Hi guys! Today I have a special post from one of my have bloggers, Raechel, of Rebel Grrl Living.
Hello Keeping It Real Food readers! I am so honored to be guest blogging for Jess. Keeping It Real Food was one of the first blog’s I started following “on the reg.” I loved Jess’s attitude towards food: health-focused, but not obsessive, and without any comments about feeling “guilty” for indulging in chocolate or wine. Instead, Jess’s posts seemed to reflect an approach to life that valued celebration over “discipline”….And, of course, I loved her sassy writing style, and our mutual love of red lipstick!
Jess and I also share in common a love of music and making playlists for our yoga practices. I had been making my own personal yoga playlists for a while, but then I became a yoga teacher and stepped up my game considerably!
When Jess and I were brainstorming what I should do for this post, we decided pretty fast that a yoga playlist post would be in order. Below see two playlists I’ve been working with recently, followed by a basic Vinyasa Flow sequence that I would teach to the music.
Asana Electric: Sexy Flow
This playlist is full of a bunch of electronic-influenced music that I’ve been really digging lately. All of it feels really sexy. You will probably want to go to the club and dirty dance after this. Don’t blame me, blame the hot beats.
FolkHeart: Opener Flow
This playlist is more indie rock/folk music inspired. Think dreamy lyrics, and songs that will make you want to sit on a back porch, feel all the feelings, and maybe have a (post-yoga) beer while you’re at it.
Below is a basic power vinyasa sequence. Please note that I wrote this for people who have some basic knowledge of the postures and how to transition and breathe safely between them. If you are a new yogi, don’t try to do this based on my limited direction. I included some links, but I strongly recommend trying to work with a certified teacher. A great way to do this is to go to some beginner classes at a studio, many of which offer free weeks for new students!
Start in child’s pose for and begin to engage your ujjayi pranayama breath. Breathe here for at least two minutes. After about two minutes, slowly move to a table top position. Move through some cat and cow poses. Do whatever feels good to warm up your body. Move to adho mukha svanasana (downward-facing dog) and continue to stretch your body until you feel sufficiently warm.
Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A):
Move through at least three Sun Salutations. Optional variations: mini-back bends; side stretch.
Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutation B):
Move through three Sun B’s on each side. Here’s a very basic one. (I would also recommend including some Warrior II’s somewhere during your Sun B.) Hold as long as it feels comfortable. Let it feel juicy, let your muscles burn a bit. You can flow through the second sets of Sun B a bit faster, and maybe add on small variations (ex. knee to nose, then knee to nose + knee to right elbow, then knee to nose + knee to right elbow +knee to left elbow).
Anjaneyasana & Parsvokonasana (Crescent lunge series):
Move through crescent lunge, then add on crescent lunge with side twist. Hold here. Twist and rinse it out. Flow through your vinyasa, then repeat on the left side. Move into chair pose and then move through chair pose with side twist. Hold! Twist and rinse it out. Fold forward and stretch in padangusthasana. Move back in to chair pose, then repeat on the left side.
Vasisthasana (Side plank series):
Hold your variation of side plank on each side. Option to take runner’s lunge in between sides.
Start with a balancing posture of your choice: crow, headstand, handstand, (even down dog!) are all great choices. Rest as needed. Vinyasa through to stand.
Move through standing balancing:
-hold garudasana (eagle pose) for about one minute on each side.
-hold natarajasana (dancer pose) for about one minute on each side.
-hold vrkasana (tree pose) for about one minute on each side.
Flow through vinyasa.
Virabhadrasana I & Trikonasana (Warrior I/Triangle Series):
Move through your Vinyasa then into Warrior I and hold. From Warrior I move into Warrior II then Triangle Pose. Hold your variation of triangle. Repeat on the left side.
Flow through vinyasa.
Move to high plank then lay flat on your belly. Move through one set each of bhujangasana (cobra), salabhasana (locust pose), and dhanurasana (bow pose). Hold as long as your body tells you. After you’ve complete each posture, come to stand on your knees and move into ustrasna (camel pose). Hold for as long as is comfortable (but remember that it’s okay to sit with some discomfort…I promise it’s going to go away almost as soon as you come out of it).
Rest then move into table top. When you’re ready, move into down dog.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (King pigeon):
Move into the best posture of all time (or at least it’s *my* favorite posture!). It’s such a juicy stretch. I like folding forward in this posture, like so. Stay on each side for half of the song, then switch legs and finish the song on the second side. (Note: If you have any knee pain, move into a variation on your back.)
When you’re ready, move back into down dog. Work out whatever needs to be worked out here.
Move through to lie down on the mat. Move through seth bandha sarvangasana (bridge) or urdhva dhanurasana (wheel). Hold as long or short as is comfortable. Do up to three sets.
Stretch and cool down. My favorites include baddha konasana, side twists, cow-face pose, and forward folds, but do whatever feels good.
Lay face up on your mat, arms out, palms up, breathing returned to normal. Quiet your body and mind. When you are ready to move out of savasana, seal your practice with a bow forward, and….
What kind of music do you like to listen to for yoga?