Self-Love Yoga Sequence

Self-Love Yoga Sequence

It's February, the month of love!  One of my favorite yoga sequences for self-love comes from Kathryn Budig's book Aim True.  There are many ways that you can practice self-love.  Mindfully moving your body in a way that honors yourself is one way to practice self-love.  I hope you enjoy Kathryn's Self-Love Sequence as much as I did.  You can flow these twelve poses in a Vinyasa class or choose to practice them in a non-flowing way, making the sequence your own.

Self-Love Sequence

This sequence was created for you to enjoy a fresh perspective on your own physical being, honoring your body and all that it does for you as you move through the poses.  

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

From a reclined position, bring the soles of the feet together and let the knees splay wide.  Feel free to prop the knees or thighs up with blankets or blocks if that is helpful.  As you relax in the pose, rest your hand on a part of your body that you are unhappy with, knowing you may also choose to focus on a trait that cannot be touched.  As you connect with this part of your body physically, tell this part of your body that you are on the same team and make a commitment to love, honor and accept this part of your body.

Cat and Cow Poses -- 6 Rounds (Marjaryasana and Bitilasana)

Starting from table top, make sure your shoulders are stacked on top of your wrists and your hips are stacked on top of your knees.  On an inhale, drop the belly, arch the back and turn the gaze up.  Extend the front of the spine from the pubis up through the sternum as you open the chest and roll the shoulders on to the back.  Exhale as you press the floor away, round the back and tuck the chin down towards the chest.  Repeat this six times.  

Downward Facing Dog Pose - 10 Breaths (Adho Mukha Svanasana) 

From table top, tuck the toes and lift the hips into downward facing dog.  With the fingers spread wide, press the floor away and shift the hips back as the chest stretches towards the thighs.  Begin to play with bending the knees and once you settle into the pose, straighten the legs and let the heels descend down towards the earth. As you settle into the pose, start to shake the head back and forth and loosen the spine.  Imagine that any negative thoughts you have about yourself could roll down the spine and drop out of the crown of your head onto the earth.  Take advantage of the energetic benefits of the pose as you start to rid yourself of any negative thoughts you hold about yourself.  

Standing Forward Fold - 10 Breaths (Uttanasana)

From downward facing dog, crawl the hands back to the feet.  As the upper body cascades over the legs, allow the arms to dangle over the legs or maybe choose to grab on to opposite elbows forming a box around the head. Keep pressing the heart forward so that you do not round the spine. Put a slight bend in the knees and then drop your arms to the ground.  Imagine that you could let go of any anger or negative emotion with every exhale.  After ten breaths, rise with a strong spine, circling the arms to the sky and coming to stand.  

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Stand at the top of your mat with your feet together.  Slowly bring both palms to your heart. Turn your gaze inside and set an intention to honor your body, letting go of any negative self-image, committing to being on the same side as your body.  Inhale acceptance and exhale all forms of self-rejection.  

Warrior 2 Pose - 10 Breaths Per Side  (Virabhadrasana 2)

From tadasana, step your right foot forward while spinning the back foot flat.  The front heel should line up with the back arch. Put a bend in the front leg while keeping the back leg extended.  Stacking shoulders over hips, spread the arms out to the sides, collar bone spread wide.  The gaze is out over the front middle finger.  As you breathe in, focus on how very strong your body is.   Notice the strength in your legs and thank your body for all it does for you.  After your tenth breath, straighten your front leg and bring your legs into a parallel position before repeating the pose on the second side.  

Goddess Pose Variation (Utkata Konasana)

From Warrior 2 pose, straighten both legs and turn the feet parallel with all ten toes pointing towards the long edge of the mat.  Then point the toes out while turning the heels in.  Begin to bend the knees and lower down as close to a 90 degree angle as possible.  On an inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, lengthening the spine while keeping what you have in the legs.  Reach behind the back, interlace the fingers and straighten the arms as you squeeze the shoulders together on the back.  Keeping the length you have in the spine, begin to hinge from the hips.  This pose is tough to hold, but you can use the glutes and hip muscles to stabilize, recognizing that your body supports you always, even when your own thoughts are not supportive of the body.

Plank Drops

From your goddess variation, straighten your legs, release the arms and rise with a strong back.  Turn to face the right foot at the top of the mat and cartwheel the hands down on either side of the right foot.  Step your feet to the back of the mat for plank.  Shoulders should be stacked over the wrists.  Draw the front ribs in to engage your core and protect your low back.  From here, lower down to forearm plank, one arm at a time.  Hold for two breaths and then climb back up to plank.  Lower down again, this time starting with the opposite side.  Hold forearm plank for two breaths and then climb back up to plank.  Repeat twice on each side.  As we examine chakras, we know that the core is the home of insecurities.  It is not about getting a six pack or a flat stomach, but we want to recognize the strength we have in the core to support the body.   

Dolphin Pose (Ardha Pincha Mayurasana)

Drop from plank to forearm plank.  Begin walking the feet in and pressing the hips up and back into dolphin pose.  Keep the shoulders from passing the elbows. Once you have walked the feet in as far as they can comfortably go, hold the pose and breathe for 10 breaths.  

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

From dolphin, drop down on the knees.  Feel free to take childs pose if you need to.  Slowly come to rise on the knees.  You can always pad the knees with a blanket if there is any sensitivity.  Keeping the knees and feet about hip's distance apart, distribute your weight evenly throughout the shins and bring your hips over your knees.  As the tailbone drops, lift the belly and lift the heart as you roll the chest open.  Roll your shoulders back and release the head as the arms drop back behind you.  Alternatively, you can bring the hands to the low back.  

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Slowly come to a seated position and extend the legs forward.  On an inhale, circle the arms up to the sky.  As you exhale, begin to bow forward, keeping the length in the spine.  Imagine that you could lead with your heart.  Think about pressing your thighs to the floor and pressing your chest to your thighs rather than knee to nose.  We do not care if we can reach our toes or not.  This is an opportunity to drop inside and send yourself positive messages of self-love and self-acceptance. 

Reclined Pigeon (Supta Kapotasana)

From seated forward bend, roll all the way on to the back.  Hug the knees into the chest.  Bring the outside of the right ankle to the top of the left knee/left thigh.  You can leave the left foot grounded if you are already feeling a stretch. Otherwise, interlace the fingers around the back of the left thigh and use the left hand to gently pull the left thigh in towards the face.  Press the right knee open and breathe into the right hip.  Hold for ten breaths and then repeat on the other side.

We recommend a nice long Savasana at the end of this sequence.  Touch the same part of your body that you made contact with at the beginning of this sequence.  Sending positive thoughts to yourself about yourself, make a commitment to honor your body and to remember that you and your body are on the same side.  Finally, relax and absorb all of the self-love that you have created.


Most Popular Articles