaths, allowing for any organic movements that may help you stretch your back and neck further.

Parsva Balasana — Thread the Needle Pose

Lift the left arm and thread it through to the right. Stay here for at least 5 breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Pose

Push back into Downward Dog. Bend your knees to fully out your legs. Stay here for at least 5 breaths before moving on.

Uttanasana — Forward Fold with Chest Expansion Pose

Step forward into Forward Fold, and then clasp your hands to add a chest expansion. Once your shoulders feel nice and warmed-up, move to the next sequence.

Suyra Namaskar — Sun Salutation A Pose

Move through Sun Salutation A at least two times. End in Downward Dog.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana — Pigeon Pose

From Downward Dog, extend your right leg back, and then move it into Pigeon Pose. Stay here for at least 5 breaths, and then move back to Downward Dog to repeat on the left side.

Baddha Konasana — Bound Angle Pose

Come to your knees, and then move into Bound Angle Pose. Stretch your spine further on each exhale. Hold for at least 5 breaths.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana — Bridge Pose

Come to your back and move into Bridge Pose. Modify as necessary. Hold for at least 3 breaths.

Supta Matsyendrasana — Reclined Spinal Twist Pose

Bring your right leg to your chest and move into Reclined Spinal Twist. Hold for at least 5 breaths, and then repeat on the opposite side.

Corpse Pose — Savasana

Add any last stretches you feel you need, and then move into Savasana. Stay for at least twenty breaths.

Breakdown of the Poses

If you are unfamiliar with any of the poses mentioned above (or just need a refresher), this outline will give you more detailed instructions on the poses and their benefits.

Salamba Balanasana — Child’s Pose

Salamba Balanasana — Child’s Pose
Salamba Balanasana — Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose, or Balasana, is a restorative pose that helps you relax and center your focus. Physically, it stretches the back, thighs, and ankles.

Instructions:

Start on your knees, sitting back onto your heels. Separate your knees from each other so that there is space to fit your torso between your legs, but ensure your big toes remain touching.

On an exhale, bend forward from your hips and bring your torso forward, leading your forehead to the ground. Your torso should rest between your knees.

Extend your arms out in front of you, with your palms resting on the ground and arms remaining active and lifted. Ensure that you are releasing your tailbone towards your heels, and continue to lengthen your spine as you deeply breathe in this position. Slowly lead yourself back up to your knees to release.

Marjaryasana — Cat/Cow Pose

Marjaryasana — CatCow Pose
Marjaryasana — CatCow Pose

Cat/Cow, or Marjaryasana, brings movement to the entire spine, making it a great back and neck tension reliever. It is an excellent warm-up to kick off a yoga flow.

Instructions:

Start in a tabletop position, with your hands and knees on the ground. Ensure your palms are stacked directly underneath your shoulders, and your knees underneath your hips.

On an exhale, move into Cat. Round your spine up towards the ceiling while tilting your tailbone down, and tuck your chin down towards your chest. While your head is tilting down, ensure you still leave space between your chin and chest.

On your next inhale, move into Cow. Raise your head and face forward, and tilt your tailbone up, letting your back curve. Ensure you don’t tilt your head back too far or over arch your back, as it can result in strain.

Continue slowly alternating between Cat and Cow pose a handful of times. Give yourself time to fully feel the stretch as you breathe through the pose.

Parsva Balasana — Thread the Needle Pose

Parsva Balasana — Thread the Needle Pose
Parsva Balasana — Thread the Needle Pose. Credits www.closethispano.com

Thread the Needle, or Parsva Balasana, moderately twists the spine, which in turn stretches the shoulders and upper back while releasing tension the spine and neck.

Instructions:

Start in a table top position, with your palms and knees on the ground. Your wrists should be aligned directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Bring your head in a neutral position, with your gaze downwards.

On an exhale, lift the weight off your right hand and slide your right arm underneath your left arm, with your palm facing up. Your right shoulder should rest down on your mat, along with your right ear, with your gaze now facing left.

Your left arm can be bent or extended out in front of you, and your hips should remain raised. Bring awareness to your shoulders, neck, and lower back, and let go of any tension as you breathe through this pose. To release, bring your left hand back in line with your head if you extended it. Slowly push through your palm, return to table top, and repeat on the other side.

Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Pose

Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Pose
Adho Mukha Svanasana — Downward Facing Dog Pose

Downward Facing Dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, allows you to get a deep stretch in your calves and hamstrings, while simultaneously building strength in your legs.

Instructions:

Start from a tabletop position, with your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips. On an exhale, engage your core, curl your toes, and lift your knees off the ground, working towards straight legs. Stretch your tailbone back and up towards the ceiling.

Your head should remain active, with your gaze focused in between your legs. Continue to push through your index fingers and thumbs.

Before settling into stillness, allow yourself to focus the stretch on the back of your legs by bending one knee and then the other. You may also choose to bend both knees at the same time, and then push back through your heels towards straight legs.

Uttanasana — Forward Fold with Chest Expansion Pose

Uttanasana — Forward Fold with Chest Expansion Pose
Uttanasana — Forward Fold with Chest Expansion Pose

A Forward Fold, or Uttanasana, uses your own body weight to release tension in the back and neck. The added chest expansion helps you get a deeper stretch in the shoulders.

Instructions:

Start standing with your feet hips-distance apart, and hinge forward at your hips. Bring your hands to the ground, and bend your knees as much as you need to. Release any tension in your neck, and stay in this pose for a few breaths to feel the stretch in your hamstrings and back.

To move into the chest expansion, remain folded and bring your arms behind your back, with your hands at your lower back. Clasp your hands together, and slowly bring them forward, towards your head. Try to keep your palms together, and don’t force your arms beyond your limits.

Ensure your head remains heavy and relaxed, and that your spine is elongated. Slowly roll up to get out of the pose, releasing your hands at the top.

Suyra Namaskar  A— Sun Salutation A Pose

Suyra Namaskar — Sun Salutation A
Suyra Namaskar — Sun Salutation A

Sun Salutation A, or Surya Namaskar A, is a sequence of poses that benefit the body in countless ways. The sequence works the core, stretches the hamstrings, and loosens the shoulders, while also energizing and engaging the mind.

Instructions:

Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) at the front of your mat. Move to Upward Salute (Urdhva Hastasana), and dive down into Forward Fold (Uttanasana). Lift your torso up into Half Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana), and then fold back down and move into Plank Pose. Move through your Vinyasa, and push back to Downward Facing Dog. Often you will move onto the next posture from Downward Facing Dog, but to finish Sun Salutation A, you will move through Forward Fold, Half Forward Fold, Forward Fold, Upward Salute, and then end in Mountain.

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana — Pigeon Pose

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana — Pigeon Pose
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana — Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose, or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, opens up the hips, thighs, and groin muscles.

Instructions:

Start in Downward Dog. On an inhale, lift your right leg up behind you, keeping your hips squared to the ground. On on exhale, bend your knee and bring it into your torso, towards your right wrist. Place your entire right leg on the ground, creating a ‘7’ shape.

Keep your right foot flexed. Your left leg should be on the floor directly behind you, with the top of your foot touching the ground. Drive your right hip down towards the floor. If there is a lot of space between your right glute and the ground, you can place a block there for support.

Continue to elongate through your spine as you breathe through this posture. You can remain with your torso upright, or you can do down into Sleeping Pigeon for a deeper stretch: begin to walk your hands out in front of your, lowering your torso to the ground. Place your forehead on the ground or on a block. Once done, release back into Downward Dog, and then repeat on the opposite side.

Baddha Konasana — Bound Angle Pose

Baddha Konasana — Bound Angle Pose
Baddha Konasana — Bound Angle Pose

Bound Angle Pose, or Baddha Konasana, helps you stretch into the often-neglected inner thighs. The pose is also excellent for opening up your hips and stretching your groin muscles.

Instructions:

Start seated, with your legs out in front of you. On an exhale, bend your knees and bring your feet towards you. Place the soles of your feet together in front of your pelvis, letting the outside edges rest on the mat.

Allow your knees to drop to either side at a comfortable level. Do not force them down so that they are touching the ground–let them hang in space if that is what is accessible. Grab hold of your feet, and bring them as close to your pelvis as comfortable, while still keeping them on the ground.

Breathe through this posture, ensuring that your spine remains elongated and shoulders relaxed. Hold for about a minute, and then release back to a comfortable seated position.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana — Bridge Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana — Bridge Pose
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana — Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose, or Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, is great for opening the shoulders and stretching the neck, chest, and spine.

Instructions:

Begin on your back with you knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Ensure that your heels are close to your glutes, so that you can almost touch them with the tips of your fingers when your arms are extended on the ground. Begin to lift the hips up to create a diagonal line from the head to the knees, while keeping your glutes soft but core engaged. Your head and shoulders will remain on the mat, and your arms can be extended on the ground along your sides.

Keep your neck relaxed and roll your shoulders away from your ears. You can stay here, or if you would like to take the pose further, you can bring your shoulder blades closer together underneath you and clasp your hands together under your back, keeping them resting on the ground. Continue to lift through your hip bones while keeping your core engaged.

To release from the pose, unclasp your hands and slowly roll down from your shoulders to your glutes, being gentle as you bring your back down to the ground.

If you would like to take on a more restorative option, grab a block or yoga pillow. After lifting your glutes, place the prop underneath your tailbone. Rest your sacrum on the prop, and enjoy the stretch in your hips and back. You can keep your knees bent with your feet on the ground, or extend them straight in front of you.

Supta Matsyendrasana — Reclined Spinal Twist Pose

Supta Matsyendrasana — Reclined Spinal Twist Pose
Supta Matsyendrasana — Reclined Spinal Twist Pose. Credits www.popsugar.com

 

Reclined Spinal Twist, or Supta Matsyendrasana, is a gentle way to stretch your whole back and lengthen your spine, while also giving extra attention to your shoulders and low back.

 

Instructions:

Begin laying down, with your arms extended horizontally. Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet on the ground, close to your glutes.

Keeping your legs together and bent, swing them to the left side towards the ground, with your right leg on top of the left. Turn your head to the opposite side, letting your gaze fall towards your right hand. In this twist, you may feel your opposite shoulder wanting to lift, so be mindful of keeping it grounded and away from your ears.

Return your gaze to the center, and repeat on the opposite side.

Corpse Pose — Savasana

Corpse Pose — Savasana
Corpse Pose — Savasana

Practicing Corpse Pose, or Savasana, is the perfect way to top off a chill yoga flow. It allows you to relax deeply, fully release tension, and absorb the benefits of your practice.

Instructions:

Lie down on your back. Let your feet fall outward, and place your hands about 6 inches away from your body, with your palms facing up.

Before fully getting into Savasana, get completely comfortable by getting any fidgets out and adjusting your position. Once you have found stillness, close your eyes and pay attention to your breath.

You can do a body scan by focusing on a body part and releasing tension in that area. Allow your eyes to rest deeply in their sockets, and let your breath be deep and slow.

To release from the pose, roll over to one side into fetal position, and then slowly guide yourself back up to a seated position.

Whether you are trying to make the most of your day off or just need a low-key yoga flow, this sequence has you covered. Practice it anytime you need to relax, and modify it to best fit your needs.

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